Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card)
Lawful Permanent Residence is an immigrant classification that allows a foreign national to remain indefinitely in the U.S. with legal, unrestricted work authorization. The University of Alabama in Huntsville sponsors certain employees for an employment based (EB) immigrant visa. . The employment based sponsorship process requires the employer file an I-140 indicating eligibility for an immigrant visa. The employee may concurrently file an I-485 application requesting adjustment of status to U.S. Permanent Resident. This two part process is managed differently depending on factors including, but not limited to, preference category of the EB filing, family considerations, and visa availability. If a UAH Department or Center is interested in investigating options to sponsor an employee for Lawful Permanent Residence, the supervisor in the Department or Center should contact the ISSO. We will discuss possible options and timelines for the particular employee to be eligible for UAH sponsorship.
Currently UAH sponsors employees who have full-time employment that is either a tenure-track faculty position or a research or professional position of indefinite duration. There are also cases where the individual employee may be eligible to self petition for US Lawful Permanent Residence. The employee would need to discuss their options for self petitioning with a qualified immigration attorney. The International Student and Scholar Office can provide references for qualified immigration attorneys.
EB-1 classification of an Outstanding Researcher/Professor is used to sponsor most UAH employees. While this type of petition allows the University to avoid filing a Labor Certification, it is a labor intensive petition for the employee and also is a subjective petition which means that the immigration officer reviewing the petition will apply the law subjectively. Preparing an EB-1 petition for Outstanding Researcher/Professor will take between 3-6 months to prepare from the initial meeting with the employee and the ISSO advisor to the point of mailing. After the petition is mailed, the processing time for immigration to adjudicate the I-140 and I-485 ranges from 1-4 years.
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