There are many ways to become a permanent resident, including self-sponsorship, family sponsorship, or employer sponsorship. The International Students and Scholars Center at Arizona State University assists sponsoring departments and their qualifying foreign national employees with the employment-based permanent residence process.
All ASU-sponsored employment-based permanent residence cases must be approved by the sponsoring department chair/dean/director. The process will either be handled by ISSC or coordinated through ISSC and then handled by outside legal counsel.
ASU may provide permanent residence sponsorship to permanent full-time employees in certain academic positions including:
- Academic appointments that are ongoing research appointments (not postdoctoral positions as they are temporary appointments).
- Ongoing teaching positions, such as tenure (or tenure-track) faculty positions.
Types of ASU sponsorship Back to top
Outstanding Professor or Researcher (EB-1B)
This classification requires employer sponsorship and is best suited for employment that is tenured, tenure-track teaching or a comparable permanent research position.
An outstanding professor or researcher is an individual who is internationally recognized for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. The individual must have at least three years experience in teaching or research within their academic field.
If it is determined that the EB-1 category is the most appropriate, ISSC will coordinate with the ASU Office of General Counsel in order to refer the case to outside legal counsel. University departments are responsible for all legal costs associated with the beneficiary’s permanent residency process. Departments who would like to sponsor employees in this category must 1) complete the Department Contact Permanent Residence Training and 2) submit a complete eform request to ISSC.
The beneficiary cannot self-sponsor for this category. The beneficiary is not allowed to hire their own attorney for an employment-based Permanent Residency process.
Required documentationMust meet at least two of the six criteria listed below:
- Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the field.
- Memberships in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements for admission.
- Published material in professional journals written by others about the individual’s work in the academic field.
- Experience judging the work of others on an editorial or peer-review board in the same or related academic field.
- Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field.
- Authorship of scholarly books or articles in international professional journals.
Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A)
The extraordinary ability category is available to individuals with outstanding achievements in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. This is an individual who has reached the top of his or her field and has achieved sustained national or international acclaim.
This classification does not require employer sponsorship, meaning an offer of employment is not required. The application may be filed by the employer or filed directly by the individual.
If it is determined that the EB-1 category is the most appropriate, ISSC will coordinate with the ASU Office of General Counsel in order to refer the case to outside legal counsel. University departments are responsible for all legal costs associated with the beneficiary’s permanent residency process. Departments who would like to sponsor employees in this category must 1) complete the Department Contact Permanent Residence Training and 2) submit a complete eform request to ISSC. The beneficiary is not allowed to hire their own attorney for an employment-based permanent residency process.
Must meet at least three of the 10 criteria listed below, unless the individual is the recipient of a major, internationally-recognized award such as a Nobel Prize.
- Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
- Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of members.
- Published material about the individual in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
- Experience judging the work of others, either individually or on a panel.
- Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
- Work displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
- Performed a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.
- Receipt of a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field.
- Commercial successes in the performing arts.
Although ASU may choose to sponsor its employees in the EB-1 category, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations allow for self-sponsorship.
Self-sponsorship means that ASU will not act as the petitioner and will not sign any petition forms in support of an EB-1 self-sponsored application. The individual must prepare and file the appropriate paperwork directly with USCIS with or without attorney representation.
View the USCIS website for more information.
Labor certification for permanent residency Back to top
The Program Electronic Review Management program, or PERM program, is a U.S. Department of Labor process that requires employers to conduct a good faith test of the U.S. labor market to determine whether there are any minimally qualified, willing and available U.S. workers for the offered position, and that the terms of the employment will not adversely affect wages and working conditions of current employees.
The labor certification process is a lengthy one during which valid nonimmigrant status must be maintained by the beneficiary in order to remain in the U.S.
There are two types of labor certification:
- Special handling.
- Reduction in recruitment (standard processing).
- Teaching positions require that the noncitizen is the most qualified candidate for the job.
- Nonteaching positions require that no U.S. citizen who meets the minimum qualifications has applied for the position.
Special handling Back to top
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.
Applications for permanent residency based on this search must be filed with DOL within 18 months from the selection date (original offer letter date). Once the ISSC receives a request, we will prepare the petition for permanent residence on behalf of the employee in (tenure or tenure-track) teaching positions.
Before the permanent residency process can begin, the ISSC will schedule a meeting with the beneficiary and the sponsoring department's Human Resources contact in order to discuss the process timeline.
Please note: These are estimated processing times that can fluctuate and are subject to change at any moment.
- Prevailing wage:
- 12–16+ weeks
- The Department of Labor will determine the prevailing wage for the position in the specified geographic location based on the job duties and requirements. The salary offered to the foreign national faculty must be the prevailing wage set by DOL or higher.
- Posting notices:
- 10 business days
- Notices must be posted for 10 business days and the hiring department must inform ISSC of the date and locations posted. After the posting notice is taken down, a PDF copy must be sent to the ISSC with the signed posting certification.
- Note: Once the 10 days of posting is met, there is a 30-day waiting period required prior to submitting the labor certification application to DOL.
- Labor certification application:
- 5–10+ months
- The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
- I-140 petition:
- 6–10+ months
- After all of the required supporting documentation provided by the beneficiary is reviewed by the ISSC, the final I-140 petition will be filed with the USCIS.
Job ad requirements
There are very strict requirements for this process concerning the job ad content, posting and competitive search documentation.
The job ad, whether print and/or web-based, must include the following information in detail within the advertisement:
- Location of the position.
- Title of the academic appointment.
- Duties of the position, which must specifically include teaching duties.
- Requirements for the position, i.e., the specific degree required.
- All other ASU recruitment requirements per ACD 505-06.
Job ad posting requirements
The position must be advertised or posted in a national professional journal (print and/or web-based).
Print job ad(s)
- The ad must be open for a minimum of 30 days.
- ISSC must receive a copy of the actual published ad that shows the name of the journal and the date of publication.
Online job ad(s)
- The ad must be posted online for a minimum of 30 days (45-60 days is highly recommended).
- ISSC must receive two copies of all online ads, which must show the journal name, posting dates and entirety of the ad content.
- One copy of the first day of posting and
- One copy of the last day of posting.
- ISSC must receive an invoice copy for the national journal that shows the journal name, posting date and duration that the ad was displayed.
Documenting competitive recruitment
The hiring department must document the competitive recruitment process by providing the following information:
- Total number of applicants.
- Number interviewed.
- Basis for selecting applicants for interview.
- Description of the interview process.
- Members of the search committee, including names and titles.
- Factors that resulted in the selected candidate being found the "most qualified."
Standard recruitment Back to top
Standard recruitment is used for nonteaching positions. In order to obtain permanent residency for nonteaching, or primarily research faculty, and for all academic professional positions, ASU must demonstrate that it has conducted recruitment that meets the U.S. Department of Labor requirements.
The ISSC will coordinate with the ASU Office of General Counsel in order to refer the case to outside legal counsel. University departments are responsible for all legal costs associated with the beneficiary’s permanent residency process. Departments who would like to sponsor employees in this category must 1) complete the Department Contact Permanent Residence Training and 2) submit a complete eform request to ISSC.
The beneficiary is not allowed to hire their own attorney for an employment-based permanent residency process.
Note: If a U.S. citizen applies for the advertised position and meets the required qualifications, it is extremely likely that the labor certification application will be denied by the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Open the position for recruitment through standard ASU procedures (ACD 505-06). The position must be open for a minimum of 30 days.
- Outside legal counsel will advise when to open the position.
- Advertise through the Arizona Department of Economic Security to obtain a job order. The job order will then be prepared and submitted by outside legal counsel.
- Advertise the position on two consecutive Sundays in a newspaper with general circulation (e.g., Arizona Republic).
- One Sunday ad may be replaced by a print ad in a discipline-appropriate professional journal.
- Outside legal counsel will assist in placing the advertisement.
- Outside legal counsel will assist placing the ads through three applicable recruitment sources:
- All ads must include the complete position announcement.
- Include the title and rank, duties, required and desired qualifications, application deadline, and the application process.
- The application for 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.