Options for University Professors and Researchers
SPECIAL HANDLING PERM
University Professors and teaching faculty have a few options for obtaining lawful permanent residency including in some circumstances a reduced form of labor certification called “Special Handling.”
For Special Handling processing, the hiring department must have selected you, the foreign educator, in a competitive recruitment process that has been documented. The position must include classroom teaching duties and the labor certification application must be filed within 18 months from the time you were selected. A successful petition includes a recruitment report stating the number of applicants for the position and why you were more qualified than other identified candidates, a copy of the final report and a written statement of the your credentials. As the university selection process is typically a vigorous one involving many department personnel, such detailed reports are usually maintained by your hiring department or H.R.
Barbara-Ann Williams and her team of legal professionals routinely work with college and universities across the U.S. to prepare and file successful PERM and Employment Based Petitions. We help streamline the process and provide clear strategies and solutions to ensure the best outcome. We have an excellent rate of success and have helped educators in the fields of Education, Foreign Languages, Mathematics and Statistics, Arts as well as the sciences. University professors interested in pursuing lawful permanent residency through this process should contact us to see if they qualify for Special Handling or review below to learn if other visa options may be available to you.
EB1 FIRST PREFERENCE – EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY ALIEN
Unlike Special Handling, no labor certification is required for university professors and researchers who qualify for EB1 First Preference. You may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if you possess extraordinary ability in your field. You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required. This visa was often called the Michael Jordan visa but perhaps in today’s Parlance, Michael Phelps would be appropriate analogy. You must meet 3 of 10 criteria* below, or provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal)
- Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
- Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
- Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
- Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
- Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
- Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
- Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
- Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts
OUTSTANDING RESEARCHER OR PROFESSOR
University Professors and Researchers unable to meet eligibility under the EB1 Extraordinary Ability visa category may find they qualify under the EB1 Outstanding Researcher or Professor category instead. This category also bypasses the Labor Certification requirement. To qualify, you must demonstrate at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in an academic area, be pursuing a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education and show eligibility of outstanding achievement in your field by submitting evidence under at least two of the below list:
1) Documentation of your membership in associations in the academic field that require outstanding achievements of their members;
2) Published material in professional publications written by others about your work in the academic field.
3) Evidence your individual’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
4) Evidence of your original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or
5) Evidence of your authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field;
For teaching experience gained while in pursuit of an advance degree, you must demonstrate the teaching duties were such that you had full responsibility for the class taught.