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(EB1-B or EB1-OR) Outstanding Professors and Researchers

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Introduction

EB1-B is a subcategory of priority worker. To be qualified in this category, the petition must show international recognition as being outstanding in a specific academic area. The foreign national must have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area. In addition, while no labor certification is required, there must be an offer of ongoing employment from the sponsoring employer. For a college or university teacher or researcher, the job must be for a tenured or tenure-track position.

Self-Petition Not Allowed

The U.S. employer must file petition with the USCIS as a petitioner; the foreign person is the beneficiary of the petition.

EB1-B Visas are Current

Immigrant visas are immediately available for all countries in the first employment-based (EB-1) preference category. In its latest projections, the State Department has indicated that it is unlikely that there will be any cut-off dates in the EB-1 preference during the coming months.

Qualifications of EB1-B

A foreign national is eligible for classification as an outstanding professor or researcher if he/she satisfies all the following three requirements:

  1. Recognition Internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field, and
  2. at least three years of teaching or research in the field and
  3. (a) the offer of a tenured or tenure-track teaching position or the offer a comparable research position, OR (b) the offer of a research position having no fixed term and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of permanent employment, OR (c) the offer of a comparable research position with a private employer if the employer has at least three full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the research field.

Proof of International Recognition

A petition for EB1-B must establish that the foreign person is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field. USCIS rules permit the submission of expert support letters to establish that the professor/researcher is internationally recognized as outstanding. Such expert testimonials must discuss the foreign national's original scientific or scholarly contributions of major significance in the field.

Click here to read (What Expert Testimonials Will Help an EB1-B Case? ).

Calculation of “Three Year“ Experience in Teaching or Research

The foreign national must have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic field. Experience in teaching or research while working on an advanced degree will only be acceptable if the foreign person 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.

Evidence of teaching and/or research experience must be in the form of letter(s) from current or former employer(s) and must include the name, address, and title of the writer, and a specific description of the duties performed by the applicant.

A Tenure, Tenured-track or Comparable Position

The last qualification of a EB1-B beneficiary is that he/she is offered a tenured or tenure-track teaching or research position at a university, or a comparable research position with a private employer if the employer has at least three full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the research field.

A Permanent Research Position

In recognition that many research positions at universities are not tenured or tenure-track positions, the USCIS rules permit a job offer to qualify for first preference consideration if the university is offering a “permanent research position“ to the applicant. 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.

A Comparable Position with a Private Employer

The USCIS also has taken the position that since private employers do not ordinarily give tenure to employees, a “comparable“ position for purposes of this category would be one in which the job description and duties are analogous to those of a researcher in an academic setting, that is, one who is offered a “permanent“ position as defined by the rules.

A Qualified “Employer“

Government agencies at the federal, state, or local level do not fit within the definition of employer for the purposes EB1-B unless the government agency is a U.S. university or an institution of higher learning.

The Criteria of “Outstanding“

To qualify as an outstanding professor or researcher, the petitioner must meet at least two of the following criteria:

  1. documentation of the applicant's receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field
  2. documentation of the applicant's membership in associations in the academic field, which require outstanding achievements of their members
  3. published material, in any language, provided it is translated into English, in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field--this documentation must include the title, date, and author of the material
  4. evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same, or an allied, academic field
  5. evidence of the applicant's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field
  6. evidence of the applicant's authorship of scholarly books or articles, in scholarly journals with international circulation, in the academic field

The Standard of Review by the USCIS

Like EB1-A petitions, two part analysis applies to EB1-B cases. The USCIS will make a totality determination to decide whether a foreign person is “outstanding“: The types of evidence listed in the regulations serve only as guidelines for the adjudicator and the petitioner. Ultimately, the evidence must establish that the beneficiary is a researcher or professor who is internationally recognized as outstanding. Merely presenting evidence which relates to two of the listed criteria does not necessarily mean that the priority worker petition will be approved since the adjudicator must weigh and evaluate the evidence. If the USCIS determines that the evidence submitted does not meet the standard for classification, therefore, additional evidence may be requested.

In a June 1992 memorandum on the subject, the former INS indicated that the following evidence would present a strong case that the professor or researcher is considered outstanding:

  1. Peer-reviewed presentations at academic symposia
  2. peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals
  3. testimony from other scholars on the applicant's contribution to the field
  4. a number of entries in a citation index citing the applicant's work as authoritative
  5. Participation by the applicant as a reviewer for a peer-reviewed scholarly journal