First Preference Employment-Based Visa for Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-12):
The EB-12 visa allows an outstanding professor or researcher to obtain
U.S. permanent residency based on a petition filed by a qualifying university
or institution of higher education or private research institution, if
certain conditions are met.
The individual must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific
academic field. An "academic field" is defined as "a body
of specialized knowledge offered for study at an accredited United States
university or institution of higher learning." To establish international
recognition in an academic field, at least two of the following must be
- 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 individual's work;
- Evidence of the individual's participation as a judge of the work of others;
- Evidence of original scientific research; or
- Authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field.
- The individual must have at least 3 years of teaching or research experience
in the specific academic area. Time spent teaching or researching while
working on advanced degrees may be counted if the degree is ultimately
acquired and the individual had full responsibility for the class taught
or research being conducted in the outstanding academic field.
- The offered position must be either tenured or tenured track (or an expectation
of continued employment) at a university or institution of higher education
in a position comparable to the individual's work abroad, or must
be a comparable private entity that employs at least 3 full-time researches
and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.
- The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the
principal EB-12 visa holder to the United States as permanent residents.
The spouse and unmarried children are allowed to work in the United States
and may apply to become citizens after five years.
- The sponsoring institution must first file a petition for alien worker
with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. No labor certification
is required, but the petitioner must demonstrate the ability to pay the
- Upon approval of the petition, the alien will then be eligible to either
adjust status (if within the United States in lawful status) or apply
for an immigrant visa at the appropriate consulate abroad (if outside
of the United States). Priority dates are current for the EB-12 category,
allowing the individual to adjust or immigrate immediately upon approval
of the petition.