Permanent Resident

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Effective October 19th, 2020 the premium processing filing fee for all I-129 petitions increased from $1,440 to $2,500. View the announcement here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the ISSC via email or (480) 727-7125. 

There are many ways to become a permanent resident, including through self-sponsorship or sponsorship by other such as family members or employers. The International Students and Scholars Center/International Scholars Office (ISSC) is responsible for the employer-sponsored petitions for permanent residence for foreign national employees of ASU.

Once a request is received from the appropriate hiring unit (e.g. department, center or school) the ISSC Scholars Office will prepare petitions for permanent residence on behalf of employees in two categories:

  • tenured (or tenure track) faculty positions

  • non-teaching research positions of a permanent nature

The two main types of application sponsor by ASU are:

Obtaining permanent residence through the outstanding professor or researcher petition is currently a quicker way to obtain permanent residency. The labor certification route to permanent residence is currently a very lengthy process, and the requirements within this category have very strict requirements in terms of advertising, hiring procedures and timing of the application. Therefore, it is essential that hiring units contact ISSC as early as possible in the hiring process.

Labor Certification

There are two types of labor certification:

  • special handling

  • reduction in recruitment

Both processes require open, competitive recruitment. Labor certifications for teaching positions require that the non-citizen is the “most qualified” candidate. For non-teaching positions, the requirement is that no U.S. citizen who meets the minimum qualifications has applied for the position. 


Special Handling

Special handling is limited to teaching positions. In order to obtain permanent residency, ASU must demonstrate that the international faculty member hired was the best qualified candidate from a search process that meets U.S. Department of Labor requirements.

The search requirements are:

  • position must be advertised nationally and be open for at least 30 days
  • advertisement must be in a print publication* and be the complete announcement (i.e. include brief description of duties, required and desired qualifications, application deadline, and application process, etc.
  • application for permanent residency based on this search must be submitted to DOL within 18 months of the selection date (offer letter date)
  • requests based on this search must be submitted to the ISSC/Scholars Office within 10 months from the selection date or as soon as possible. (There are steps that must be met prior to submitting the labor certification application to DOL). These steps can take  approximately 5+ month
  • all other ASU recruitment requirements, per ACD 505-06, apply

Use of web-based ad postings for special handling if the job was not advertised in a national print journal, DOL now permits use of electronic advertisements in online national journals for the job opportunity for which certification is sought if the ads meet the following criteria:

  • be placed in an online or electronic national professional journal
  • must state the job title, job duties and job requirements
  • must have been posted for at least 30 calendar days; and

The employer must document:

  • the name of the online or electronic national professional journal,
  • the start and end dates of the placement of the ad, and o the text of the ad.

DOL regulations do not define national professional journal. This means that despite best efforts, there is no guarantee that DOL will agree with the use of the selected journal. 


Standard Recruitment

Standard recruitment is used for non-teaching positions. In order to obtain permanent residency for non-teaching or primarily research faculty and for all academic professional positions, ASU must demonstrate that it has conducted recruitment that meets U.S. Department of Labor requirements.

Search process requirements:

  • Open the position for recruitment through standard ASU procedures (ACD 505-06); the position must be open for a minimum of 30 days.
  • Advertise through Arizona Department of Economic Security to obtain a job order. Job orders must be prepared by the sponsoring unit. After the job order has been prepared, the ISSC/Scholars Office will submit the job order to AZ DES. The job order form can be obtained from ISSC/Scholars Office (consult with ISSC/Scholars Office for this process).
  • Advertise the position on two different Sundays in a newspaper with general circulation (e.g. Arizona Republic or Tribune); one Sunday ad may be replaced by a print ad in a discipline appropriate professional journal.
  • Advertise through any three of the following recruitment sources: college/department website, non ASU website (e.g. – Human Resources can place ads here), campus placement office (e.g. ASU Career Services), professional organization newsletter, ad in local and ethnic newspapers (e.g. Arizona Informant, La Voz), and radio/TV commercial.
  • All ads must include the complete position announcement, i.e. title/rank, duties, required/desired qualifications, application deadline, application process
  • Application for the labor certification must be made within 180 days of the publication of the first ad and at least 30 days after the last ad appears

If a U.S. citizen applies for the position and meets the required qualifications advertised, there is no point in proceeding with the application for a labor certification. The DES Department of Labor is extremely unlikely to approve the application. 


Outstanding Professor or Researcher

This category is limited to those individuals who have at least three years of teaching or research experience, and are recognized internationally as outstanding in their academic fields. The process for obtaining permanent residence by this route is currently taking two years or longer. Unless the individual is a full professor with an extremely strong record of acclaim, this process is no longer viable or extremely difficult at best.

Outstanding professor or researcher cases will be processed by outside legal counsel. University departments wishing to sponsor employees in this category should send their requests to the ISSC/Scholars Office. Under the guidance and advice of the University’s Office of General Counsel, ISSC/Scholars Office will discuss with the sponsoring department the options available to them for pursuing legal assistance in processing and filing these types of cases.

If it is determined that the EB-1 category is the most appropriate, ISSC/Scholars Office will coordinate with the University’s Office of General Counsel to refer the case to outside legal counsel. University Departments will be responsible for all legal costs associated with the process.