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EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card

Yale Library, EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green CardEB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card candidates who can demonstrate professional achievements significantly higher than others in their fields of expertise may be granted a waiver of the PERM Labor Certification requirement for the green card application. However, this EB1 green card category–unlike the EB1 Extraordinary Ability category–requires an offer of employment from a US employer.

EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card: General Legal Requirements

Individuals who qualify for an EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card must be internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic area; have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in a particular area of expertise; and seek to enter the US to occupy one of the following:

  1. A tenure-track position within a university or institution of higher education to teach in candidate’s area of expertise.
  2. A comparable, permanent position within a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in candidate’s area of expertise. Or,
  3. A 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 requires a job offer from a US employer. In addition, an EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher petition must be accompanied by:

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. Citations of these articles by peers (excluding self-citations) should also be included, as USCIS considers these to be demonstrative of impact.
  • 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 (this can include service as a review on a journal; quality is much more important than quantity for this criterion—although quantity can matter too; requests for review not in the candidate’s name, but passed along from someone else, will not be given substantial consideration).
  • 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, or if the research conducted toward the degree has been recognized within the academic field as outstanding. 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 of expertise.
  • US university or institution of higher learning offering a permanent (unlimited by a particular term) research position in the 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 department, division, or institute 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 after examining the prospective client’s credentials and subjecting them to an analysis of applicable regulations and  trends in USCIS adjudication of EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card petitions.