Professors and Researchers


An “Outstanding Researcher or Professor” EB-1(b) petition is employer sponsored and is applicable to those persons who are internationally recognized as outstanding in a particular scientific or scholarly field.

There are three  main requirements for someone seeking a petition as an “Outstanding Researcher/Professor”, including:

  • International recognition as being outstanding in a specific academic field;
  • At least three years of relevant research or teaching experience: Research or teaching experience obtained while in pursuit of an advanced degree, such as a Ph.D., can be counted toward the three year requirement, but 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 alien must be able to document his/her work history with letters from current and/or former employers describing work duties and years of employment; and
  • A job offer for a permanent research position or a tenured or tenure-track teaching position: Generally, the job offer is given by a university or other similar academic or scientific institution, but it can also be offered by a private employer. If the offer is from a private employer, the employer must have at least three full-time researchers along with accompanying documentation supporting their accomplishments within the field.


Who is eligible to file a petition as an outstanding researcher or professor?

An Outstanding Researcher or Professor petition cannot be filed by individuals on their own behalf. The job offer must be from a qualifying employer who meets the following requirements:

  • A United States university or institution of higher learning offering the alien a tenured or tenure-track teaching position in the alien’s academic field;
  • A United States university or institution of higher learning offering the alien a permanent research position in the alien’s academic field; or
  • A department, division, or institute of a private employer offering the alien a permanent research position in the alien’s academic field. The department, division, or institute must demonstrate that it employs at least three persons full-time in research positions, and that it has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

What evidence is required to establish eligibility?

An outstanding researcher petition is required to include evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. Such evidence shall consist of at least two of the following:

  • Documentation of the alien’s receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
  • Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members;
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field. Such material shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
  • 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;
  • Evidence of the alien’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or
  • Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field.

The materials should also include evidence of least three years of experience in teaching and/or research in the academic field.

How difficult is it to have a petition approved?

This is a highly discretionary category and the probability of success depends largely on the qualifications of the beneficiary and the manner in which the case is presented. The evidence must be presented clearly and persuasively. However, it is important to add that evidence in the form of expert opinion letters are critical to the success of a case. Such expert opinion letters must be authored by objective experts in the relevant field, must state factual information about the beneficiary on which their opinion is based, and must also provide a description of the importance of the beneficiary’s past research achievements and a projection of his/her likely future accomplishments.