Permanent Residency Application Procedure

Department Process

ISSS will contact you when it has begun the process of sponsoring a new international faculty member, staff member, or researcher for H-1B or O-1 to discuss the new hire’s eligibility for permanent residence sponsorship.  If the foreign national is eligible, you can begin the permanent residency process by initiating in iStart, after which the scholar will meet with the Assistant Director for Scholar Services, ([email protected]; 404-413-2070).

At the appointment, ISSS will determine the appropriate filing category and provide the department with a checklist and timeline specific to the employee’s case. The Business Manager and Department Head will complete the confirmation e-form in iStart. The department and employee will then begin gathering and submitting documents.  The department should discuss who will pay what fees within the department, and must pay the promised wages and continue to employ the foreign national until permanent residency is approved.

Determination of Permanent Residency Filing Strategy

ISSS will select the most secure route (i.e., EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3) based on a number of factors, including the nature of the position, the minimum degree requirements for the job, and the foreign national’s educational and professional credentials.  Because the green card process is not fail-safe, EB category selection is ultimately based on the likelihood of success and not the speed of the process.

**Checks will NOT be needed upon submission of initial documents.  We will send instructions for those at a later date.  Please do not request them through PantherMart.**

ISSS will, however, consider any retrogression issues when making an assessment. By law, each country is allowed a certain number of immigrant visas (green cards) per year, and that allocation is further broken down by EB category.  Some countries – including China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines – produce more than several times the number of applicants allowed each year for particular EB categories, which in turn causes the availability of green cards for these categories to be “retrogressed” or backlogged.  As a result, some EB categories (the EB-1 in particular) are better options than others for foreign nationals from these countries.

In general, ISSS will pick filing strategies based on the following position types:

  • The EB-2, Special Handling category is the most efficient route and is designed for full-time, permanent teaching positions. This is the most common category GSU uses.
  • The EB-1 category is for Outstanding Researchers or Professors who have three years of post-Ph.D. experience and are internationally recognized in his or her academic field. This is a faster category because it does not require Labor Certification, but the threshold for the petitioner’s qualifications is extremely high.

Researcher and Staff Petitions

  • The EB-2, standard recruitment category is an option available to researcher positions or classified staff that work in a position that requires a Master’s degree or higher. This is a complex, expensive and time consuming category and is rarely used at Georgia State. A more detailed comparison of employment-based categories and their requirements is explained here.  The EB-1 might be a possibility for certain researchers based on their portfolio.
  • The EB-1 category is for Outstanding Researchers or Professors who have three years of post-Ph.D. experience and are internationally recognized in his or her academic field. This is a faster category because it does not require Labor Certification, but the threshold for the petitioner’s qualifications is extremely high.

  • The EB-2, standard recruitment category is an option available to researcher positions or classified staff that have worked at Georgia State University for two years and work in a position that requires a Master’s degree or higher. The same recruitment category can be used for those with a Bachelors degree and is known as an EB-3. They are the same process, which is a complex, expensive and time consuming category and is rarely used at Georgia State. A more detailed comparison of employment-based categories and their requirements is explained here.

Once a category has been chosen the department must first complete the “Permanent Residency Department Confirmation” e-form in iStart, at which time the department will also be charged the ISSS fee.

You may review the following page for information on each type of employment-based petition.  Please note that EB-2 PERM Special Handling is the most used, followed by EB-1 petitions.  EB-2 Standard Filing and EB-3 petitions are extremely rare and must be carefully considered.