In order to qualify for University sponsorship, the individual must be an employee of the University and be working full-time in a permanent position of an indefinite nature with expectation of continued employment. A permanent position is one that is tenured, tenure-track or does not have a definite termination point defined by a project or assignment, is not seasonal or intermittent, and is not presently intended or contemplated by the hiring unit to have some specified end date in the future. University sponsorship must be approved by the head of the hiring unit, Dean of the School/VP of the division, and the Director of the Office of International Services (OIS).
Sponsorship of professional staff (non-faculty) positions will only be considered after careful examination and consultation by OIS, Human Resources, and the hiring unit, and will only be approved for positions that are otherwise difficult to fill. Positions that are temporary in nature, such as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Clinical Resident/Fellow, or Visiting Professor, are ineligible for University-sponsored permanent residency.
OIS will only consider a request for sponsorship from the hiring unit after the employee commenced employment at the University. Only in instances where a foreign national employee has or will soon exhaust the maximum number of years in H-1B or other equivalent non-immigrant status, will OIS entertain requests to begin permanent residency sponsorship prior to an offer or commencement of employment.
If possible, the request for LPR sponsorship should be submitted to OIS at the latest before the end of the employee’s 4th year in H-1B status in order to ensure that the first step in the process has been filed before the end of the employee’s 5th year in H-1B status, thus allowing for H-1B extensions until the employee has received the green card.
LPR sponsorship can be a time-intensive process, and employees can anticipate waiting at least 1-2 years for the green card once the process has commenced, and much longer if the employee was born in a country that is subject to visa backlog. The pace of the process depends on multiple factors, including the hiring unit and employee’s ability to gather required documentation, OIS workload and processing times, Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services processing times, as well as changes in federal guidelines with respect to evidentiary standards.
Because of factors beyond OIS’ control, OIS approval of any request to proceed with the permanent residency process does not guarantee success in obtaining permanent residency.