Also known as green card, Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) simply permits foreign nationals and their dependents to permanently remain and be employed in the U.S. For this purpose, departments assume the role of a sponsor and all the responsibilities associated with the process including: all advertisement and recruitment; all costs associated with the preparation, filing and obtaining a labor certification; and record keeping. In addition, departments are required to document that there is a reasonable expectation of continued employment for an indefinite period of time.
Since most positions, with the exception of tenure-line faculty, are not considered "permanent," the following points may be of assistance when considering sponsorship:
The university will sponsor tenured and tenure-eligible faculty for permanent residence at the request of the appropriate department, when it is endorsed by the School Dean.
Research Staff and non-tenure eligible faculty:
The university will sponsor highly qualified research staff and non-tenure eligible faculty upon the recommendation of his/her department and endorsed by the School Dean and the Provost or the Vice President for Research, respectively. Such a recommendation should be predicated on the following evidence:
Positions that are not within the domain of the Vice President for Research, may be considered, if the position is deemed to be critical to the functioning of the unit and the individual has been employed at Northwestern for at least two years. Such requests must be submitted to the School Dean or the Vice President in which the employee's office is situated.
The university will not sponsor post-doctoral employees for permanent residence.
Within the employment based sponsorship, there are two ways to becoming a permanent resident:
Outstanding Professor or Researcher:
This category is an excellent option for individuals who are:
· Outstanding in their field;
· Recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic field;
· Have three years of experience in the academic field;
· Have a job offer.
To qualify for the Outstanding Professor or Researcher, an individual must show evidence in at least two of the following (authority cite: 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(i)(3)(i)):
Process Flow for Outstanding Professor/Researcher:All forms associated with the LPR can be found here under the 'Departments' heading.
Note: Only university approved attorneys must be retained. Requests to hire counsel outside of the network will not be entertained.
Attorney costs for such petitions can be paid by the employee or the department (subject to university limits) or a combination of the two.
Processing Time for Outstanding Researcher Petitions:
The processing times will depend on USCIS and the backlog for the year in which the petition was submitted. It is reasonable to expect at least 12 months at the very least.
Permanent Resident through Labor Certification (PERM):
Department of Labor regulations require that employers to test the labor market so that U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not discriminated from the process. The main goal here is to see if there are qualified citizens and permanent residents, and to certify to the Dept. of Labor (DOL) of the labor conditions. While it appears counter-intuitive to advertise for a position that is not vacant, please keep in mind that the primary purpose is to test the market. If no qualified citizen or permanent resident is found, then the labor certification process can proceed.
Optional Special Handling for Faculty:
DOL regulations do make some exception to the testing of the labor market, especially for faculty hires.
This is best suited for tenure-eligible faculty where little or no experience is required, which is in contrast with the Outstanding Researcher category discussed above; it is ideal for any tenured faculty as well. This requires that the university file a labor certification within 18-months of the date of offer predicated on the following:
Process Flow for PERM:
As a sponsor, departments must
Standard Labor Certification:
This category is used in the legal permanent resident process to sponsor staff, non-tenure eligible faculty and researchers who meet sponsorship eligibility as per university policy. The regulations are more prohibitive than the labor certification for tenure-eligible faculty in that, every applicant who is minimally qualified must be considered and employers must follow advertisement and recruitment guidelines as established by the Department of Labor.
In order for a labor certification to be filed under PERM, the following steps must be taken:
Hint: By advertising in the Chicago Tribune, a posting is included in Career Builder; therefore, only two additional sites are required. Typically, E-Recruit for staff positions; a web site of a professional journal (for research positions) and the Chicago Reader meet the regulatory requirement.
Record Keeping Requirements:
The following documents must be kept for five years: