Types of Permanent Residency
NYU files permanent resident (also known as “Green Card”) petitions for individuals holding full-time permanent academic appointments only. We file employment-based petitions in the EB-1B category only when EB-2 is not possible.
Outstanding Professor and Researcher
Member of the Professions Holding an Advanced Degree (also known as a Special Handling Labor Certification or PERM)
All such petitions are filed by or with the approval of Scholar Services in the Office of Global Services (OGS). Privately-retained attorneys will not have authority to represent the University in these matters unless authorized by Scholar Services and in consultation with the university's Office of General Counsel.
With approval of the school's Dean, permanent residence petitions are filed at an appropriate time, usually not earlier than after one complete term of service. Scholar Services determines under what category of permanent residence to file and generally files under the Employment-Based 2nd preference category (EB-2: Member of the Professions Holding an Advanced Degree) or when necessary under the Employment-Based 1st preference category (EB-1B Outstanding Professor and Researcher).
- Be internationally recognized as outstanding in a specific academic field;
- Be in a permanent, tenure-track or research position within a university or institution of higher learning; and
- Have a minimum of three years experience teaching and/or researching in the field (such experience may include research or teaching while working toward an advanced degree only if the research is recognized within the academic field as outstanding or if the teaching duties entailed full responsibility for the class taught)
Further, evidence of at least two of the six criteria below must be met:
- Original contributions to the field
- National or international awards for achievements in the field
- Membership in organizations that require outstanding achievement
- Published material about the alien or his/her work
- Service as the judge of the work of others
- Scholarly publications and presentations
A petition for Outstanding Professor and Researcher is filed on Form I-140 directly with the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Scholar Services, upon receiving the materials from the scholar and sponsoring School or Department, packages the case, and submits it to USCIS. See “I-140” below.
An EB-2 Labor Certification requires approval by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before an immigrant petition (I-140) can be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For college and university teachers, cases are filed under what is called "Special Handling" procedures. Labor Certification may be granted if it can be demonstrated that after undergoing normal recruitment procedures using at least one published advertisement, the employer can demonstrate that the foreign national is better qualified than any U.S. citizen or permanent resident applicant for the position.
Labor Certifications must be filed with the DOL within 18 months of the issuance of the original offer letter. DOL processing times vary but scholars should expect at least three to four months and often more.
Scholars for whom a Labor Certification is filed must supply Scholar Services, at minimum, with the appropriate DOL forms, updated C.V., and copy of highest degree diploma. We work closely with the department to document the recruitment process for the DOL.
Once a Labor Certification is approved, Scholar Services can submit an immigrant petition (I-140) to USCIS on behalf of the scholar. See “I-140” below.
I-140 (Immigrant Petition)
Processing times vary widely on adjudication of I-140s though it is possible to premium process an I-140; additional fees apply. Premium Processing grants a decision within 15 calendar days of USCIS receipt.
Adjustment of Status/Consular Processing
1. Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
The final step in getting permanent residence (or in getting a “green card”) is for the scholar to file for permanent residence. This part of the application is between the individual, USCIS, and the U.S. Department of State. In order to file, the scholar's priority date must be current per the monthly Department of State Visa Bulletin. The final step can be done while the scholar is inside the U.S., in which case it is referred to as Adjustment of Status, or when the scholar is outside the U.S., referred to as Consular Processing. Scholar Services acts as a resource for information on this phase of attaining permanent residence. Our information is generic and does not take the place of legal counsel. We request all scholars for whom an I-140 is filed to have a personal appointment to discuss the final phase in applying for a green card. If the scholar has a complex or unusual case, retaining a competent immigration attorney for this portion of the application is advisable. Scholar Services will discuss this option with scholars at the time of filing the I-140 and can also provide referrals to immigration attorneys in the metropolitan region.
2. Applying for Permanent Residency From Inside the US/Form I-485/Adjustment of Status
If a scholar is in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant status, s/he may apply for permanent residence by filing form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) with USCIS. This can be done concurrently with submission of the I-140, while the I-140 is pending, or after it is approved.
The I-485 is the primary form for Adjustment of Status but the application requires many other supporting forms and documents, including a medical form that requires a physical exam and signature by a USCIS-approved physician (civil surgeon). Spouse and children under 21 may submit an I-485 and supporting documents as well. All USCIS forms associated with Adjustment of Status can be downloaded from the USCIS web site. The I-485 must be submitted with the appropriate fees. The fee includes the cost of biometrics and accompanying work and travel permissions.
Within a couple weeks of submission of an I-485, an applicant will be notified to visit a Department of Homeland Security office in New York City to have biometrics taken.
Processing time for Adjustment of Status varies widely.
3. Applying for Permanent Residency from Outside the US/Consular Processing
Scholars interested in this option should consult a competent immigration attorney. Scholar Services can make referrals if needed.
Employment and Travel while I-485 is Pending
Temporary Employment Authorization while the I-485 is Pending
While the I-485 is pending, and until adjustment is approved, a scholar already working for NYU in H-1B status can retain that status as long as the I-797 is still valid and s/he is working at NYU under the terms of the petition filed. If it appears that the six years in H-1B status will expire before the I-485 is adjudicated, a scholar whose Labor Certification or I-140 was filed at least 365 days before the expiration of the sixth year in H-1B status, may extend the H-1B visa beyond the six-year maximum, in one-year increments (or three-years if immigrant visas are backlogged), until the Adjustment of Status is adjudicated. A scholar may apply, concurrent with submitting the I-485 or while it is pending, for an employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS and receive work authorization in 1-2 year increments. An application for employment is made on Form I-765. The fee is included in the I-485 fee and covers any subsequent extensions. Processing time varies. Best advice is to consult the USCIS website. Using an EAD technically terminates one’s H-1B status though a scholar can regain H-1B status by traveling and reentering the U.S. with valid H-1B documents.
- Scholars in O-1 or E-3 status may not retain O-1/E-3 status once they re-enter the U.S. after having filed an I-485, but rather must apply for employment authorization while the I-485 is pending.
- Dependents in H-4 status may also, at the time of filing an I-485, surrender their H status and request employment authorization.
- Dependents in O-3 or E-3 status will also lose O-3/E-3 status once they re-enter the U.S. after having filed an I-485 and may, if they choose, file for employment authorization.
Note: When both EAD and Advance Parole (per below) are requested, they are now issued in one document.
Travel Outside the US while the I-485 is Pending
Individuals in H-1B or H-4 status often need to travel internationally while an I-485 is pending. There are two possibilities for the scholar and his or her dependents.
- If a scholar (and/or dependents) chooses to remain in H status, s/he and dependents may travel in their currently valid H status. They must abide by all the regulations that govern H status, i.e., re-entry requires a valid H visa, employment for an H-1B only with USCIS-approved H-1B employer.
- If a scholar (and/or dependents) who has chosen to abandon H status by applying for and using an EAD wishes to travel outside the U.S., s/he may wish to apply for and be granted permission for such travel. This permission is called "advance parole.” Advance Parole is also helpful to those who do not want to have to apply for an H visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. An application for Advance Parole can be filed on Form I-131 concurrently with Form I-485 or while it is pending. The fee is included in the I-485 fee. Once an application for Advance Parole is submitted, unless an alien is maintaining H status and has a valid H visa on which to reenter the U.S., s/he should not travel outside the U.S. until receiving such approval from USCIS. An application for Advance Parole is considered abandoned if the applicant travels during its pendency. Best advice is to consult processing times on the USCIS website. Upon reentry to the U.S. on Advance Parole, an employee receives “parolee” status on the I-94 which is valid for the length of time indicated, usually one year.
Employees in O or E status must apply for Advance Parole as they cannot retain O/E status once they re-enter the U.S. after having filed an I-485.
Beginning 10/2/17, USCIS began requiring in-person interviews of all employment-based permanent residency applicants at a USCIS Field Office. USCIS may waive the interview for children under the age of 14, but all family members will receive individualized interview notices regardless of age. OGS highly recommends that scholars retain outside counsel to prepare and accompany them to the interview. We are able to provide referrals to outside immigration attorneys as requested.