The EB-1(2) Outstanding Professors and Researchers category is designed for individuals recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic areas. The government has indicated that such individuals should stand apart in the academic community through eminence and distinction based on international recognition.
Main Advantages — Avoids the labor certification process. Also, for the past few years, the visa numbers have been current in the first employment-based category, even for individuals born in China, and India, allowing for eligible individuals to by-pass the backlogs in some of the other categories and thus obtain legal permanent resident status relatively quickly without having to wait years for numbers to be current.
Self-sponsorship is not possible: Although a labor a certification is not needed, an offer of employment is required in the form of an offer letter from the sponsoring employer setting out the title, terms and conditions of employment. The prospective employer will have to show the ability to pay the proffered wage, in the form of copies of annual reports, federal tax returns, or audited financial statements.
General Requirements — The individual must have 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area and must be seeking to enter the U.S. for (1) a tenured, a tenured (or tenure-track) position within a university or institution of higher education to teach in the academic area, (2) for a comparable position with a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in the area, or (3) for a comparable position to conduct research in the area with a department, division, or institute of a private employer meeting certain criteria. Note that experience in teaching or research while working on an advanced degree will only be acceptable once the individual has acquired the degree, and if the teaching duties were such that he or she had full responsibility for the class taught or if the research conducted toward the degree has been recognized within the academic field as outstanding. A research position may be tenured track or a permanent offer, which is an offer of indefinite or unlimited duration in which the researcher will have an expectation of continued permanent employment unless there is good cause for termination. With respect to the research for a private employer ((3) above), the government considers that research will not include engineering or product design because such activity is considered to be the “technological application of existing research.”
Evidence. To establish that the professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field, at least two items from a specific list must be provided to the government. The complete list can be found on our Employment Based (EB) Immigrant Visa general summary. The Administrative Appeals Office applies a two-step approach by counting the evidence to see if it meets the two or more criteria necessary and then considering the evidence as a whole in the context of a final merits determination.
Our Expertise — We provide a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s case by identifying its strengths and weaknesses as well as strategies on how to increase the chances of success. We also actively support the individual throughout the application process by, among others, conducting information gathering sessions, coordinating the collection of evidence, guiding and reviewing recommendation letters from experts, and preparing a comprehensive cover letter that persuasively explains the individual’s EB-1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers eligibility. We can also advise on strategies to help retain the beneficiary in your employment.