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EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card

Yale Library, EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green CardThe EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card category may be a viable option for those with professional achievements significantly higher than others in their field. This EB1 green card category–unlike the EB1 Extraordinary Ability category–requires an offer of employment from a US employer. It also requires a tenure-track or comparable permanent position at an educational institution or certain private entities.

EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card: General Legal Requirements

Individuals who qualify for an EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher category must be internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic area. They also must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in a particular area of expertise. Finally, they must seek to enter the US to occupy one of the following:

  1. Tenure-track position within a university or institution of higher education to teach in candidate’s area of expertise.
  2. Comparable permanent position within a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in candidate’s area of expertise. Or,
  3. Comparable position to conduct research in his/her area of expertise with a department, division, or institute of a private employer, if that employer employs at least 3 persons full-time in research activities, and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher: Specific Regulatory Requirements

The EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card category requires a job offer from a US employer. In addition, a petition must include the following evidence.

1. Evidence that the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in the field of expertise. This should consist of at least 2 of the following:

  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field of expertise. The petition should include citations of these articles by peers (excluding self-citations). USCIS considers citations as evidence of impact in the field.
  • Receipt of major awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in candidate’s field of expertise (documentation must include information on significance of each award and criteria for choosing recipients of award).
  • Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field.
  • Participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field (including, for example, service as a reviewer on a journal). Note that quality is more important than quantity for this criterion—although quantity can matter too. USCIS will not give substantial consideration to requests for review not in the candidate’s name, but passed along from someone else.
  • Membership in associations in the field that require members to have outstanding achievements. This does not include organizations that merely require membership dues, no matter how prestigious.
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the EB1 candidate.

2. Evidence that EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher has at least 3 years of experience in teaching and/or research in the candidate’s field of expertise.

Experience gained while working on an advanced degree is only acceptable if the EB1 candidate has acquired that degree, and if the teaching duties were such that the candidate had full responsibility for classes taught. In the case of a researcher, research conducted gained while working on the degree will count only if the candidate is considered “outstanding” within the academic field. And,

3. A offer of employment from a US employer that is indefinite in duration from:

  • US university or institution of higher learning offering a tenured or tenure-track position in the EB1 candidate’s field.
  • US university or institution of higher learning offering a permanent (unlimited by a particular term) research position in the candidate’s field of expertise. Or,
  • Department, division, or institute of a private employer offering a permanent research position in the EB1 candidate’s field of expertise. The employer must show that it employs at least 3 full-time persons in research positions, and that it has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

An EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card petition should show impact in the field of expertise that is substantially above the norm. A handful of publications is unlikely to enable success in the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card category except in narrow circumstances, particularly since USCIS’s current stance is that all professors and researchers must publish and review the work of others (and therefore, there is nothing extraordinary about simply meeting the regulatory standard). Note also that quality of evidence is of more importance than quantity.

Finally, we will accept an EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card case only if we feel it has a high chance of success.