EB 1-2 Immigrant Visa:

Outstanding Professor or Researcher

EB 1-2 immigrant status allows outstanding professors and researchers to gain permanent residency if they have a qualifying offer of employment at an university or private research institution.  EB 1-2 status recipients receive many immigration benefits, including avoiding the ability to premium process, the ability to obtain permanent residency much faster than other immigrant workers, and the ability to avoid a labor certification.


The EB -1-2 Immigrant status is reserved for outstanding professors and researchers who have offers of qualifying employment at universities and private research institutions.   Qualifying employment opportunities must be:

  • A tenure or tenure-track teaching position or comparable research position,
  • A research position with no fixed term in a position where the employee would generally have the expectation of permanent employment, or
  • A research position with a private company that has at least three full time researchers and has research accomplishments.

Eligible immigrants do not need to complete a labor certification.


An immigrant seeking to gain permanent residency through EB 1-2 status must demonstrate that he or she is an outstanding professor or researcher.  Generally speaking, outstanding ability must be demonstrated by meeting two of the following factors:

  • Receipt of a major international prize or award for outstanding achievement in the academic field, outstanding achievement in the academic field,
  • Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members,
  • Material in professional publications written by others about the foreign national’s work,
  • Participation as a judge of the work of others in the field,
  • Original contributions in the field,
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in journals with international circulations.

Although the regulations only require two indicators to be met, in reality it is often necessary to demonstrate that more factors have been met.  To better understand the EB 1-2 qualifications, please contact an immigration attorney.

After Obtaining Permanent Residency:

Citizenship: After five years of permanent residency, an EB 1-2 immigrant may be eligible to become a naturalized U.S. Citizens.
Travel Abroad: After obtaining permanent residency, an EB 1-2 immigrant may be able to freely travel abroad.  However, care must be taken to ensure that the permanent resident does not “abandon” his or her permanent residency by staying abroad for a significant amount of time.
Family: An EB 1-2 principal immigrant can provide permanent residency to his or her spouse and minor children (unmarried children under the age of 21).

More Information:

If you think you may be eligible for EB 1-2 immigration status as an outstanding professor or researcher, please contact Gafner Law Firm.  Additionally, more information may be available at the USCIS website.