The University sponsors individuals for permanent residence utilizing the following employment-based pathways (briefly summarized below):
Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-1): To qualify for this sponsorship under this employment-based first preference category, the employee must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field, as demonstrated through awards, publications and citations, original research contributions, and participation as the judge of the work of others in the field, etc. The employee must have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in the field.
PERM Labor Certification (EB-2 or EB-3): A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to petition to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the U.S. Before the University can submit an immigration petition (Form I-140) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the University must obtain an approved labor certification from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The employee must hold an advanced degree (beyond a Bachelor’s degree) to qualify for EB-2 (employer-based second preference), must be selected through an open search, and the University must meet minimum prevailing wage and recruitment requirements.
- “Special Handling” Labor Certification: University employees with teaching duties qualify for PERM processing pursuant to special recruitment, which allows the University to choose the best qualified candidate. A print ad (or qualifying electronic ad) must be placed in a national professional journal during the recruitment process. This is the most common sponsorship pathway for faculty members who do not have a significant publication record.
- Basic Labor Certification: University staff and faculty without teaching duties can be sponsored using a basic labor certification. This method requires a more stringent recruitment process outlined by the Department of Labor, and the University must advertise the employee’s position to determine that there are no able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers who meet the minimum requirements for the position. Sponsorship utilizing this pathway must also be approved by the VP for Human Resources.
The Office of International Services (OIS), in consultation with the hiring unit, will determine the most appropriate pathway for University sponsorship. This determination may factor in the preference category if the employee is from a country that is subject to immigrant visa backlog due to per country limitations.
Using privately retained immigration counsel, employees may pursue self-petitions for permanent residency that do not require University signature. These include, but are not limited to:
- EB-1(A): Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and who will prospectively be of substantial benefit to the United States. A job offer is not required and the labor certification is waived.
- EB-2 (National Interest Waiver): Aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business whose presence and activities in the U.S. are in the national interest. A job offer is not required and the labor certification is waived.
OIS is not responsible for the filing of the petition with USCIS since no employer sponsor is required, and hiring units are not responsible for any fees or expenses associated with self-sponsored petitions. However, the employee must provide OIS with a copy of the I-140 approval notice for these petitions if OIS is processing an H-1B petition for the employee. There are many useful online resources regarding self-sponsorship, such as here. As always, make sure to work with a qualified immigration attorney.