Policy on Sponsoring Foreign Nationals for Permanent Residence

Scope & Policy Statement

This policy applies to all non-faculty employees in all University departments, offices and programs and addresses the factors for determining whether the University will sponsor foreign national staff for employment-based permanent residence (a “green card”).

The University’s policy on sponsoring non-faculty personnel who are foreign nationals for permanent residence (a “green card”) is intended to provide guidance to academic and administrative units regarding the University’s internal procedures for approval of such sponsorship. This policy does not apply to tenure-track faculty positions.


Positions that are Eligible for University Sponsorship

Because obtaining permanent residence for a University employee requires a substantial commitment of University resources, University sponsorship for permanent residence should be requested of the Provost or Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration only where there is a compelling institutional need – i.e., where the position is highly important to the University’s operations and is expected to remain so for at least the next several years. The University will sponsor a foreign national for permanent residence only when there is a reasonable expectation that the individual will continue to be employed by the University for a longer period of time, and only when there is a reasonable likelihood after legal review that an application for permanent residence will be successful. The position must be a fulltime, regular position (not temporary).

In addition to the above, other criteria for sponsorship include but are not limited to:

  • The position is difficult to fill, as demonstrated by documented evidence of such challenges during the recruitment process.
  • The incumbent is highly qualified for the position through experience, skill and background.
  • The likelihood is small that the University can find a similarly qualified individual with citizen or permanent resident status within a reasonable timeframe if the position becomes vacant.

Retention of Immigration Counsel

Applying for employment-based permanent residence is a complex process and requires the assistance of an immigration attorney with particular expertise in the area of permanent residence applications for University employees with a highly specialized skillset. Because all employment-based applications for permanent residence sponsorship are filed on behalf of the University as well as the employee, the University will select and retain the counsel who will prepare the actual filings.

The University will only pay legal fees and USCIS filing fees directly related to the employee’s application. The University will not pay for legal or filing fees for spouses and dependents of the employee, and will not pay other, incidental costs, such as medical examination fees. Legal and filing fees covered by the University will be paid through central funds overseen by the Office of the General Counsel. The decision whether or not the University will pay for premium processing shall be in the sole discretion of the Office of the General Counsel after consultation with the Provost or Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.

While employees may retain their own immigration counsel (at their expense) if they choose, only counsel retained by the University will be permitted to work on employment-based green card applications.

Process for Obtaining Approval of Sponsorship

Only the University Provost or Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration can approve requests for sponsorship, and no commitments to sponsor foreign nationals for permanent residence may be made without prior approval from the Provost or Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.


While the University will expend reasonable efforts to obtain immigration benefits for a foreign national sponsored for permanent residence, the process does not guarantee permanent residence approval or U.S. work authorization as the U.S. government is solely responsible for approving petitions and applications and determining eligibility for any immigration benefit based on education, experience, background, family relationships, prior immigration history and criminal background.

This Policy is effective July 26, 2022