Permanent Residence

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Permanent Residence

ois---permanent-residents.jpgUMMC has qualified immigration attorneys under contract to handle and oversee permanent residency cases. Departments interested in sponsoring an international employee for permanent residency should contact the Office of International Services for more specific information regarding this process.

Employment-based categories

UMMC sponsors faculty and selected staff positions for the following employment-based categories:

  • EB-1b Category - Outstanding Professor or Researcher
    This category does not require applicants to obtain a labor certification prior to filing an application for permanent residency; however, it does require employer sponsorship. It is available to professors and researchers who are recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field and who have at least 3 years of teaching or research experience in their field.
    In order to qualify as an outstanding professor/researcher, the individual must have an offer of a tenured or tenure-track teaching position or a permanent research position.
    For research positions to be considered "permanent," the employment must be intended to be of an indefinite or unlimited duration such that the employee will have an expectation of continued employment. The immigration regulations take into consideration the fact that many research positions are grant funded; however, if the employer continues to seek funding for a grant, has had success in obtaining continued grant funding, and anticipates that the funding will continue in the future, this will qualify the position as being permanent.

    Although the regulations only require an applicant to satisfy two of the criteria listed below, the chances of getting the EB-1 approved are better if the applicant can provide evidence of at least three:
    • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field
      In order to use this option, the prize or award must be nationally or internationally recognized as "prestigious." Postdoctoral fellowships, student awards, and ordinary grant awards will not qualify.
    • Membership in associations in the academic field that require outstanding achievement in the academic field
      The associations referenced here must be more than "generic" associations that offer membership to anyone paying dues. The applicant must have been solicited by the association for membership based upon his/her outstanding achievements.
    • Published material in professional publications written by others about the individual's work in the academic field
      This should include copies of complete articles or reviews. The title and date of the article or review should be included along with the author.
    • Evidence of the individual's participation as the judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
      Copies of letters asking the individual to judge an event or a paper thanking them for judging a past paper or event would be an example of how this could be documented. Individuals who have served as a reviewer for a scholarly journal can submit evidence of their service as a reviewer.
    • Evidence of the individual's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field
      This is a critical factor in verifying that the professor or researcher is "outstanding" in his/her field. It is recommended that several letters from experts in the field who are well aware of the individual's accomplishments be included. The letters should:
      • Establish the individuals standing in the academic field,
      • Provide details regarding the significance of the individual's original contributions, and
      • Provide documentary evidence of factors that may be difficult to document such as the individual's role in judging the work of others, the critical role that the individual plays at a distinguished institution, etc. No more than two of the letters should come from the individual's current employer. Although it is good to have a number of supporting letters, the quality of the letter carries more weight than the quantity. It is important to note that letters only providing the individual's "potential" for accomplishments will not be sufficient.
    • Evidence of the individual's authorship of scholarly books or articles in the academic field: Copies of articles from professional journals with international circulation should be submitted.

The applicant must also provide letters from current or previous employers verifying at least 3 years of teaching or research experience. The letters should include the name, address and title of the person who drafted the letters and a specific description of the duties performed by the applicant.

  • EB-2 Category - International workers who possess "advanced" degrees An advanced degree for EB-2 purposes is defined as any U.S. academic or professional degree, or a foreign equivalent, beyond the baccalaureate level (Masters, PhD, MD). Individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree and can verify that they have at least 5 years of progressive work experience in their field can also qualify for this category.

    The majority of international employees at UMMC choose the EB-2 path for permanent residency. This category requires that the applicant be "sponsored" by an employer and obtain an approved labor certification prior to filing an application for permanent residency.