In the United States, individuals of exceptional ability in the sciences or arts can bypass the Labor Certification Application (LCA) process when applying for an exceptional ability green card.

It is possible for college and university teachers of exceptional ability to bypass this time-consuming and demanding process required by the US Department of Labor (DOL) without necessarily applying for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) visa. 

In this article, you will discover how the LCA bypass for professors and teachers work to obtain a US green card

How Exceptional Professors and Teachers Can Bypass LCA – The Essentials  

When hiring a foreign national to permanently work in the United States on an EB-2 employment-based green card, a US employer needs to go through a permanent labor certification program (PERM). 

The PERM process is time-consuming and complex, involving several steps such as proving that there are no US workers available to fill the position being offered to the applicant. 

Generally, it is only after receiving a PERM certification that a US employer is allowed to submit a green card application to USCIS on behalf of the foreign applicant. 

However, the process can be more streamlined for employers who need to permanently hire college or university teachers of exceptional ability, as such individuals are notably listed in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Schedule A.

Hence, this category of employees can bypass the time-consuming process of applying for a PERM, which means employers can directly file the green card application on their behalf.

LCA Bypass for Professors and Teachers – What Is the Definition of “Exceptional Ability”? 

As provided by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the term “exceptional ability” refers to a “degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.”  

The US Department of Labor has determined that there is a national shortage of college and university teachers with exceptional ability in the United States. 

The government concludes that the employment of foreign workers to fulfill these occupations will not negatively affect the wages and employment conditions of US workers occupying similar roles. 

Consequently, there is no labor certification requirement for individuals of exceptional ability who are capable of satisfying these occupations. 

Notice that even if an individual qualifies as a college or university teacher of exceptional ability, he/she is not allowed to self-petition a US green card. Instead, a US employer must file the petition to USCIS on his/her behalf. 

LCA Bypass for Professors and Teachers – Explaining the Requirements 

Firstly, college and university teachers applying for an exceptional ability green card must meet at least three of the criteria below: 

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

Other comparable evidence of eligibility that applicants can provide to demonstrate their exceptional ability includes: 

  • Documentation that confirms the applicant has received internationally recognized prizes or awards for his/her excellence in a certain field of expertise
  • Documentation confirming the applicant’s membership in international associations in their field that require exceptional achievements of their members, judged and recognized by international experts
  • Documented material in professional publications about the applicant’s exceptional ability in his/her field of expertise
  • Evidence confirming the applicant’s participation as a judge of the work of other experts of the same field of expertise
  • Evidence of the applicant’s original scientific or scholarly research contributions of greater significance in his/her field of expertise 
  • Evidence of the applicant’s authorship of scientific or scholarly articles published in professional journals with international circulation 

Plus, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has been practicing in their field of expertise during the year before the application and also intend to keep practicing in the same field of expertise in the United States. 

LCA Bypass for Professors and Teachers – We Can Help You

Applying for an exceptional ability green card is a complex task, but you can rely on Attorney Romy B. Jurado Esq., an experienced attorney who help you throughout the process.

Get in touch with Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0440 or emailing Romy@jflawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.

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