Permanent Residence Sponsorship Based On Employment At Rutgers
U.S. immigration law allows employers to sponsor foreign nationals for Lawful Permanent Residence (also known as a “Green Card”). U.S. Permanent Residents (“Green Card” holders) are lawfully authorized to live permanently within the United States and are able to accept an offer of employment without special restrictions.
Rutgers maintains a strict policy regarding university sponsorship of employees for permanent residence. Eligible job titles are outlined in the Rutgers University Policy on Employing Foreign Nationals.
Outside attorneys do not have authority to represent Rutgers in immigrant visa petitions, and individual Rutgers employees do not have the authority to sign a Form G-28 granting permission to an outside attorney to represent Rutgers. The university will not recognize the validity of a visa petition filed by an outside attorney purporting to represent Rutgers.
Rutgers-Sponsored Preference Categories +
Rutgers is able to sponsor foreign nationals holding certain eligible positions for Permanent Residence via the following categories (referred to as “employment-based preference petitions”). Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services will determine which path is most appropriate on a case-by-case basis. Rutgers does not file multiple immigrant visa petitions for a single faculty member.
Permanent Labor Certification (PERM)
For some visa categories, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to USCIS, the employer must obtain an approved labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
The DOL has special recruitment and documentation procedures for the sponsorship of college and university teachers through a Permanent Labor Certification (PERM). Under the Special Handling provision, a university must show that the foreign national was selected for the job opportunity through a competitive recruitment and selection process through which the foreign national was found to be more qualified than any of the United States workers who applied for the job. The PERM application must then be filed within 18 months after a selection is made.
The DOL’s Special Handling provision for college and universities only applies to teaching positions. Non-teaching positions are not eligible for sponsorship under this category.
Once the DOL has certified the PERM application, Rutgers can proceed to file a Form I-140 Immigrant Petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Outstanding Researcher or Professor
USCIS allows employers to file immigrant visa petitions for outstanding professors and researchers. This does not require a Labor Certification from the Department of Labor. The immigrant visa petition can be filed directly with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In order to qualify as a “Outstanding Researcher or Professor,” the sponsored foreign national must:
- Demonstrate international recognition* for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.
- Have at least three (3) years of experience in teaching or research in that academic area.
- Have a job offer for a tenured or tenure-track teaching position or comparable permanent research position (non-tenure track faculty must have been at Rutgers for a minimum of one (1) year and be reappointed with at least 3 years of guaranteed funding support).
- Provide documentation of at least two (2) of the criteria** listed below:
- Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
- Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
- Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field
- Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
- Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
- Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field.
*Because this category requires proof of international recognition, beneficiaries must submit letters from international researchers/scholars and other documentation from international conferences, journals, professional associations, etc. showing that they have an international reputation for outstanding achievement.
**Meeting the minimum requirement of providing required initial evidence does not, in itself, guarantee approval. USCIS uses a 2-step adjudicative approach. First, USCIS determines whether the petitioner submitted the required evidence that meets a sufficient number of criteria. Then, USCIS conducts a “Final Merits Determination” based on the entire record of achievements, publications, citations, peer review, etc. to determine whether it sufficiently demonstrates that the beneficiary has been “internationally recognized as outstanding.”
“Self-Sponsorship” by Foreign National Employee +
There are additional preference categories that do not require Rutgers sponsorship. Employees who are not eligible for Rutgers sponsorship or would like to pursue multiple petitions may be able to file under the categories listed below.
In self-sponsorship cases, the employee is permitted to hire an immigration attorney to represent him/her. However, since it is also possible for an employer to serve as the sponsor in either of these two categories, it is absolutely essential that the employee make it clear to any outside attorney that the employee—not Rutgers—is serving as the sponsor in this case.
Alien of Extraordinary Ability
An employee may be eligible for a self-sponsored, employment-based immigrant visa if s/he is an alien of extraordinary ability. The applicant must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. For more information visit, USCIS’ website.
National Interest Waivers
National interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability (“means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business”) and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation. For more information visit, USCIS’ website.