Skip to main content

Important Immigration News and Updates 

 

OVIS Social

 

U.S. Permanent Residence Sponsorship

The Office of Visa and Immigration Services assists sponsoring schools, departments and their qualifying international employees with the employment-based permanent residence process. There are several different categories of employment-based permanent residence status, including the first preference Extraordinary Ability category, the Outstanding Researcher or Professor Category, and the Advanced Degree or Professional Worker labor certification categories. All Dartmouth-sponsored employment-based permanent residence cases must be approved by and coordinated through OVIS. Brief descriptions of the Dartmouth's sponsorship policy and procedures are provided below. For more information about permanent residence sponsorship, please contact our office directly.

Overview of U.S. Permanent Residence

Individuals with lawful permanent residence ("green card") status in the United States are permitted to live and work here on a permanent basis. Becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States does not jeopardize home country citizenship status. In general, lawful permanent residents have the same rights and privileges of U.S. citizens, but there are several important exceptions, including the right to vote. Departure from the United States for lengthy periods of time can jeopardize permanent residence status, as can the commission of certain crimes. Individuals holding lawful permanent residence status may become eligible for U.S. citizenship. Click here for more information on acquiring and maintaining U.S. permanent residence status.

There are a limited number of "green cards" made available each fiscal year.  These green cards are issued using a quota-based system.  When the numbers are exhausted, backlogs develop in the availability of green cards.  The U.S. Department of States publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin containing information on green card availability and backlogs.  Click here for the link to the Visa Bulletin: 

Employment-Based Categories

Extraordinary Ability

This employment-based first preference category may be filed by the employer, or it may be filed directly by the employee, as an offer of employment is not required. An employee who qualifies for this type of petition must have reached the very top of his or her field and achieved "sustained national or international acclaim." Unless the employee is the recipient of a major, internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize, the petition must contain at a minimum evidence to meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards
  • Memberships in associations in the field which require outstanding achievement for admission
  • Published material about the alien in professional journals or other major media
  • Experience judging the work of others, as on an editorial or peer-review board
  • Original scholarly and/or scientific contributions of major significance
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media
  • Work displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Leading or critical role in a distinguished organization
  • Receipt of a high salary compared to others in the field
  • Commercial success in the performing arts

Outstanding Professors and Researchers

Only the employer may sponsor an employee for this employment-based classification, as an offer of employment is required. To qualify, the employee must be internationally recognized for outstanding academic achievements, and have at least three years of experience in teaching or conducting research within his or her academic field. The employment offer must be tenured or tenure-track, or a comparable permanent research position. The petition must contain evidence to satisfy at least two of the following criteria:

  • Major awards or prizes for outstanding achievement
  • Memberships in associations in the field which require outstanding achievement for admission
  • Published material in professional journals about the international's work in the academic field
  • Experience judging the work of others, as on an editorial or peer-review board, in the same academic field, or in a similar field
  • Original scholarly and/or scientific contributions of major significance
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles in international professional journals

For more information on the First Employment-based category, please see the USCIS website here

Advanced degrees or exceptional ability aliens under the Second Employment-based Permanent Residence Category (EB2)

Non-U.S. citizens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent and those who, because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States. With the possible exception of employees who can show they qualify for a national interest waiver, EB-2 petitions require the filing and approval of a labor certification by the Department of Labor. It is important to note that the offered position must require the advanced degree or its equivalent at a minimum.

For more information on the Second Employment-based category please see the USCIS website here

The labor certification process is described in more detail below.

Professional workers under the Third Employment-based Permanent Residence Category (EB3)

This category is for professionals with a baccalaureate degree where the offered position requires at least that academic credential. EB-3 petitions require the filing and approval of a labor certification by the Department of Labor before the an immigrant visa petition can be filed with the Immigration Service.

For more information on the Third Employment-based category please see the USCIS website here

The Labor Certification Process under Department of Labor's PERM Program

The PERM Program is a Department of Labor (DOL) process requiring 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. DOL requires the employer to conduct advertising and recruitment before filing the labor certification application on behalf of a non-U.S. citizen employee. In addition to the labor market test, the employer must attest that the employment of the non-U.S. citizen will have no adverse effects on the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers.

For tenure track or tenured faculty, DOL has created a separate labor certification process known as Special Handling. For non-faculty positions, the regular labor certification process must be followed.

For more information regarding Dartmouth's internal process for permanent residence sponsorship, please contact OVIS directly. Requests to sponsor non-faculty positions must be submitted by the individual school or department to OVIS using the "U.S. Permanent Residence Sponsorship School/Department Request Form."

Other permanent residence options

For information on family-based permanent residence, please see the USCIS website here

For information on the Diversity Lottery, please see the USCIS website here  

Last Updated: 10/26/11