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The Requirements of EB1 Outstanding 
Professor or Outstanding Researcher Immigration Petition

1. Alien Applicants Should Meet at Least Two of the Six Criteria for EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor Petition

Regarding the EB-1B criteria, the alien beneficiaries should establish their international recognition as being outstanding in various ways. To fulfill this criteria, the petitioner should include documentation of at least two of the six criteria listed below for the EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor Petition, with an employment offer from the U.S. employer:

  • Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;

  • Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement;

  • Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field;

  • Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field;

  • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field;

  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.

2. Basic Requirement for an EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition - Be Recognized Internationally as Outstanding in an Academic Field

The EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor criteria requires that the alien beneficiary " be recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic field." An outstanding researcher or professors should stand apart in the academic community with international recognition.

A petition for an outstanding researcher or professor should be accompanied by evidence that the alien beneficiary is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. The submitted evidence should include at least two of the six types of evidence listed in the EB-1B regulation.

As an alien beneficiary, you should demonstrate the international recognition for outstanding achievements in an academic field. You should have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in an academic area. You should be U.S. to work in a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or institution of higher education.

The following 3 requirements must be satisfied for a petition of EB1 outstanding professors or researchers:

1) An outstanding professor or researcher is a foreign alien who is recognized internationally as outstanding in an academic field.

2) The foreign alien must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in an academic field.

3) The foreign alien must be 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.

3. The Requirement of Employer Sponsorship and Employment for the EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor Petition

For EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor (EB-1B) application, the petitioner should demonstrate that the researcher or professor is recognized internationally in an academic area with specific documentations. Also the alien beneficiary should have at least three years' experience in teaching or research within an academic area.

The alien beneficiary should be sponsored by:

1) a university or institution of higher education, with a tenured or tenure-track position;

2) a university with academic research position;

3) a private company in a comparable position. A private employer should have documented research results and employ at least three full-time researchers.

Although a labor certification is not required for the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher classification, the petitioner should provide an employment job offer as initial evidence to support the petition. The job offer can be a letter from the petitioning employer, such as U.S. university or institution of higher learning, or a private employer, indicting that the employment is a tenured or tenure-track teaching position, or a “permanent” research position.

For a research position, the word “permanent” is defined as “either tenured, tenure-track, or for an indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.” We know many research positions may be permanent, but not be on tenure-track.

4. The Employment Offer and the Definition of Permanent Position

The offered job position should be a permanent position, which could be either tenured, tenure-tracked, or for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration. For the offered job position, the alien employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment, unless there is good cause for termination.

Unlike the requirement for the EB1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability Petition, that the alien must have garnered sustained national or international acclaim in the field of endeavor, the evidence that should be provided in support of EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher petition must demonstrate that the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. 

In addition, the petition must be accompanied by an offer of permanent, tenured, or tenure-track employment (in the case of research positions, the offer must be for a permanent research position) from a qualifying prospective employer, and evidence that the alien has had at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic field in which the alien will be engaged.

Although a Labor Certification is not required for the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher classification, the law requires that the petitioner provide an offer of employment as initial evidence in support of a first preference petition filed on behalf of an outstanding professor or researcher. The offer of employment may be in the form of a letter from the petitioning employer, stating that the employment is a tenured or tenure-track teaching position or a “permanent” research position in the alien’s academic field. 

The word “permanent”, in reference to a research position, is defined as either tenured, tenure-track, or for an indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination. Many research positions may be permanent, but not be tenure-track, such a position may still qualify for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher classification.

5. The Requirement of EB-1B Petition - “Permanent” for Research Positions. 

The EB-1B petitioning employer should establish that the job offer is intended to have an indefinite or unlimited duration, and the alien employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment. USCIS adjudicators normally will not deny an EB-1B petition solely because the actual employment contract or job offer does not have a “good cause for termination” clause. 

As an example, many research job positions are funded by grant money on yearly basis. Thus, many researchers are employed under the contracts with one year increments. Therefore, if the petitioning employer can demonstrate its intent to continue seeking research funding, and a reasonable expectation that funding will continue, for example prior funding renewals for long-term research projects, such research employment can be considered “permanent” within the EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher classification.

USCIS adjudicators will also consider an job offer's circumstances and its benefits. A position that is limited to a specific term can meet the EB-1B regulatory test if the position normally continues beyond the specific term, such as if the funding grants are normally renewed.

At most universities, the job titles of post-doctor or a visiting scholar are considered temporary job, and do not qualify as permanent positions. The research positions funded by grants must have the expectation of continued funding to qualify for "permanent position".

USCIS understands that many
research positions are funded by grant money received on a yearly basis. If the employer could demonstrate the intent to continue to seek funding and a reasonable expectation that funding will continue, such as demonstrated prior renewals for extended long-term research projects, such employment can be considered "permanent" within the definition of EB-1B regulation.

6. The Requirement of EB-1B Petition - Tenure or Tenure-Track Positions. 

For EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Green Card application, a tenure or tenure track position means a job that has no definite termination date. Therefore, it can be a teaching or research position at a university, or a research position with a private employer if the employer has at least 3 full-time researchers, and also has documented accomplishments in the research field.

Since the private employers do not normally offer "tenure" position to employees, for a private employer, the “comparable“ position for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher category would be a “permanent“ position as defined by the USCIS rules, and the job description and duties are similar to those of a researcher in an university.

Whether a position qualifies as a tenured or a tenure-track position is not determined or linked to the “permanent" position. For tenure or tenure-track positions, USCIS adjudicators will not evaluate whether the employment contract has a “good cause for termination” clause, but they will evaluate whether the overall nature of the position is tenured or tenure-track. 

In other words, USCIS will not equate tenured or tenured-track positions with the temporary, adjunct, limited duration fellowships positions, where the alien employee may not have reasonable expectation of long-term employment with the university.

7. The Requirement of EB-1B Petition - At Least Three Years of Experience in Teaching or Research

For EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher (EB-1B) petition, the documentation should be submitted to USCIS to prove that the alien beneficiary is an internationally recognized outstanding professor or researcher. The petition should also establish that the alien beneficiary has three years of research or teaching experience in the academic field. 

If the experience was gained while pursuing the advanced degree required for the offered position, such experience must be proven to be outstanding. Therefore, experience in teaching or research while working on an advanced degree will be acceptable by USCIS only if the alien 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.

The EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher regulations specify that evidence of teaching or research experience should be in the form of letters from current or former employers, and should include the name, address, and title of the writer, and a specific description of the duties performed by the foreign national.

8. The Three Year Experience in Research and Teaching Requirement for New Faculties in Universities

Many new faculties in universities who have recently completed their doctorate degree may believe that they will not qualify for the EB1 Outstanding Researcher  or Professor (EB-1B) immigration petition, because they do not have sufficient time to satisfy the EB-1B requirements. Therefore, the individual faculty member or researcher should consult with the university and his/her department to determine whether he or she has sufficiently met the criteria before filing a petition for EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor.

The EB-1B petition needs prior experience, and the three years experience will be counted to the day of the EB-1B Form I-140 filling. The alien applicant can use the PhD research time towards the three years experience, if it contributed towards the outstanding accomplishments in the field. The alien applicant can provide effective evidence by showing the Ph.D. work as outstanding, such as how many research papers were published during the Ph.D study and their citation numbers.

For EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor petition, although compiling the necessary evidence demonstrating scholarly achievement is time-consuming, USCIS processing of EB-1B petitions is generally faster than for the EB2 and EB3 categories, because labor certification through the U.S. Department of Labor is not required. Also, some applicants from certain countries with high U.S. immigration rates do not currently have to wait for a visa number to become available before they can take the final steps towards obtaining U.S. Green Card, once USCIS approves the EB-1B based Form I-140 petition.

9. The Analysis of Six Criteria for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition

1) Receipt of Major Prizes or Awards for Outstanding Achievements: This criterion is intended for the prestigious awards. It is important to include not just proof of the award, but proof that the award is important in the field. This may include the judging criteria or evidence of media coverage, and some degree of prestige must attach to the given award.

2) Membership in Associations in the Academic Field: Specialized scholars frequently belong to associations. However, most scholars with the appropriate degree are eligible for such associations upon payment of a membership fee. For a membership to have weight in this category, there must be a higher selective standard for admission to the association. The alien applicant should submit evidence of selective membership criteria along with evidence of membership in the association.

3) Published Material about the Person: To satisfy this criterion, the published material should be at the national or international level. Articles in local newspapers or internal company reports do not qualify. Moreover, standard academic citations do not count as published material about the alien beneficiary. 

4) Participation as a Judge of the Work of Others: Reviewing grants or articles can satisfy this criterion, if the review request is directed particularly to the alien beneficiary. Generic letters or requests passed down from an advisor or mentor can not be accounted.

5) Original Scientific or Scholarly Research Contributions to the Academic Field: Evidence submitted in this category must address the international reputation standard. Simply publishing or presenting an alien’s work or receiving grant funding is common in research, and does not indicate that the academic community has taken notice of his or her work. Patents or patent applications carry little weight unless they demonstrate an international reputation in the field, and petitioner should document the widespread use or application of the patent.

6) Authorship of Scholarly Books or Articles: The publications must be in peer-reviewed academic journals, preferably those with international circulation. When submitting evidence under this category, the petitioner must demonstrate that the publication record rises above that of the average scholar. One method of doing so is showing that the alien beneficiary’s papers have been widely cited by independent researchers in the field. 

To help you obtain U.S. Green Card easily and quickly, we provide the high quality and case-proven Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Outstanding Researcher Petition, based on our extensive and practical employment immigration experience. As added value in the Complete Do-It-Yourself Package for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher Petition, we provide comprehensive instructions on U.S. immigration application requirements and processing, and we also provide you the methods of how to prepare the EB-1B petition, how to collect evidence, how to show your achievements, how to prove your Outstanding Ability, how to write the petition cover letter and the reference letter. We also provide step-by-step procedures for EB1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher petition, various petition strategies, detailed sample cover letter, detailed sample reference letters in different formats and academic fields, samples of filled forms, complete petition check list, petition required forms, and more.






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