Outstanding Professors or Researchers E-12


This category is for foreign national professors and researchers who are considered by independent experts to be among the top 5 percent in their field. This category requires a full-time job offer from a qualified U.S. employer, but it does not require the additional process of a labor certification if it can be shown that the foreign national is of outstanding ability and that the employer is in need of such a level of ability.

The requirements that prove outstanding ability in this category are slightly less rigorous than those needed to show extraordinary ability. Aside from a full-time, permanent job offer from a research-based employer, or a tenure track teaching position from a university, the professor or researcher must have at least three years of outstanding research or teaching experience.

A private employer must employ at least three persons full-time in research positions and have achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field. The position must be considered permanent meaning that there is no set termination date. They must also show that they have the ability to pay the salary of the outstanding professor or researcher.

The evidence that must be submitted with the I-140 petition must clearly document that the professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in his/her academic field. The evidence must consist of at least two of the following:

  1. Evidence that the professor or researcher received major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the field;
  2. Documentation of membership in an association in the academic field which requires outstanding achievements of their members;
  3. Published material in professional publications written by others about the foreign national’s work in the field; (The material must include the title, date, and author of the material, and must be accompanied by an English translation if it is written in a foreign language.)
  4. Evidence of the professor or researcher’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
  5. Evidence of the professor or researcher’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or
  6. Evidence that the alien has written scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation in his/her academic field.