Thursday March 24, 2022

USCIS UPDATED GUIDANCE ON EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY AND OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR OR RESEARCHER VISA CLASSIFICATIONS

by Rabindra Singh

A foreign national with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics can bypass the U.S. Department of Labor’s PERM labor certification application process and self-petition for first preference classification without a job offer. Similarly,  a U.S. employer, including a university institution of higher learning or private employer, may petition for a professor or researcher who is internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic area to work in a tenured or tenure-track position or a comparable position to conduct research.

USCIS recently updated its guidance about two evidentiary criteria relating to immigrants of extraordinary ability and one relating to outstanding professors and researchers to more closely align with recently issued nonimmigrant guidance pertaining to O-1A nonimmigrants of extraordinary ability.

This guidance, contained in Volume 6 of the Policy Manual, is effective immediately. The guidance contained in the Policy Manual is controlling and supersedes any related prior guidance on the topic.

Updated Policy Guidance:

  • Clarifies that for the extraordinary ability and outstanding professor or researcher classifications, “published material” about the person (or the person’s work in the case of an outstanding professor or researcher) in professional or major trade publications or other major media need not be a printed article; rather, a petitioner may submit more varied forms of evidence including a transcript of audio or video coverage.
  • Clarifies that, in the extraordinary ability classification, a person may satisfy the leading or critical role criterion through a qualifying role for a distinguished department or division in addition to an entire organization or establishment.

Should you have any questions about this recent development or need assistance in filing an EB-1 petition, please contact HSD Immigration via phone [(312) 291 1234] or email [rsingh@hsdimmigration.com].

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