Outstanding Professors And Researchers

Each year the U.S. makes available 140,000 places for employment-based immigration and allocates these places among five “preference” categories: Three groups comprise the first preference (EB-1) aliens with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.

This category is an option for professors and researchers who have not yet “risen to the top of their field,” but who might be considered outstanding by their peers. In order to be eligible for this category, you must have at least three years of experience in the field, be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area, and hold a specific kind of permanent employment. Teachers employed by universities or higher education institutions must hold a tenure-track or tenured position to qualify, and researchers must hold a comparable position (usually defined as one of indefinite duration) to qualify. Researchers employed in industry may qualify if the employing institution employs at least three persons full-time in the field of research and has made documented achievements in the field.

You must present evidence in at least two of the following areas in order to establish that you are internationally recognized in your academic field:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
  • Membership in an organization that requires outstanding achievement;
  • Published material about your work;
  • Participation, individually or on a panel, judging the work of others;
  • Original scientific or scholarly contributions to the field;
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles;
  • Other comparable evidence.

As with other merit-based categories, careful and specific definition of the field of endeavor is crucial. Letters from experts in the field, attesting to your achievements and “outstandingness” can be among the most powerful pieces of evidence.

You must be employed or have a job offer to seek permanent residence in this category. Labor certification is not required. Since the labor certification process can be quite lengthy and burdensome, this category is appealing for qualified individuals.

Call 866-833-8308 to discuss your immigration goals with an attorney at Ware | Immigration. Serving educational institutions, scholars, faculty and staff from our offices in Louisiana, the Florida Panhandle and Washington state.