Visas for Outstanding Professors or Researchers
Recognition by the USCIS as an outstanding professor or researcher (OPR) is another route to employment-based immigration benefits, in the form of permanent residence, in the US. To qualify as an OPR, one must submit evidence to the USCIS of the following:

To qualify as an OPR, one must submit evidence to the USCIS of the following:

  • He or she is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area
  • He or she has three years experience in teaching or research in the academic area
  • He or she seeks entry:
  • For a tenure or tenure-track teaching position;
    • For a comparable position at a university or institute of higher education to conduct research; or
    • For a comparable position to conduct research with a private employer if it employs at least 3 persons full-time in research activities and the departmental, division or institution has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field

The evidence submitted must also include at least two of the following:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
  • Membership in an association which requires outstanding achievement
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the professional’s work
  • Evidence of the person’s participation as a judge of the work of others
  • Evidence of original scientific research
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field
Visas for “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability”
Certain individuals may qualify for status as an alien of extraordinary ability, which allows for employment-based immigration benefits (permanent residence) without labor certification. Moreover, no employer or offer of employment is necessary in this category, but the petitioner must prove that he or she intends to pursue work in his or her area of expertise, in the US.
Generally, this category includes aliens with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation. This category belongs to a small percentage of individuals who have risen to the top of their fields of endeavor.

Factors considered by the USCIS when reviewing these petitions are:

  • A one-time achievement or major award of international acclaim, such as a Nobel Peace Prize

any THREE of the following:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized achievements or awards
  • Membership in an association in the field for which classification is sought, which requires outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts
  • Published material about the person in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Participation as a judge of the work of others
  • Evidence of original scientific, scholastic, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field
  • Artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Performance in a leading or cultural role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation
  • High salary or remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Commercial success in the performing arts
For more information, please contact us by e-mail or call (952) 854-3313 for a free phone consultation.