Categories
Employment-Based Immigration

FAQ: Outstanding Professors and Researchers

To qualify in the outstanding professor or researcher category, you must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. You must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area.

What is the outstanding professor or researcher classification?

The EB-1B outstanding professor or researcher category is a subcategory of “priority workers.” 40,000 visas are made available annually to priority workers. No labor certification is required.

What are the eligibility criteria for an outstanding professor or researcher?

You must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. You must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area. You must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or a comparable research position with a private employer.

What types of evidence are required to show outstanding achievements in a particular academic field?

You must include documentation of at least two of the following:
1. Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
2. Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
3. Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field
4. Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
5. Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field
Upon reviewing the evidence, the USCIS officer must find that the totality of the facts show the person is internationally recognized for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.

Do graduate studies count towards the required 3 years of experience for an outstanding professor or researcher?

Experience in teaching or research during graduate studies will only count if you have acquired the degree and, if the you had full responsibility for the class taught or if the research ahs been recognized within the academic field as outstanding.

Is an offer of employment required for an outstanding professor or researcher?

An offer of employment from the prospective U.S. employer is required. Self-petitioning is not allowed. The employer may be a university or a private employer with at least 3 full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the research field. For a researcher who is not offered a tenured or tenure-track position, the position must be “permanent.” A permanent position is one that is for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.

Are expert opinion letters helpful for outstanding professor or researcher cases?

Expert opinion letters are helpful if well written. First, the letter must demonstrate that the author is a genuine expert in the particular academic field. Second, the letter must explain how the author has personal knowledge about the qualifications of the person seeking outstanding professor or researcher classification. Third, the expert must offer a well-reasoned opinion regarding whether the person has made outstanding achievements in the particular academic field.

What is the application process for an outstanding professor or researcher?

Your employer must file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. If you are abroad, then after the petition is approved and you are at the front of any waiting list, you and your spouse and children can apply for immigrant visas at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. If you are in the U.S., you and your spouse and children can each file with USCIS a Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, once the petition is approved and you are at the front of any waiting list. If there is no waiting list, you can file the I-140 and I-485s concurrently. While the I-485s are pending, you and your spouse and children will be eligible for employment authorization cards and advance parole, allowing international travel.

What is the timing for a Form I-140 for an outstanding professor or researcher?

See USCIS processing times for current estimates at each USCIS Service Center.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *