International Faculty & Scholars assists departments wishing to support individuals in the permanent residency (PR) petitioning process. There are several categories which may be used to petition USCIS for PR. The two (2) categories used by IFS to petition USCIS for PR for University employees are “Outstanding Professor/Researcher” and “Optional Recruitment” formerly known as “Special Handling.”
Guidelines for Applying for Permanent Residency
Departmental sponsorship requires that all of the following criteria must be met:
FN must have no plans to cease employment while the PR petition is pending; and
The position must be permanent in nature. The sponsoring department must write a Department Letter of Support (template available) stating the permanent nature of the position. USCIS defines permanent as “tenured, tenure-track or for an indefinite or unlimited duration of which employee has expectations of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.” Permanent does not mean forever. Research Associate positions are not considered permanent.
To ensure appropriate deadlines are met, departments should initiate the PR process as follows:
Optional Recruitment: Immediately upon the start date of the faculty employment at UA, but no later than twelve (12) months from the date the selection committee chose the FN for the position. The date of the selection is not the same as the date of the offer.
Outstanding Professor/Researcher: After the completion of one (1) full year in H-1B status, but no later than the beginning of the FNs fifth year in H-1B status. For example, if Dr. Smith’s H-1B status began 3/1/2005, begin the PR process on 3/1/2006, but no later than 3/1/2010.
To determine which category is the most appropriate, please complete the preliminary evaluation form and return it to IFS via campus mail or fax (621-2757).
IFS does not guarantee favorable adjudication of any petitions submitted to USCIS.
Detailed information about permanent residency and the process involved can be found in the following informational material: