This information outlines the several ways that it is possible to become a permanent resident of the United States. For more information about permanent residence in general, ISSS recommends consultation with a qualified immigration attorney. For information about permanent residence sponsorship for certain full-time employees of the University of Pennsylvania, including the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), please see the section entitled, Permanent Residence at Penn, below.
- There are several avenues for acquiring permanent resident status in the United States. Following is a brief summary of the options. For more information about permanent residence in general, ISSS recommends consulting a qualified immigration attorney.
Click here for the Penn Outside Legal Counsel Program website for details on the law firms authorized to handle Penn-sponsored cases, the summary of fees, billing, processes, etc. Note that ISSS continues to process teaching faculty cases for which a Labor Certification Application can be filed within the 18-month filing window.
Four Paths to Employment-Based Permanent Residence
Penn will use the most appropriate of four procedures to obtain permanent residence for a qualified academic employee:
Permanent Residence at Penn
In order to consider a request from a nonimmigrant employee for Penn sponsorship in the permanent resident process, one must consider both Penn policy and government regulations.
- The University of Pennsylvania usually sponsors only full-time, regular employees in certain academic positions for US permanent residence. Penn will not sponsor staff who are in nonacademic positions, unless a special case can be made for an exception to this policy. US immigration laws and Penn policy do not permit Penn to sponsor students, part-time employees, or temporary employees for permanent residence. (See Policy No. 119: University Sponsorship for US Permanent Resident Status for Staff Positions).
- If Penn is able to sponsor a nonimmigrant employee for permanent residence, ISSS will initiate an immigrant petition with the US government or authorize an immigration attorney retained by Penn to initiate one. A Penn-sponsored immigrant application cannot be initiated without ISSS authorization