Outstanding Researchers and Professors (EB-1B or EB-1OR)
EB-1B Overview; Legal Fees of EB-1B; Processing of EB-1B; EB-1B FAQs
A subcategory of priority worker is EB-1B. In this category, the applicant must show international acclaim for being exceptional in a detailed academic field in order to qualify. The non-resident is required to have at least three years of experience in research or teaching in the academic field. Even though no labor certification is required, there must be a current job offer from the sponsor. The position must be either tenure-track or tenured for a university or college researcher or professor.
Self-Petition Not Allowed
The U.S. employer must file the case with the USCIS as a petitioner; the non-resident is the beneficiary of the petition.
EB-1B Visas Remain Current
Visas are immediately available for all countries in the first employment-based preference category (EB-1). The State Department’s latest projections indicate that cut-off dates are unlikely in the EB-1 category in the near future.
Requirements of EB-1B
A non-resident must meet the following three requirements to be eligible for outstanding researcher or professor classification:
International recognition as outstanding in a defined academic area, and
A minimum of three years of research or teaching in this area and
(a) an offer of a tenure-track or tenured teaching position or similar research position, OR (b) an offer of a research position with no fixed term limit where the employee expects permanent employment, OR (c) an offer of a comparable research position with a private employer that has a minimum of three full-time researchers and documented achievements in the academic area.
Proof of International Recognition
An EB-1B petition must prove that the non-resident is recognized internationally as outstanding in a defined academic area. USCIS rules require the submission of expert reference letters to prove that the researcher/professor is internationally recognized as outstanding. The expert testimonials must describe the non-resident’s unique scientific or academic contributions of vital importance in the area of expertise.
Click this link to see “Which Expert Testimonials Will Help an EB-1B Case?”.
Calculation of “Three Year” Experience in Teaching or Research
The non-resident must have a minimum of three years of experience in research or teaching in the academic area of expertise. Experience in research or teaching while studying for an advanced degree will only be acceptable if the non-resident has since obtained the degree, and if the non-resident had full responsibility for the class taught, or if the research conducted toward the advanced degree has been recognized as outstanding within the academic area of expertise.
Evidence to prove research and/or teaching experience must be provided in the form of a letter(s) from former or current employer(s) and must provide the name, address, title of the author, and a detailed description of the duties performed by the petitioner.
Tenure-track, Tenure or Comparable Position
The last qualification of an EB-1B petitioner is that he/she is offered a tenure-track or tenured research or teaching position at a university, or a comparable research position with a private employer if the employer has a minimum of three full-time researchers and documented achievements in the research field.
Permanent Research Position
Since many research positions at universities are not tenure-track or tenured, 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 unlimited or indefinite length of time, and in which the employee will usually have an expectation of sustained employment unless there is just cause for termination.
Comparable Position with a Private Employer
USCIS has declared that since private employers do not usually give tenure to employees, a “comparable” position for purposes of this category would be one in which the duties and job description are similar to those of a researcher in an academic setting, i.e., one who is offered a “permanent” position as defined by the rules.
A Qualified “Employer”
Government agencies at the local, state, or federal level do not qualify for the definition of employer for the EB-1B purposes unless the government agency is a U.S. university or institution of higher learning.
Criteria of “Outstanding“
In order to qualify as an outstanding researcher or professor, the applicant must meet a minimum of two of the following conditions:
Evidence of the applicant’s receipt of key awards or prizes for outstanding accomplishment in the academic area of expertise
Evidence of the applicant’s membership in organizations in the academic area of expertise which require outstanding accomplishments of their members
Published material in any language (provided it is translated into English) in professional journals written by peers about the non-resident’s research in the academic area of expertise. This evidence must include the title, date, and author of the material.
Evidence of the non-resident’s participation, either individually or on a team, as a evaluator of the research of peers in the area of expertise or similar academic area of expertise
Evidence of the applicant’s unique scientific or academic research contributions to the academic area of expertise
Evidence of the applicant’s authorship of academic books, articles, or academic periodicals with international distribution in the academic area of expertise
Standard of Review by the USCIS
As with EB-1A petitions, two-part analysis is used with EB-1B cases. The USCIS will make a determination to decide whether a non-resident is “outstanding” based on all evidence submitted. The types of documentation listed in the regulations are only guidelines for the adjudicator and the petitioner. In the end, the documentation must prove that the petitioner is a researcher or professor who is internationally recognized as outstanding. Simply presenting documentation that relates to two of the conditions listed does not necessarily mean that the priority worker petition will be approved since the adjudicator must evaluate and weigh the evidence. If the USCIS determines that the evidence submitted does not meet the standard for classification, then additional evidence may be requested.
A June 1992 document from the former INS suggested that the following documentation would present a strong case that the researcher or professor is considered outstanding:
Peer-reviewed presentations at academic conferences
Peer-reviewed articles in academic journals
Testimony from other colleagues on the applicant’s contribution to the area of expertise
Several entries in a citation index citing the applicant’s work as authoritative
Participation by the applicant as a reviewer for a peer-reviewed academic journal.