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EB-1 Outstanding Professors or Researchers

STEP 1: Eligibility requirements

STEP 2: Prepare EB-1 request

STEP 3: File I-140 petition with USCIS

STEP 4: Apply for LPR status

STEP 5: USCIS adjudication & LPR status issues

STEP 1: Eligibility requirements [top]

All of the following requirements must be met in order for UH to file this type of petition:

  • Employee must hold a tenured or tenure-track teaching or "permanent" research position in the academic field. USCIS defines "permanent" as being "for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination."
  • Employee must have a minimum of 3 years of postdoctoral teaching or research experience in the academic field. Teaching or research experience gained while working on an advanced degree will only be acceptable if (a) the degree has been conferred AND (b) the teaching duties were such that he/she had full responsibility for the class taught or the research conducted toward the degree has been recognized within the academic field as outstanding.
  • Evidence in at least 2 (but preferably more) of the categories below that the individual is internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic area:
  • (A) Major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field
    • Awards should be prestigious internationally or nationally, but do not have to be the caliber of a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
    • Grants, fellowships, and student awards generally do not suffice for this category unless the grant is unusually large and notoriously difficult to obtain.
      • Copies of award letters or certificates
      • Documents establishing the origin, purpose, significance, and scope of each award
      • Evidence of the criteria used to nominate and judge the participants and winners
      • Documents establishing the reputation of the organization granting the award
  • (B) Membership in associations in the academic field, which require outstanding achievements of their members
    • The evidence must establish that the associations are very selective based on the outstanding achievements of its members. Leadership positions in associations are very helpful.
    • "Pay to join" memberships don't count for this category.
      • Copies of membership certificates or letters from the associations
      • Copies of the association bylaws explaining the outstanding criteria required for membership
      • Documents showing the number of current members in each association
      • Documents showing the employee's rank compared to others in the associations
      • Evidence of the associations’ status in the international community in the academic field
  • (C) Published material in professional publications written by others about the individual’s work in the academic field
    • The discussing article must establish the significance of the employee's published material as an individual and how it demonstrates his/her international recognition for outstanding achievement as compared to others in the academic field.
    • The discussing article should name the individual and discuss his/her work; citations will not suffice for this category.
    • Examples of "professional publications" include: book reviews published in a scholarly journal, journal articles containing paragraphs of text about the individual's work, etc.
      • Copies of the pages where employee's work is discussed (the article should contain significant discussion about the employee's work in the field)
      • Copies of cover pages of the publications
      • Evidence of international circulation, frequency of printing, and the number of copies printed (can use a printout from the publication’s website)
  • (D) Participation on a panel or individually as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field
    • In general, the evidence must show in detail the “outstanding” qualifications that enabled the individual to serve as the judge of others' work in the field.
    • Examples of "judging" include:
      • Participation as an editorial board member for an international scholarly journal
      • Service on an international organization's committee where others' scholarly work is reviewed
      • Service on an international conference/committee selection panel
      • Peer-reviewing manuscripts for a scholarly journal (evidence of past peer-reviewing service alone will not suffice for this category)
      • Editorial board: Letter from journal editor or printout from website showing the individual as a member of the editorial board.
      • Committee/peer-review: Copies of letters thanking the individual for judging an event or peer-reviewing a manuscript - invitation letters alone without proof of actual judging/reviewing will not suffice. Letters must:
        • Be written by an event organizer/journal editor
        • Include clear explanations as to why the individual was chosen as a judge of others’ work
        • Establish the significance of the work judged by the individual
  • (E) *REQUIRED* Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field
    • Evidence must establish that the individual's original contributions to the field have been widely recognized by others in the field.
    • Evidence must also prove the significant impact of theindividual ’s original research on the academic field and how it sets him/her apart compared to all others in the field on an international scale.
      • 5-8 letters of recommendation from recognized experts in the academic field attesting to the individual's outstanding international reputation through original scholarly research contributions
        • Letters from experts in all regions of the world help to show an international reputation
        • Letters from experts who know the inidvidual only through brief meetings are best to show unbiased opinions
        • Letters from experts at UH should be limited to 1-2
        • Experts should provide specific examples of who is using the person's work, establish the person's influence on the field, and explain the benefits of the person's work (an explanation of the work's application to mainstream/common issues is also helpful)
        • Experts should briefly describe their career highlights in one paragraph in the letters OR attach bio sketches (no full CVs)
        • Letters should not attest to the beneficiary being "promising" or "having potential" because he/she should already be considered outstanding in the field.
      • Objective evidence supporting the assertions being made in the letters
      • Evidence of invited conference/seminar presentations of original research
      • Copies of patents
      • Any other objective evidence showing international recognition of the individual's significant, original contributions the field
  • (F) Authorship of scholarly books or articles, in scholarly journals with international circulation, in the academic field
      • List of all publications
      • Copies of the title pages of 5-10 journal articles showing the publication name, title, and author(s) (do not provide full articles)
      • Documents establishing the importance of the journals in which the individual's articles are published (e.g. printout of the publication’s or other reputable website)
      • Evidence of the publication’s international circulation, evidence of frequency printed, and evidence of the number of copies printed
      • If the individual has a lot of citations, evidence showing the number of citations for each article - e.g. printout of a GoogleScholar or SciFinder search

IMPORTANT: Any documents printed in a foreign language must be accompanied by a full English translation and the translator’s certification.

STEP 2: Prepare EB-1 request [top]

FIRST, the UH department should work with the employee to prepare an EB-1 request to be submitted to FSIS. The department and employee should complete/gather the following documents for the EB-1 request:

SECOND, the department should forward the request to the college/school/unit’s Administrative/ Personnel Officer (AO/PO).

THIRD, the AO/PO should review the request, attach any necessary documents, and send the complete request to FSIS, Attn: Isis/Signe, PSB 102-106.

STEP 3: File I-140 petition with USCIS [top]

FSIS will review the request and may require further documentation from the UH department and/or the employee. Once FSIS completes the Form I-140 petition, FSIS will send the completed petition to the AO/PO along with a memo regarding the current filing fees and proper USCIS mailing addresses.

At this step in the process, certain employees may be eligible to concurrently file a Form I-485 adjustment of status application with the I-140 petition. See "STEP 4: Apply for LPR status" (below) for more details.

STEP 4: Apply for LPR status [top]

A foreign national can apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status when his/her priority date becomes current. For EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher petitions, the priority date is the filing date of the I-140 immigrant petition. This date indicates the availability of immigrant visa numbers and is determined by the employee’s immigrant category ("employment-based 1st") and country of birth. The employee should check the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin, which is updated monthly, to see whether his/her priority date is current.
Once the employee's priority date is current, he/she may apply for permanent residence through one of 2 ways:

  1. Adjustment of status (filing Form I-485 while in the U.S.)
  2. Consular processing (applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad)

If a foreign national has maintained status throughout his/her stay in the U.S. and is currently in status, he/she can choose either adjustment of status or consular processing. However, if he/she has not maintained status, has engaged in unauthorized employment, or has violated the terms and conditions of his/her admission for a total period of more than 180 days, he/she may not be able to adjust status in the U.S. In that case, his/her only option may be consular processing.

STEP 5: USCIS adjudication & LPR status issues [top]

The final step is for USCIS to review all applications, conduct background checks on all applicants, and grant LPR status.

Once USCIS has granted a foreign national LPR status, the LPR shares most of the same basic rights as U.S. citizens with few exceptions such as the right to vote and to run for government office.

Temporary evidence of LPR status

After an LPR receives his/her I-485 approval notice ("welcome notice") but before he/she receives the Permanent Resident Card (a.k.a. “green card”) from USCIS, he/she can obtain an I-551 stamp as temporary evidence of LPR status for employment authorization purposes and to travel abroad. To obtain the I-551 stamp, he/she should make an appointment online with the USCIS Honolulu District Office.

Travel abroad & reentry

After attaining LPR status, LPRs should still be aware of certain travel abroad issues:

  • Outside the U.S. for less than 6 months: LPR can reenter the U.S. by presenting his/her Permanent Resident Card.
  • Outside the U.S. for more than 6 months but less than 1 year: LPR will be considered an applicant for admission and should present his/her Permanent Resident Card AND evidence that he/she has maintained continuous ties to residence in the U.S. (e.g. employment letter certifying continued employment, proof of a U.S. address, U.S. tax returns, U.S. bank/credit card accounts, U.S. driver’s license, etc.).
  • Outside the U.S. for more than 1 year: LPR must receive a reentry permit by filing Form I-131 with USCIS BEFORE he/she departs the U.S. If he/she leaves the U.S. without obtaining a reentry permit, such an absence will be deemed an abandonment of LPR status. For more information, see the USCIS website and search for “How do I get a travel document?”

For more information on LPR status, see the USCIS Guide for New Immigrants.