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Overview of Permanent Residence Options

Please select your category:

EB-1: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

EB-1: Outstanding Professor or Researcher

EB-2: Advanced Degree Holder - Teaching Faculty (Special Handling)

EB-2: Advanced Degree Holder

EB-2: National Interest Waiver

EB-3: Professional or Skilled Worker


EB-1: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

Must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. Individuals of extraordinary ability are considered to be the best of the best in their field and it is an eligibility category that applies to very few individuals. NOTE: This type of petition may be self sponsored and will not require that Vanderbilt sign a G-28 or provide a letter of sponsorship.  

Eligibility Criteria
  • Alien's extraordinary achievements must have resulted in sustained national or international acclaim in the field
  • Alien will work in the field in which he/she has earned extraordinary status
  • USCIS determines that the alien's admission as a permanent resident will substantially benefit the US
Documentation Needed

There are two ways to meet the requirements for this category. The first is receiving a major, internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize. The second way is to fulfill at least three of the following ten standards:

  1. Receipt of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize for achievement in the field
  2. Membership in associations in alien's field that require “outstanding achievement” of their members as judged by acknowledged experts
  3. Material published about the alien in major trade publications or other major media
  4. Selection of the alien to judge others in the same or allied field
  5. Original contributions of importance in the alien's field
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in professional/trade publications or other major media
  7. Display of the alien's work in exhibitions or showcases
  8. Performance of leading or critical role for distinguished organizations or institutions
  9. High salary or other remuneration in relation to others in the alien's field
  10. Commercial success in the performing arts

EB-1: Outstanding Professor or Researcher

Must demonstrate international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. Must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area. Must be in/entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. NOTE: This type of petition must be processed through Global Support Services.

Eligibility Criteria
  • An offer of employment for a tenured or tenure-track position or a comparable “permanent” research position. Visiting and employee-in-training appointments and Research Fellows are not considered permanent
  • Three years of teaching and/or research experience in the academic field after receipt of the highest degree earned
  • National and international recognition as being “outstanding” in the academic field. See list below.
Documentation Needed

The alien must meet at least two of the following six criteria that includes evidence of:

  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field
  2. Membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members
  3. Published material in professional publications written by others about the scholar's work in the academic field
  4. Participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field
  5. Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field

EB-2: Advanced Degree Holder - Teaching Faculty (Special Handling)

This category is used for college and university professors and is eligible for a reduced form of labor certification called “Special Handling.” The position must include classroom teaching duties. NOTE: This type of petition must be processed through Global Support Services and the department must agree to pay all fees required including recruitment if needed.  

Eligibility Criteria

In order for the position to qualify for the special handling process, the hiring department must have recruited in a competitive recruitment process and the labor certification must be filed within 18 months from when the final recruitment was posted.

Documentation Needed
  • Copy of the print ad from a professional journal
  • Recruitment report stating the number of applicants for the position and why the alien was more qualified than each specific candidate, a copy of final report (if applicable)
  • A written statement of the alien's credentials.

EB-2: Advanced Degree Holder

The job must require a minimum of an advanced degree and the employee must possess such a degree or its equivalent (a baccalaureate degree plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field may be substituted). NOTE: This type of petition must be processed through Global Support Services and the department must agree to pay all fees required including recruitment.  

Eligibility Criteria

The employee/candidate must have/have accepted a permanent full-time position which requires an advanced degree. Labor certification demonstrating that there is no able, willing and qualified US worker for the position is required.

EB-2: National Interest Waiver

Aliens seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the interest of the United States. Jobs that qualify for a national interest waiver are not defined by statute instead USCIS makes a determination on an individual basis. NOTE: This type of petition may be self sponsored and will not require that Vanderbilt sign a G-28 or provide a letter of sponsorship.  

Eligibility Criteria

The case must include evidence that the alien's admission as a permanent resident would greatly benefit the nation. USCIS considers the following when evaluating a request for a National Interest Waiver.

  • The proposed employment is in an area that has substantial inherent value.
  • The proposed benefit to be provided by the applicant is national in scope.
  • The national benefit to be provided by the applicant outweighs the national interest in the labor certification process.

In addition the alien must meet at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
  • Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
  • A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
  • Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
  • Membership in a professional association(s)
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
  • Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable.

EB-3: Professional or Skilled Worker

The job must require a minimum of a baccalaureate degree and the employee must possess such a degree or its equivalent. NOTE: This type of petition must be processed through Global Support Services and the department must agree to pay all fees required including recruitment.  

Eligibility Criteria

The employee/candidate must have/have accepted a permanent full-time position which requires a baccalaureate degree. Labor Certification demonstrating that there is no able, willing and qualified US worker for the position is required.