Some employers can bypass the labor certification process and file an I-140 petition directly with the INS under a highly favorable category for outstanding professors and researchers (first preference, priority worker).
A petition for an outstanding professor or researcher must be accompanied by evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. Such evidence must consist of at least two of the following:
- Documentation of alien's receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field
- Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members
- Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field
- Evidence of the alien's participation as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field
- Evidence of the alien's original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the academic field
- Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly books or articles in the academic field in scholarly journals with international circulation
In addition to the above, the alien must provide both evidence that the alien has at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic field (experience while working on an advanced degree will count only in very limited circumstances) and that the alien has an offer of permanent employment from a prospective U.S. employer.