In addition to the normal immigration procedures available to professional workers, ie. H-1B, L Visa, PERM, researchers and scientists have additional options for both temporary and permanent immigration options. Accomplish scientists and researchers have the ability to apply for outstanding researcher or extraordinary ability status either as a temporary visa or to apply for adjustment of status.
The O-1: Invidividuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor. To establish this, the applicant needs to demonstrate a significant achievement, such as the Nobel Prize or at least three of the following:
Documentation of the aliens’ receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought, which shall include the title, date, and author of such published material, and any necessary translations;
Evidence of the alien’s participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization to that for which classification is sought;
Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media;
Evidence that the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
There are a number of permanent residency options for researchers and scientists. The two prominent options are the National Interest Waiver and the Outstanding Researcher option.
The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is filed with an immigrant visa. The NIW is an application to forego the regular Labor Certification process because the individuals work is important to the U.S. To satisfy the criteria for the National Interest Waiver, the candidate must submit evidence that the foreign national will present a national benefit so great as to outweigh the national interest inherent in the labor certification process.
Stated another way, the petitioner . . . must establish that the alien will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.
A second option is is the Outstanding Researcher. The standing for Outstanding Researcher is similarly high. To qualify, a beneficiary must be recognized internationally as outstanding through presentation of evidence from at least two of the following:
- Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
- Membership in associations in the academic field, which require outstanding achievement of their members;
- Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field;
- Participation on a panel or individually as a judge of others in the same or an allied field;
- Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; or
- Authorship of scholarly books or articles in scholarly journals with international circulation in the academic field.
Columbia, MD 21046