Permanent Resident status is of indefinite duration and, once obtained, is not tied to the employer. Normally an individual will have nonimmigrant status prior to and during the filing of a Permanent Resident petition or application.
Explanation of Permanent Resident Process
If a Department/Unit wishes to sponsor a foreign national employee for permanent residence ("green card"), that employee must be in a permanent (or indefinite) and fulltime position and must possess the requisite qualifications required by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and/or Department of Labor (DOL) regulations. Permanent, in reference to a research or teaching position, means:
- Tenure-track, or
- Position of indefinite or unlimited duration, in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.
Note: Post Doc positions, and positions with a definite end-date (no expectation of unlimited or indefinite employment) are not considered "permanent" according to USCIS and DOL regulations. Temporarily funded positions must be discussed with the International Employment Manager to determine whether they meet government regulations for permanent residency.
Because both the USCIS and DOL impose strict legal requirements for permanent resident petitions, it is essential that departments contact International Employment (IE) before promising sponsorship, so that IE can review the position information and the credentials of the foreign national employee to determine potential eligibility per USCIS and DOL regulations.
Initiation of Permanent Residence Process
The Department initiating the request for US Permanent Residency must complete the Initiation of Permanent Residence Form. The form must be signed by:
- Department Head
- Employee, and
- The Dean of the College/School.
Note: The Department must also submit a copy of the appointment letter for the sponsored foreign national.
Submit the completed form, with a copy of the appointment letter for the sponsored employee, to:
- International Employment
- Human Resources
- Campus Box 7210
International Employment will make a preliminary determination as to whether or not the position and the individual qualify for a permanent resident petition, and will advise the department accordingly.
IE will prepare the labor certification application (if necessary), and the I-140 visa petition and all accompanying supporting documents. During the initial permanent residence consultation meeting, IE will review with the department and foreign national employee all of the documents and evidence that will be required for the corresponding I-140 immigrant visa category, as well as cost and timelines. Please click here to see a flowchart of several permanent residence processes.
The department will need to supply the filing fee for the I-140 petition, which is $580. The check should be addressed to U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the filing address, for check request purposes, is:
Dallas Lockbox: USCIS
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
IE will also review with the sponsored employee how to apply for the I-485 adjustment of status. This application allows the employee and family to change from their current nonimmigrant status to Permanent Residence status. Please refer to the I-485 Application Checklist for details on how to apply.
For information about any currently posted notices for active pending labor certification cases, please click here.