Northwestern University is pleased to sponsor foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas for Legal Permanent Resident status, also known as green card. Since this is an employment-based petition, all sponsorship questions must be directed to the hiring department and the immediate supervisor.
Labor certification under the special handling for tenure-eligible faculty must be filed within 18 months of the date of offer. Once the window closes, or if there were no print advertisements placed by the department at the time of the original hire, then the department must follow the requirements for the Standard Labor Certification. Standard Labor Certification will lengthen the processing time of an LPR application.
The university will not sponsor post-doctoral employees for permanent residence.
Becoming a Legal Permanent Resident is dependent on the following process:
All costs associated with the preparation, filing, and obtaining a labor certification (both faculty and standard) must be paid by the sponsoring department. This includes all costs associated with advertisements, attorney/legal fees, and the IO processing fee. Sponsoring departments may not request any reimbursements, nor should a beneficiary offer to reimburse the department.
It is recommended that beneficiaries keep their 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 has been pending for more than a year. Please consult with IO Scholar Services for further details on filing extensions beyond six years.
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.
Please consult with the 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.
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.
Returning to the U.S. after travel abroad is permitted provided the following conditions are met:
If there is a pending I-485, and the underlying H-1B is not valid, then an alien must apply for a travel document called Advanced Parole before leaving the U.S. Otherwise, the adjustment application is deemed to have been abandoned if the beneficiary leaves the U.S.
Please contact Scholar Services at the IO with any questions regarding travel.