Permanent Residence for Outstanding Researchers and Professors

An outstanding researcher or professor is defined as an individual who is recognized internationally as outstanding in his or her specific academic area of teaching or research. The individual must possess at least three years of experience teaching, or research, in the academic area.  While no labor certification is required, an individual may not self-petition under this category.  Accordingly, a successful candidate must have:

  • An offer of a tenured or tenure-track teaching position or the offer of a comparable research position or,
  • The offer of a research position having no fixed term and the expectation of permanent employment, or
  • The offer of a comparable research position with a private employer provided the employer has at least three full-time researchers and documented accomplishments in the research field.

The researcher or teacher is required to be outstanding in an academic area, which is defined specifically as a body of specialized knowledge offered for study at an accredited U.S. university or institution of higher education. To document international recognition of the researcher or teacher, USCIS regulations require submission of at least two of the following for the alien:

  • Documentation of major international prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field.
  • Documentation of membership in associations in the academic field that require outstanding achievements of their members.
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the field (published material must include the title, date, and author, and be translated, if necessary; the publication should discuss or analyze the alien's work in the academic field—a short reference to his/her work in a professional publication would not demonstrate that the alien is recognized as outstanding).
  • Participation (on a panel or individually) in judging the work of others in the same or an allied academic field.  While the alien should have judged the work of other professors, researchers, or Ph.D. candidates in their academic field, evidence of having judged the work of other authorities and experts in the alien's own academic field is seen as a better measure of his/her international recognition).
  • Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field.
  • Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation.

Much like the “extraordinary ability” category, the most successful outstanding researcher or outstanding professor petitions contain testimonial evidence from highly qualified peers of the candidate, and more than just two of the above types of evidence. 

Working closely with qualified candidates, Goel & Anderson has assisted numerous outstanding researchers and professors by preparing comprehensive and compelling cases that have won approval from USCIS.