To qualify for the immigrant visa (green card) as an “outstanding professor or researcher,” a foreign born physician must have at least three years of teaching or research experience. Furthermore, she must enter the U.S. to work in a tenure-track teaching or research position at an institution of higher learning or for a public or private research lab. In addition, she must show international acclaim as a researcher or professor by accomplishing at least two of the following achievements:
- Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in her field of expertise;
- Admission into a professional association that requires outstanding achievements of its members;
- The subject of an article in a professional publication detailing her work in the field of expertise;
- Participation as the judge of the work of others in the field;
- Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the field; or
- Authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field of expertise.
EB-1 status as outstanding researcher or professor is not available to most foreign born physicians. Even more, for those physicians who are researchers or professors, it can be more difficult to qualify as an outstanding professor or researcher than it is to qualify as a person of extraordinary ability. This is because outstanding professors and researchers must have achieved international acclaim (in contrast to the national acclaim required by the extraordinary ability classification). Finally, unlike the extraordinary ability track, an outstanding professor or researcher must have an employer sponsor who will petition for the professor or researcher.
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