US. Permanent Residency Process

A permanent resident status requires permanent, full time employment and departmental support/assistance to initiate the process. A permanent residency (green card) petition has three steps. Deadlines to each of these steps must be met and initiation is dependent on departmental approval. Therefore, in initiating the Permanent Residency process, time is of the essence. Both scholar and department should notify ISSS as soon as possible if such a step is to be taken.

Step 1: The PERM Alien Labor Certification (EB-2 and EB-3 Only)

  • ISSS will file a Labor Certification Application (ETA Form 9089, known as the “PERM”) with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The labor certification establishes the University’s recruitment efforts regarding the foreign national’s position and provides other important information regarding the position and the foreign national’s qualifications.  DOL must approve this application before ISSS can advance to the next step in most cases.

Step 2: Filing an I-140 Immigrant Petition

  • The I-140 is a 6-page form filled with USCIS indicting that an alien worker would like to become a permanent resident in the United States.
  • In most cases, ISSS will assist in the filling of this form

Step 3: The I-485 Adjustment of Status

  • The final stage in the permanent residency process.
  • Ability to file an I-485 for adjustment from non-immigrant to immigrant status is based on the priority date received from the I-140 and the Visa Bulletin.
  • An I-485 is a personal application without the involvement of ISSS. However, assistance from an immigration attorney is highly recommended.
  • For more information on the I-485 please go here.

The three main filing strategies to permanent residency when filing an I-140 immigrant petition for scholars at GSU are the EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 categories.

For application procedures, please click the following link.

Permanent Residency Application Procedure

EB-1: Outstanding Professor/Researchers

  • This category is rare, researchers and professors in this field must meet special requirements.
  • Determination is based on the level of international recognition in the field.

EB-2: Members of the Profession Holding Advances Degrees

  • Utilized by most professors and researchers initiating the permanent residency process.
  • Two types of filings
    • EB-2: Teaching Special Handling for those with teaching duties
    • EB-2: Perm Basic for researchers or specialized staff
  • Either of these categories have their own procedures, requirements, and deadlines that must be met.

EB-3: Professionals and Skilled Workers

  • Used by professors and workers holding at least a bachelor’s degree
  • Filling an EB-3 is an expensive and difficult process with specialized procedures and requirements

For more information on these categories click here.