Becoming a Legal Permanent Resident

Process overview

Becoming a Legal Permanent Resident involves the following process:

  1. The hiring department submits a request to the IO.
  2. The IO reviews and approves the request.
  3. Upon approval, the IO will send an email to the department and the beneficiary.
  4. The IO will request that the beneficiary select an attorney from a list of approved attorneys.
  5. Once an attorney has been chosen, the IO will notify the chosen attorney of sponsorship and will coordinate with the attorney in the preparation and filing of the petition.
    Note: Only university-approved attorneys must be retained. Requests to hire counsel outside of the network will not be entertained.

Associated costs

Sponsoring departments may not request any reimbursement from the beneficiary, nor should a beneficiary offer to reimburse the department.

Impact on H-1B status

We recommend that you keep your underlying H-1B status valid until the adjustment application (I-485) is approved. Extension beyond the six-year limit is possible, provided the labor certification or the I-140 Immigrant Petition has been pending for more than a year. Contact IO for further details on filing extensions beyond six years.

Read about restrictions on travel while LPR is pending.

Dependents

Dependents will be included on the I-140 Immigrant Petition. Depending upon the availability of immigrant visas, it is possible to file the adjustment application as well; however, this varies by country.

Including dependents on the I-140 enables them to apply for employment authorization, even if they are in H-4 status. Contact IO if dependents wish to apply for employment authorization.

All dependent children under the age of 21 can also be included in the immigrant petition. If there is a child that will age-out (i.e. will reach the age of 21) before the green card is adjudicated, he/she must file for an independent status. The IO can be of assistance in filing a change of status application in such cases.

Address changes

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will not forward mail from USCIS even if there is a forwarding address on file. All addresses must be updated using Form AR-11 within 10 days of a change in address.