Permanent Residency

Overview and Eligibility

International faculty and researchers at UC San Diego may be eligible for permanent residence sponsorship through employment under the following conditions:

  • The position is permanent (i.e., intended to continue indefinitely);
  • The position is full-time;
  • The appointment title qualifies for sponsorship, per institutional policy (see "Supplement 1" of PPM 200-16);
  • The employee intends to remain in the position indefinitely; and
  • The department is willing to devote considerable staff time and resources to the permanent residence process

Employees who are hired in faculty teaching positions through a national recruitment effort will be eligible for permanent residency based on the Labor Certification route; see advertising guidelines for possible labor certification.  

Employees who have at least 3 years of full‑time teaching and/or research experience and are recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area may qualify for the "Outstanding Professor and Researcher" category and will not need documentation of a national recruitment effort.  They will need to substantiate their claim of international prominence with documentation from at least two of the following regulatory categories:

  • Documentation of the alien's receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
  • Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements in the academic field;
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field. Such material shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
  • Evidence of the alien's participation as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
  • Evidence of the alien's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; 
  • Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field; or
  • Comparable evidence to support the alien is internationally recognized as outstanding.

Note that the process is subjective, and that adjudicators will approve/deny the case on the quality of the overall evidence; providing limited documentation supporting just two categories will not necessarily qualify the applicant as "Outstanding."

All permanent resident cases based on employment at UC San Diego MUST be submitted through the International Center.  Using counsel outside of the university for employment-sponsored permanent residency petitions is NOT allowed, except with express permission from the International Faculty & Scholar Office (IFSO). Any legal immigration work that a department wants to sponsor with university funding, even for alien self-petition cases (National Interest Waiver, Extraordinary Ability, and I-485 Adjustment of Status), must be approved through IFSO, with legal work done by an immigration law firm with a retention agreement on file with the University of California, Office of the President.  A researcher self-petitioning and using personal funds for legal immigration work has no restriction on legal services retained.

Fast Track Permanent Residency for Faculty

Faculty who desire to obtain permanent residence as quickly as possible should file through the Outstanding Researcher pathway; possible reasons may include:

  • Ability to apply more quickly for grant funding restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
  • Ability of dependent H-4 spouse to obtain work authorization more quickly
  • Ability for those internationals (Indian and Chinese nationals) for whom the Visa Bulletin is backlogged to adjust to permanent residency more quickly

Please see the comparison between the Labor Certification and Outstanding Researcher pathways; contact Roark Miller with any questions.

Faculty Labor Certification Process, Timeline, and Cost

Labor Certification process and timeline:

  • Faculty, department representative, and IFSO staff meet to submit request/data form, discuss timeline, and set expectations, as soon as possible after hiring (and completion of H-1B petition; please email Sandra Vargas to set up an appointment)
  • Department posts Labor Certification notice for 10 consecutive business days and afterwards forwards it and the recruitment report to IFSO
  • IFSO prepares labor certification for filing immediately after the 30-day wait period following the 10-day posting notice
  • US Department of Labor (USDOL) certifies the labor certification submission (approximately 5-7 months but always varying, often considerably)
  • IFSO files the I-140 Immigrant Petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and files the I-485 Adjustment of Status petition (simultaneously or later, depending on faculty wishes) for faculty member and any spouse/dependents
  • USCIS issues the EAD (employment authorization document for faculty/spouse) within approximately 90 days of I-485 filing; employment authorization is valid until Permanent Residency is approved or denied
  • The department must request the checks (USCIS filing fees) from Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions/MyPaymentsAll checks must be issued separately for each fee.  
  • Information on IFSO online recharge.
  • Labor Certification Cost:

Description

IFSO Recharge

USCIS Checks*

Labor Certification

$2,000

-

Immigrant Petition: I-140

$2,000

$700

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Faculty

$1,500

$1,225

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Spouse

$1,500

$1,225

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Child

$1, 000 

$1,225 (14 years of age and over)

$750 (13 years of age and under)

USCIS Premium Processing

-

$1225

*All checks must be made out to the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security"

Outstanding Researcher Process, Timeline, and Cost

Outstanding Researcher process and timeline:

Researcher and department representative attend IFSO's Outstanding Researcher Workshop (usually the last Thursday of every other month; sign up by emailing IFSOpr@ucsd.edu.

  • Researcher/department representative submit packet of materials to IFSO
  • Counseling attorney reviews material and requests edits/additions if needed (allow up to four weeks for review)
  • Researcher/department submits additional material if needed
  • Counseling attorney prepares petition for submission to USCIS
  • IFSO files the I-140 Immigrant Petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and files the I-485 Adjustment of Status petition (simultaneously or later, depending on department) for researcher and any spouse/dependents
  • USCIS issues the EAD (employment authorization document for faculty/spouse) within approximately 90 days of I-485 filing; employment authorization is valid until Permanent Residency is approved or denied
  • The department must request the checks (USCIS filing fees) from Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions/MyPaymentsAll checks must be issued separately for each fee. 
  • Information on IFSO online recharge.
  • Outstanding Researcher cost:

Description

IFSO Recharge

USCIS Checks*

Immigrant Petition: I-140 (outstanding Researcher)

$4,500

$700

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Faculty/Scholar

$1,500

$1,225

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Spouse

$1,500

$1,225

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Child

$1, 000

$1,225 (14 years of age and over)

$750 (13 years of age and under)

USCIS Premium Processing

-

$1225

*All checks must be made out to the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security"

Self-petitioning

If you do not qualify for employer-sponsorship of permanent residence, it may be possible to self-petition in either the "Extraordinary Ability" or "National Interest Waiver" categories.  We would recommend you consult with an immigration attorney for either of these processes; please see legal matters for a partial listing of immigration attorneys.  If your department is interested in paying an immigration attorney's fees for you to self-petition, then the petition must be done through an attorney on retainer with the University of California Office of the President for UC San Diego; for more information, contact ifsopr@ucsd.

Workshops for Scholars

Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)

The workshop will introduce the main pathways for employment-based permanent residence (Outstanding Researcher, Labor Certification for Advanced Degree Holders, National Interest Waiver, and Extraordinary Ability), discuss the interrelationship of the I-140 immigrant and I-485 Adjustment of Status petitions, and consider the timing of petition submissions relative to the Visa Bulletin and USCIS processing times. This workshop is intended for researchers who are beginning to think about permanent residence through employment as an option for the future.

To RSVP for the Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways Workshop, complete the following form: https://goo.gl/forms/gBKvTh8D3MJfbAAA3


Outstanding Researcher Workshop (Advanced)

The workshop will focus on the employer-sponsored “Outstanding Researcher” petition that requires one to be employed permanently by UCSD or another US employer.

Department administrators must accompany researchers (e.g. Research Scientist and Project Scientist) to the workshop.

Post-Docs are welcome to attend to gather information regarding the Permanent Residency process and at this time are not required to have department administrators attend. We highly encourage Post-Docs to first attend our "Permanent Resident Process and Pathways" workshop.

To RSVP for the Outstanding Researcher workshop, please email ifsopr@ucsd.edu


Workshop Dates

Date

Time

Location

Workshop

January 26, 2017 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)
February 23, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Outstanding Researcher Workshop (Advanced)
March 30, 2017 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)
April 27, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Outstanding Researcher Workshop (Advanced)
May 25, 2017 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)
June 29, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Outstanding Researcher Workshop (Advanced)
July 27, 2017 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)
August 31, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Outstanding Researcher Workshop (Advanced)
September 28, 2017 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)
October 26, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Outstanding Researcher Workshop (Advanced)
December 7, 2017 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)

Contact Us

International Faculty & Scholar Office (IFSO)
Phone:
(858) 246-1448
Email:
ischolars@ucsd.edu
Hours:
M-F: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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