Permanent Residents (PRs), also known as “green card” holders, are non-citizens who are lawfully authorized to live and work permanently within the United States. This status is indefinite, even though the physical “green card” is valid for 10 years and should be renewed as needed to provide valid, updated proof of PR status. At NC State, an individual must be in a nonimmigrant status sponsored by the university prior to and during the filing of a Permanent Residence petition or application.
Explanation of Permanent Residence Process
If a Department/Unit wishes to sponsor a foreign national employee for permanent residence, that employee must be in a permanent (or indefinite) and full-time position and must possess the qualifications required by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and/or Department of Labor (DOL) regulations. A “permanent” position means:
- Tenure-track, or
- Position of indefinite or unlimited duration, in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.
Note: Postdoc positions sponsored by an employer, and positions with a definite end-date (no expectation of unlimited or indefinite employment, and/or time-limited positions) are not considered “permanent” according to USCIS and DOL regulations. Temporarily funded positions must be discussed with the International Employment (IE) Manager to determine whether they meet government regulations for permanent residence sponsorship.
Because both USCIS and DOL impose strict legal requirements for permanent resident petitions, it is essential that departments contact International Employment before promising sponsorship, so that IE can review the position information and the credentials of the foreign national employee to determine potential eligibility, per USCIS and DOL regulations.
Both the sponsoring department/unit and foreign national employee should review this brief overview/FAQ document regarding the permanent residence process before considering or beginning sponsorship at NC State University. Please click here to see a flowchart of several permanent residence processes.
Initiation of Permanent Residence Process
The sponsoring department/unit must initiate the request for permanent residence by accessing the new GlobalHome portal, selecting International Employment on the left side of the screen, and clicking on the button that says “Permanent Residence (PR) Initiation.” To gain access to the portal, please follow the instructions in the Department HR User QuickStart Guide and also view GlobalHome All Users Training Videos about the system.
Submission of this form will trigger a message to the employee to complete a brief questionnaire within the GlobalHome portal, upon receipt of which the IE Manager will review the employee’s immigration file to make a preliminary determination as to whether or not the position and the individual qualify for a permanent resident petition, and will advise the department/unit accordingly.
I-140 Immigrant Petition:
The first or second step of any employment-based green card process at NC State requires IE to prepare and file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. When the university is the employer/petitioner of an employee’s permanent residence (green card) process, we must prepare and file this form with USCIS to request an employment-based immigrant visa for our employee. The employee cannot receive a Permanent Resident Card (green card) until USCIS first reviews and approves Form I-140.
During the initial permanent residence consultation meeting, the IE Manager will meet with the department/unit and foreign national employee to discuss the general documentation and evidence that will be required for the selected permanent residence process, which will correspond to a specific category on the I-140 petition.
When requested to do so by IE, the department/unit will need to supply the filing fee for the I-140 petition. Please see the Immigration Fees Chart for relevant filing fee information, and the FedEx Address Chart for relevant address information.
IE will also discuss with the sponsored employee how to apply for the I-485 adjustment of status. This application allows the employee and family to adjust from their current nonimmigrant status to Permanent Residence (immigrant) status.