Permanent Residency

Permanent Residency 


UTRGV will sponsor international faculty and staff for permanent residence (a “green card”), where their employment qualifies and where the department will support the process.

Permanent residence is a complex, multi-step process that often takes longer than a year to complete.

Because of the complexity and length of time it takes, and the number of people involved in the process, we start with a consultation meeting.  The meeting includes the foreign national, the Immigration Services Manager, the authorized department liaison, and any other interested parties that may be appropriate for that case.  In the consultation, qualifying factors, processing routines, strategy, and fees are discussed.  The consultation lasts approximately 1 hour.

We strongly recommend that consultations be held for new faculty as soon as they arrive, and for staff as soon as they qualify per our procedures.

The Assistant Dean for Administration can contact IS at (956) 665-3021 to schedule a meeting.

IS has the subject matter expertise, to strategize the best solution for the person and their department.

The department and the university handle costs through the I-140 stage (which can include the costs of testing the labor market, government fees, attorney fees and more).  The individual is responsible for costs associated with the I-485 “green card” application.  Costs and fees will be discussed in detail in the consultation.

Please note that outside attorneys are not authorized to prepare immigration applications or petitions that require UTRGV sponsorship. Additionally, signatures at the department and school level on these types of petitions/applications are not authorized.

However, individuals may decide to pursue a self-sponsored permanent residence case independently of the university’s assistance.  IS is happy to provide information on working with U.S. immigration attorneys.

LPR Options 

I-140 petition for an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability”, or EB-1A

Applies to aliens who have distinguished themselves professionally in their fields of work or study. Notably, these employment-based, first-preference visa candidates do not have to secure sponsorship from an employer or institution, as an EB-1A petition requires neither a job offer nor a labor certification.

I-140 petition for "Outstanding Researcher/Professor"; or EB-1B

Outstanding professors or researchers who are internationally recognized, have a minimum of three years of experience, and have been offered a tenured, tenure-track, or long-term research position comparable to tenure track at a university or research institution. No labor certification is required. A job offer is required.

I-140 petition for National Interest Waiver process; or EB-2

Aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business whose presence and activities in the U.S. are in the national interest. A job offer is NOT required and the labor certification is waived. The burden of proof is on the foreign national to first establish they have the appropriate credentials; and have the ability to make a unique and necessary cultural impact to the U.S. population in general in areas of science, health, energy, defense, and education.

PERM labor certification under "competitive recruitment" or EB-2 “Special Handling”

Less than 18 months have passed since the UTRGV employee was selected for the position and she/he signed the job offer.

DOL Standard PERM labor certification process; or EB-2/EB-3

Under the DOL standard PERM labor certification process (More than 18 months since selection of successful candidate), UTRGV would have to test the local job market (re-advertise the position) to show that the UTRGV employee is more qualified than any U.S. worker who applies for the position.