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Permanent Residence

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Overview

UC International Services offers immigrant visa processing assistance to all campuses. We will meet with all full-time faculty and professional staff, teaching and non-teaching, to discuss options for permanent residence, and will endeavor to assist in the immigrant visa process whenever possible.

The University will provide full immigrant visa services for teaching faculty (actual classroom teaching must be involved) and non-teaching permanent professional positions requiring labor certification. Departments should not use outside counsel. However, if permission to use outside counsel is granted by our office, the hiring department must pay all attorney fees. It’s a violation of Department of Labor regulations to have the international employee either reimburse the University for legal fees or to pay the fees directly.

UC International Services will not provide immigration assistance for applications based upon

  • the Outstanding Researchers or Professors category, 
  • National Interest Waivers (NIW’s), 
  • marriage to a U.S. citizen or other family based sponsorships, or 
  • the visa diversity lottery.

International employees who desire to apply for these categories should use outside legal counsel to help process the petition. If you are marrying a U.S. citizen, please visit the Marriage tab for information on your application procedure.


Qualifications

In order to qualify for permanent residence as a professor, researcher, or professional, the position must be full-time and defined as permanent by UC. A permanent position is one that does not have a definite termination point defined either by a date or the completion of a project or assignment, is not seasonal or intermittent, and is not presently intended or contemplated by the department to have some specified end date in the future. Please note that postdoctoral fellowships and "visiting" positions of any kind are not considered permanent by the university.

Application Process

Before beginning this process, both the employee and his/her supervisor should make an appointment with UC International Services to discuss the procedure and specific requirements. If it is determined that the job and employee meet the criteria for one of the permanent resident categories, UC International will work with the department to ensure that the job requirements and offered salary are in compliance with Department of Labor standards and formulate the appropriate advertising efforts.

All permanent resident requests should be submitted electronically through UC International Services' iBearcatsGlobal database. To submit a Permanent Resident request please do the following:

  1. Go to https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu.
  2. Click on the "Administrative Services for University Departments" link.
  3. Enter and submit your University 6+2 login information.
  4. Click on the “Departmental Services” link from the menu.
  5. If you don’t already have iBearcatsGlobal access you will need to click the “Departmental Access Request” link.
  6. Once you have department access you will click the “Permanent Residence” link to start the process. There is a link for teaching positions and non-teaching positions.
  7. Follow all instructions and provide all the requested information. Scan and upload (or fax) the required supporting documents in PDF format.


The Application Process

The permanent residency process for faculty and professional positions generally entails three phases. UC International Services assists with all three steps, which are:

  1. Labor Certification,
  2. UC’s filing of an I-140 petition requesting an immigrant visa for the foreign national once the Labor Certification Application is approved, and 
  3. The foreign national’s filing of an I-485 application to adjust status to permanent residence.

The I-140 and I-485 filings are addressed in more detail in the document downloads below. 



Backlog

Immigrant visas are allotted by the Department of State based upon the type of employment and the foreign national’s country of birth. Information as to availability of immigrant visa numbers is provided in the Department of State’s monthly Visa Bulletin. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000.

If there are more applicants than available visas, the category is considered to be oversubscribed. If that is the case, a “priority date” is listed for the backlogged category, meaning that only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted an immigrant visa number.

The priority date is the date on which the Labor Condition Application (LCA) is filed by the employer, or, if an LCA is not necessary, the date of the I-140 filing. An I-485 application cannot be filed (or if pending, adjudicated) if the foreign national’s priority date is not current. For answers to any questions about backlog, see the USCIS page.

Labor Certification

Hiring departments must submit to UC International Services the "Permanent Residency" e-form found at ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu. If you don’t already have access to submit e-forms to UC International Services you will need to request authorization first. All appropriate attachments should be scanned and emailed (as PDF documents) to international.students@uc.edu

For non-teaching positions, these steps occur AFTER the hiring Department has worked with UC International Services regarding the prevailing wage determination.


Attachments Required from the Hiring Department

  1. Copies of all recruitment efforts used, including any in-house announcements such as a posting on the UC Job Update website. The employing department should consult with UC International Services as to the most appropriate types of advertising and the duration of the ads and related response times for applicants. More advice on advertising requirements is available under "Permanent Resident Instructions" on iBearcatsGlobal.

  2. A letter signed by the Department Head or Dean of the College outlining the recruitment procedure. The CV’s of each applicant must be submitted with the letter. The following information must be included in the letter (a sample letter is included in the Permanent Residency Instructions on iBearcatsGlobal):
    1. Statement about the academic, experience, training and licensing, if applicable for the position.
    2. Summary of recruitment efforts, i.e., ad placement, UC Job Update posting.
    3. Total number of applicants, and the specific job-related reasons why the foreign national is more qualified than each U.S citizen or permanent resident who applied. Each applicant must be discussed separately.
    4. Statement about the applicant’s educational or professional qualifications and academic achievements.

  3. Copy of offer letter. Please Note: An application for special handling for teaching positions must be filed with Department of Labor within 18 months of the offer date.

  4. Notice of Filing Labor Certification for union positions OR Notice of Filing Labor Certification for non-union positions. The form is available at the Permanent Resident Instructions on iBearcatsGlobal.


Attachments Required from the Foreign National

Documentation of education and/or professional qualifications:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae, including publications.
  • Evidence of highest degree conferred. This may be a diploma, transcript, or other evidence. Photocopies are acceptable. If degree is from abroad, evidence that it is equivalent to a U.S. degree may be required (Credential evaluation). A List of credential evaluation companies available in the "Permanent Resident Instructions"

If a medical degree is required

If a medical degree is required, the ECFMG certificate and USMLE score reports are required and a separate credential evaluation is not required.

  • If prior experience is required, an employment verification letter is necessary. This letter should be on the employer’s letterhead and include the name, address, and title of the writer, and with respect to the foreign national’s former employment, state the position held, specific description of the duties performed and start/end dates.
  • A copy of any required license.
  • A copy of the certificate reflecting completion of any required training, such as a medical residency or fellowship.


Labor Certification Deadlines

The Labor Certification Application may not be filed with the Department of Labor any earlier than 30 days after the end of the required 10 day posting period and no later than 180 days after the 10 day posting period has ended. If the sponsoring department normally recruits for similar positions through in-house media (electronic or printed), the Notice of Filing must also be placed in such media for 10 consecutive business days, or the department’s normal procedure, whichever is longer.

It is essential that attention is paid to Labor Certification Application (LCA) filing deadlines with respect to requisite advertising time frames and the foreign national’s ability to preserve work eligibility and/or a non-immigrant status such as H-1B. For example, in order to request additional H-1B time beyond the initial six year limit, the LCA must be filed before the end of the fifth year of H-1B status. If no LCA is required, the I-140 must be filed prior to the end of the fifth year of H-1B status.

Marriage

Individuals who marry a U.S. citizen can immediately file for permanent residence based on the marriage. All USCIS forms should be downloaded from uscis.gov. You should also carefully review the instructions provided by USCIS for each form. Check that website for the proper filing location as well. The application is submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Documentation should be submitted in the following order:

  1. Money order(s) or certified check(s) for filing fees. (See fee amounts in items 2 and 9.)
  2. Form I-485 (Application for Permanent Residence). $1,070.00 fee, which includes fingerprinting. Each dependent must file a separate I-485. The fee for for each is $635.00.
  3. Two color photographs of first partner and two color photographs of second partner, each in accord with the instruction sheet. Print names on reverse side in pencil, place in separate envelope and staple the envelope to a separate sheet of paper. (When having photos taken, show the instruction sheet to the studio to be sure the photos will meet requirements.)
  4. Birth certificate of beneficiary showing parents' names (photocopy). Passport is NOT acceptable as a birth certificate. Foreign language certificates must be translated, with translator's certification.
  5. Form I-864. Documentation does not have to be complete at time of application; detailed and up-to-date supporting documentation may be brought to the interview.
  6. Report of medical examination (sealed) (I-693). A list of certified USCIS Civil Surgeons should be sent to you with your forms or it can be obtained by calling the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283. The list is also available at uscis.gov.
  7. Complete photocopy of each passport issued to the foreign national. Include blank pages and cover pages.
  8. Photocopy of both sides of the I-94. Statement of all prior periods of stay and visa statuses in the U.S. including copies of related documents (I-20s, DS-2019s, I-797s), if possible, and a waiver letter, if J-1 is subject to the two-year home residency requirement.
  9. Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). $420.00 fee - certified check or money order.
  10. Birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or passport of U.S. citizen (photocopy).
  11. Marriage license (photocopy).
  12. Divorce decree(s) and/or death certificate(s) from all prior marriages for petitioner and beneficiary (photocopies).
  13. Form G-325A (Biographic Information) for both partners.


This list is just a basic overview of the documentation and process when applying for permanent residency after marriage to a U.S. citizen. UC International Services does not assist with the filing of the application. We recommend that you follow the instructions available on the USCIS website, and you may contact us with questions.

Green Card

A United States Permanent Resident Card, or green card, is an identification card attesting to the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States. It is known informally as a green card because it was green from 1946 until 1964 and on May 11, 2010 it was reverted to the color green. Green card also refers to an immigration process of becoming a permanent resident. The green card serves as proof that its holder has been officially granted immigration benefits, which include permission to reside and take employment in the United States. The holder must maintain permanent resident status, and can be removed from the United States if certain conditions of this status are not met.


Replacing or Renewing a Green Card

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has modified its procedure for applicants who apply to replace or renew Permanent Resident Cards, commonly known as "green cards." The new procedure will require applicants to mail Form I-90 to a special lockbox processing facility. The addresses for the lockbox facility are as follows:

  • For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    P.O. Box 54870
    Los Angeles, CA 90054-0870

  • Or for non-USPS deliveries (e.g. private couriers):
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    Attention: I-90
    16420 Valley View Avenue
    La Mirada, CA 90638

In addition to the Form I-90, applicants must enclose an Application Fee of $450, which includes the biometric fee. Applicants should not include any other initial evidence or supporting documentation when filing the form with the lockbox facility. Instead, all applicants will receive by mail a notice for a biometrics processing appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC) and will be required to submit their initial evidence during this appointment. The biometrics notice will contain a list of the documents which applicants will be required to bring to the appointment.

 

* Commitment Statement
UC International Services Commitment Statement regarding employment petitions and Permanent Residence processes