EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher Category


The EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher category is an excellent option for any international faculty member or researcher who has many years of experience in the field and is either tenured or in a tenure-track position. Not all professors or researchers will qualify to file for Permanent Residency under the EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher category.

The University can file an outstanding professor/researcher (EB1) petition if the employee has an outstanding record of scholarly achievement in his or her field. The regulations set a high bar for eligibility, and the USCIS closely scrutinizes an individual’s qualifications to determine whether he or she is reaches it; if not, the agency will likely deny the petition.

Many new faculty who have recently completed their doctorates will not qualify for outstanding professor/researcher because they simply have not had sufficient time to satisfy the requirements, however promising they may be. For this reason, the SCIS will consult with the individual faculty member or researcher and his or her department to determine whether he or she has sufficiently met the criteria before filing a petition for EB1 status. If the criteria have not been met, then SCIS will recommend filing a petition for EB2 status through the labor certification process.


Any applicant for EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher category must meet three basic requirements:

  1. The applicant is recognized internationally as outstanding in teaching or research in the academic area;
  2. The applicant has at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area;
  3. The position the applicant holds is either a tenured or tenure-track position (for professors) or a permanent position (for researchers).


In addition to the basic requirements, EB-1 Applicants must establish eligibility as an outstanding professor or researcher by developing and submitting documentation in at least two (preferably three) of the categories listed below:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the field of endeavor;
  • Membership in associations in the academic field which require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievements to become a member;
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field. Such evidence should include title, date, and author of the publication and any necessary translations;
  • Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field;
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions in the field;
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation in the academic field.

Although compiling the necessary evidence demonstrating scholarly achievement is time-consuming, USCIS processing of EB1 petitions is generally faster than for the EB2 and EB3 categories, because labor certification through the Department of Labor is not required. In addition, foreign nationals 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 LPR, once USCIS approves the University’s petition.