Services for International Employees & Scholars

Outstanding Professors or Researchers


The Outstanding Professor/Researcher (EB-1-2) category does not require labor certification through the Department of Labor and thus is applied for directly through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Outstanding petitions fall under the  first preference category of green card issuance.  Typically there are no country-specific backlogs, which is why it is of particular interest to individuals from countries with long wait times for green card numbers.  The following basic criteria must be met in order pursue the Outstanding Professor/Researcher:

  • The position must be full-time
  • The position must be indefinitely renewable and of a permanent nature with at least 36 months of expected funding (applications will not be made for “postdoctoral” or “visiting” positions as they are considered temporary)
  • The applicant must have 12 consecutive months of employment experience at KU
  • The applicant must have support from the employing department, Dean or Center Director, and the Vice Provost for Research
  • The applicant is recognized internationally as outstanding in teaching or research in their academic area
  • The applicant has at least the equivalent of 3 years of full-time experience in teaching or research in their academic area (experience gained while in a degree program may only count if the applicant had full responsibility for the classes taught or if the research conducted was recognized as outstanding within the academic field).

Establishing Eligibility as an Outstanding Professor or Researcher

In addition to meeting the basic requirements outlined above, EB-1-2 applicants must establish eligibility as an outstanding professor or researcher by obtaining a minimum of 6 letters of endorsement from outstanding scholars in the field of endeavor, and documenting that they meet at least two of the categories below:

  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the field of endeavor
  2. Memberships in associations in the academic field that require as a criteria of membership, the demonstration of outstanding achievement
  3. Evidence of material in professional publications written by others about the applicant’s  work in the academic field
  4. Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
  5. Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the field, and
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation in the academic field





12 months of full-time employment at KU

Employees must have 12 consecutive months at KU prior to consideration for outstanding professor/researcher sponsorship

12 months

Departmental  Approval

Department agrees to sponsor through outstanding professor/researcher


KU Routing Process

Department secures the necessary approvals from Dean/Director and the Vice Provost for Research to pursue the PR


Authorization from International Programs

Department submits the Outstanding Professor/Researcher Departmental Intake form to IP for approval


Case Preparation

Department and the International Employee work with an experienced immigration attorney to prepare the documentary evidence and complete the I-140 for submission directly to USCIS


IP Signs I-140

Immigration attorney provides the I-140 to IP who will sign off on the case on behalf of KU.


Case Submission to USCIS

Immigration attorney submits the I-40 and all supporting documentary evidence to USCIS.  You have the ability to request expedited processing by filing an I-907 for $1225 you will receive a response within 15 calendar days.

Regular Processing:  2 months to 1 year or more

Premium Processing: response within 15 calendar days.


Forms & Documentation

Process Note

At this time International Programs is not processing Outstanding Professor/Researcher petitions.  Upon completion of the KU routing process and receipt of official authorization from International Programs, employees and departments need to work with an outside immigration attorney to prepare the documentary evidence for submission to USCIS. International Programs will then sign the attorney-prepared Form I-140 on behalf of KU.

International Calendar

One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
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