Permanent Residency Application Procedure
Determination of Permanent Resident 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.
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
- Faculty Petition (EB-2 PERM Special Handling or EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher)
- Researcher Petition (EB-2 PERM Basic or EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher)
- Staff Petition (EB-2 or EB-3 PERM Basic)
For more details on these types of petitions, please go to the Employment-Based Green Card Filing Strategies page. Each type has a different process, which will be detailed on that page. 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.
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.
- Departmental Permanent Residency Initiation
- Permanent Residency Department Confirmation
Depending on the type of green card, we will either:
- For EB-1s: Begin working with the scholar to gather the appropriate documentation or;
- For EB-2s: File a prevailing wage determination, followed by the filing of the PERM and finally file an I-140 with USCIS.
- ISSS fee: $1500 per petition
- USCIS filing fee: $700
- Premium processing fee: $2500 (to reduce wait time to 15 calendar days on the I-140 part of the process)
I-485 Application to Adjust Status
This application is the final stage of the green card process. An employee (and their dependents) become eligible to “adjust” from a non-immigrant to an immigrant status upon approval of the I-140. However, the Department of State Visa Bulletin determines their ability to file for your I-485 based on the priority date issued on the I-140. On this page, there are two different bulletins they might need to use (“Final Action Dates” and “Dates of Filing”). USCIS will determine which of these they should use every month, though the default bulletin is the “Final Action Dates” one.
It is important to understand that, during this part of the green card process, Georgia State cannot be involved in advising as this is a personal application. While Georgia State petitions for a scholar’s eligibility, we cannot actively assist after the I-140 has been approved. It is highly recommended that the employee seek an immigration attorney to at least review the I-485, if not outright aid in constructing the application. Please note: Georgia State cannot pay for any of the fees, whether they be lawyer or USCIS filing fees, associated with the I-485 application.
Alternatively, an employee could apply for an immigrant visa to be issued at a U.S. consulate abroad in lieu of an I-485. This process is not shorter but is an alternative to be considered with an immigration attorney.
I-485 Supplement J
To assist ISSS in filling out the I-485 Supplement J, the employee should go to iStart and look under “H-1B Employee Services”--> ”I-485 Supplemental Documentation"-->“I-485 Supplement J”.
Pending I-485 Application
- The I-485 Receipt Notice
- Any EAD cards/advanced parole received during the application process
- The green card itself
As listed above, in general, an EAD card is provided (free of charge if filed with the application) along with advanced parole, a travel authorization whose parameters should be discussed with an immigration attorney. Though the EAD card grants the ability to work anywhere they would like, ISSS always advises for the scholar to remain employed at Georgia State only while their application is pending. This ensures the continuation of any time left on H status in the case of a denial of their green card application.
Upon receipt of the green card, ISSS will withdraw the employee’s H-1B petition from USCIS.
Faculty Advertisements and Recruitment Practices
The International Student and Scholar Services office (ISSS) and the Office of Opportunity Development (ODDEP) have worked together to set up faculty hiring requirements at Georgia State that mirror those required by the Department of Labor (DOL) for permanent residency sponsorship.
- Name of the Employer and Location. (Ex. “Georgia State University, Department Name, City/State”)
- Applicants must be directed to report or send resumes to a specific online, e-mail or physical address.
- Please list the job title. You can advertise multiple positions on the same ad IF the multiple job titles are listed.
- The ad must explicitly state “teaching” as part of the job duties.
- Job Qualifications:
- The advertisement must state earned terminal degree or professional credentials in a specific field or indicate a list of acceptable fields. If ABD is acceptable, it must state so in the ad as well as indicate a completion date.
- The advertisement must state minimum experience qualifications. “Preferred” qualifications MUST be met in order to show the hire was the “most qualified” candidate.
- The regulation does not require employers to run advertisements enumerating every job duty, requirement and condition of employment. As long as the employer can demonstrate a true representation of the position listed and the advert, then that is most important. (Aka you need to be able to see that, in general, the requirements have been met.)
- Please do not use “pointer ads” that do not have the above information in them. The information must be in the actual advertisement located in the national, professional journal. Any other recruitment activity may take the form of pointer ads.
- Online Ad- Preferred Method
- Online ad must be in national professional journal for 30 calendar days, minimum. To be safe, do not count the days it was posted or taken down as part of the 30 days.
- Journal must have other employment advertisements.
- It must be an actual journal. Advertising on sites such as higheredjobs.com does not meet the requirements.
- Print out of the webpage containing the ad on the first day of publication and the last date of publication and/or an invoice with the dates of publication.
- Must indicate the name of the online journal and web address.
- Print Ad
- In a national, professional journal.
- Journal must have other employment advertisements.
- It must be an actual journal, not a compilation of job postings.
- Submit the original copy or the tear sheet.
- Must indicate the name of the journal and dates of publication.