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Permanent Residency

All permanent resident cases based on employment at UC San Diego must be submitted through the International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO). Using counsel outside of the university for employment-sponsored permanent residency petitions is NOT allowed. Any legal immigration work that a department wants to sponsor with university funding, even for 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 that has 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.

Permanent Residency Forms: Revised May 17, 2019

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

*The department chair must be willing to state to the immigration service that the institution intends to employ the Faculty or Scholar indefinitely in that position (e.g. even if the contract is two years).  

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 recruitment and advertising guidelines (PDF of 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 or 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 foreign national's receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field;
  • Documentation of the foreign national'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 foreign national'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 foreign national's participation as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
  • Evidence of the foreign national's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field; 
  • Evidence of the foreign national's authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the academic field; or
  • Comparable evidence to support the foreign national 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."

Fast Track Permanent Residency for Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty

Faculty who desire to obtain permanent residence as quickly as possible should file through the Outstanding Professor or 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 contact Sandra Vargas Tinoco with any questions.

Faculty Labor Certification

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

Effective 01/01/19

USCIS Checks

Labor Certification

$2,400

-

Immigrant Petition: I-140

$2,400

$700

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Faculty

$2,000

$1,225

Adjustment of Status: I-485 for Spouse

$2,000

$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

-

$1,410

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

Other Permanent Residency Options Through UC San Diego

All employer sponsored EB-1b Outstanding Professor/Researcher petitions MUST go through IFSO per institutional policyTiming of the process is impossible to predict, as it will vary considerably based on the scholar’s ability to gather documentation and solicit letters from experts, the waiting period for a visa number to become available, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing schedules.

All permanent resident cases based on employment at UC San Diego MUST be submitted through the International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO).  Using counsel outside of the university for employment-sponsored permanent residency petitions is NOT allowed. Any legal immigration work that a department wants to sponsor with university funding, even for 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 that has 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. For more information, contact ifsooutsource@ucsd.edu

 

Qualify

Institutional requirements:

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Submit request

Department must email ifsooutsource@ucsd.edu requesting permanent residency processing be initited. The email should include the Faculty or Scholar's CV and Google Scholar citation count (PDF or URL to public page). If the Faculty or Scholar is determined qualified, the department will be provided with the sponsorship form with fees, and the option to select from one of the firms on retainer with UCOP.

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Initial Consultation

IFSO will reach out to the Attorney on retainer with UCOP, the scholar, and the department, to schedule the initial telephone consult. 

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Gather documentation

Faculty or Scholar will gather documentation supporting evidentiary categories, and work with attorney firm and expert letter writers in soliciting letters from experts.

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File petitions

Attorney firm will file the I-140 Immigrant Petition and file the I-485 Adjustment of Status petition, when visa numbers are current (see Visa Bulletin). 

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 resources to select an immigration attorney.  

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 ifsooutsource@ucsd.edu

I-485 Supplement J for Job Portability (I-485j)

USCIS has created a new form, I-485 Supplement J, which in some cases is required for U.S. permanent residence. Supplement J for job portability is required for scholars with a pending I-485 Adjustment of Status to permanent residency, based on an approved employer sponsored I-140 Immigrant Petition, who are changing employers (e.g. Non UC San Diego employer to UC San Diego). USCIS requires that the I-485 Adjustment of Status have been pending for 180 days or more before porting the pending case to a new employer, such as UC San Diego.

To request job portability, USCIS requires that the new job offer be in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job noted on the I-140 Immigrant Petition that is the basis of the I-485 Adjustment of Status. The supplement requires that the new employer (UC San Diego) sign and date. Please be advised that only the International Faculty & Scholars Office is authorized to complete and sign this form. Additionally, if the title is not one that is routinely sponsorable for permanent residence at UC San Diego (see supplement 1), the institutional-wide Visa Policy Committee must grant an exception for the I-485J to be signed by UC San Diego.

If you have any questions or would like to request UC San Diego to complete an I-485 Supplement J on your behalf, contact ifsopr@ucsd.edu.

Workshops for Scholars

Permanent Residency Overview: Process and Pathways (Intro)

The workshop will introduce the main pathways for employment-based permanent residence (Outstanding Professor or 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

Date Time Location
05/30/2019 12:00 p.m. (noon) - 1:00 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College
07/25/2019 12:00 p.m. (noon) - 1:00 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College
09/26/2019 12:00 p.m. (noon) - 1:00 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College
11/21/2019 12:00 p.m. (noon) - 1:00 p.m. McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) in Muir College

Outstanding Professor or Researcher Workshop (Advanced)

Starting in May of 2019, all UC San Diego sponsored outstanding researcher/professor petitions will be outsourced to attorneys on retainer with UC San Diego.  The Outstanding Professor/Researcher Workshop is no longer offered.