Outstanding Professor/Researcher Category

General Considerations

UB Immigration Services processes permanent resident petitions for employees of the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Research Foundation of SUNY at Buffalo who seek to remain in the U.S. permanently. These petitions are commonly called “green card” petitions.

In order to qualify for an Outstanding Professor/Researcher ("OPR") immigrant visa, one must be recognized internationally as "outstanding" in one’s academic field. Additionally, a minimum of three years of documented "outstanding" teaching or research experience  is required. An individual engaged in teaching or in research must be employed in a position of indefinite duration or where there is a reasonable expectation of continuing employment. Among the titles that are acceptable for an OPR filing are: Assistant Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Research Assistant Professor and Research Scientist.

The first step in obtaining permanent residency is to obtain U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services approval of an immigrant petition, Form I-140. Outstanding Professor/Researcher petitions are filed by the employer, not the employee. These petitions are “employer-specific.”  Once the OPR immigrant petition is approved, USCIS will adjudicate the professor’s/researcher’s application for Adjustment of Status to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status. Consular processing, which involves returning to one’s home country for an immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, is rarely necessary.

A pending immigrant petition does not confer work authorization, permission to travel outside and re-enter the U.S. or immigration status in the U.S. Therefore, a prospective immigrant should maintain H status while the immigrant petition remains pending with USCIS. It is through the current and valid H-1B status that the foreign employee will be able to lawfully remain in the U.S., work in the U.S. and re-enter the U.S. 


The information contained on this web page is provided as a service to the international faculty, researchers, staff, employees and administrators of University at Buffalo, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the University at Buffalo nor the Office of UB Immigration Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained on this web page, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.


Email: immsvcga@buffalo.edu        Tel. Number: (716) 645-2355