The International and Postdoctoral Services Office (IPSO) has prepared this information to assist Augusta University colleges/departments in evaluating a candidate and position for sponsorship for permanent residency and how to facilitate the permanent residency process for adjudication by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). If you have any questions or need additional information, please call IPSO at (706) 721-0670.
There are three general avenues to LPR status. All three methods involve complex procedures, are time intensive in preparation, and can take months to years before adjudication is complete.
IPSO is charged with serving the colleges/departments, centers and institutes of Augusta University. As such we only provide services for certain employer-sponsored petitions (#2 above). Other options for permanent residency may be available to employees to pursue on their own through a qualified immigration attorney. At a college’s/department's request, IPSO is happy to review the immigration circumstances of an employee and provide an assessment of immigration options.
A “green card” is a euphemism for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. Persons who hold this status are permitted to remain in the U.S. indefinitely and to live and work wherever they wish. In general LPR's have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as U.S. citizens. LPR's may buy and sell property, own and operate businesses, and may be drafted into the military if a draft is in effect. A few rights, privileges, and duties do not apply. LPR's may not vote in government elections, nor serve on juries at trials, nor hold some elected offices or government jobs.
Sponsorship for permanent residency is available for faculty positions and select permanent staff positions requiring a minimum of a master's degree. Due to limited resources, IPSO only provides services for two of the employment-based categories for permanent residency. Please note that not all employees and positions are eligible for both options.
For an Advanced Degree Professional petition, an alien must have a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) confirming that there are not sufficient qualified and available U.S. workers to perform the job and that it is therefore necessary to import a non-U.S. worker for that purpose. The employer files the labor certification on behalf of the non-U.S. worker. If the lawful permanent resident status is based on a job offer, the non-U.S. worker must, in fact, take the job and work in it for some period of time after obtaining lawful permanent resident status. If the job is not available or the non-U.S. worker does not take the job, questions of visa fraud arise.
The Advanced Degree Professional process has three requirements which must be met:
For select faculty, the outstanding professor or researcher category may be an option. The category requires the petitioner to establish the following, by a preponderance of the evidence submitted:
By regulation, the labor certification aspects of the ADP/PERM path to permanent residency must be paid by the employer. The sponsoring department should expect $2,000 to $4,000 in fees and expenses.
Petitioning for permanent residency is a complex process involving multiple government agencies. Delays are common and often unavoidable. Upon review of the department request, candidate's credentials, and position for sponsorship, IPSO will provide an assessment of eligibility for permanent residency and estimated time frame for completion.
Please be aware that every case varies and different documentation may be required for each individual petition. Generally needed:
(Note: Effective 10/1/13, legal fees are approximately $2,000 to $4,000 for ADP/PERM category cases and must be paid by the Augusta University employing unit.)
Employee must complete the Employee Information Form for Augusta University sponsorship for PR.