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Sponsoring Foreign Nationals for Permanent Residence

Chapter 4670
Issued September 17, 2021

Table of Contents

.010 Introduction
.020 Scope
.030 Definitions
.040 Positions that are Eligible for University sponsorship for Permanent Residency
.050 Timing of Sponsorship Requestss
.060 Retention of Outside Immigration Counsel and Coverage of Expenses Associated with the Sponsorship
.070 Process of Approval for Sponsorship Request
.080 Questions

.010 Introduction

The University’s policy on sponsoring foreign nationals for permanent residence (a “green card”) is intended to ensure compliance with federal law and regulations and provide guidance to academic and administrative units regarding the University’s internal procedures for approval of such sponsorship requests.

.020 Scope

This policy applies to current and prospective employees (excluding student workers or graduate assistants).

.030 Definitions

Outside Immigration CounselOutside Immigration Counsel is responsible for advising University officials on immigration matters as well as filing permanent resident immigrant petitions on behalf of Kansas State University.
Foreign NationalsIndividuals admitted to the United States in temporary nonimmigrant status.
Permanent ResidenceAny person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant.  Permanent residents are authorized to live and work in the U.S. permanently.
Labor CertificationA finding by the Department of Labor (DOL) that there are not sufficient U.S. workers in the geographic area of employment who are able, willing, qualified (or equally qualified, in the case of the college and university teachers/faculty) and available to do the job in question, and that the employment of a foreign national will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
SponsorshipSponsorship allows a foreign national to immigrate to the United States on a temporary or permanent basis. Kansas State University, as an employer sponsor, must verify numerous terms and conditions of employment to the U.S. government due to labor market conditions, budgetary constraints or other factors. Sponsorship for employment in the United States can come in various forms including an H-1B or immigrant visa. 
Program Electronic Review Management System (PERM)An attestation-based system for filing and processing of labor certification applications filed by U.S. employers for the permanent employment of foreign nationals in the U.S.  

.040 Positions that are Eligible for University Sponsorship for Permanent Residency

  1. Because obtaining permanent residence for a University employee requires a substantial commitment of University resources, University sponsorship for permanent residence should be requested only where there is a compelling institutional need. In accordance with federal requirements, 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 substantial period of time (generally three years or longer). If the University expects to employ a foreign national for a relatively shorter term, the employee may be sponsored for temporary nonimmigrant status (i.e.H-1B, TN, etc.) through the International Students & Scholars Services (ISSS). Information regarding sponsorship for temporary nonimmigrant work authorization is available at the ISSS website.

  2. As a general rule, when appropriate, the University will sponsor foreign nationals who are hired into:
    • a tenured or tenure track position (assistant, associate, and full professors),
    • Other employment including, but not limited to instructors, non-tenured faculty, research faculty, clinical faculty, research staff, and other staff positions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the sponsoring department in consultation with ISSS and Outside Immigration Counsel.  Note: Non-faculty positions must be hard-to-fill to qualify for sponsorship for permanent residency.

Factors which may be considered for permanent residency sponsorship include, but are not limited to: the length of time the individual has been employed at the University, the length of time the individual will continue to remain eligible for a temporary visa, the extent to which permanent residency is essential for the individuals’ continued employment or receipt of funding, and the consequences to the department or unit if the individual is not sponsored. Furthermore, Outside Immigration Counsel determines viability of permanent residency requests.

.050 Timing of Sponsorship Request

  1. For eligible positions with teaching responsibilities (as outlined above), sponsorship requests may be made as soon after hiring as appropriate. Note that, in order to take advantage of “special handling,” (which is further described in Section 5 below), labor certification forms must be filed with the Department of Labor within eighteen (18) months of the faculty member’s offer of employment. The clock starts running at the time the faculty member is offered the position and not when the appointment is accepted or work has begun.

  2. For all other employees, sponsorship may be requested at any time if the employee has sufficient nonimmigrant work authorization and time remaining to process the permanent residency application.

.060 Retention of Outside Immigration Counsel and Coverage of Expenses Associated with the Sponsorship

  1. Applying for employment-based permanent residence is a complex process and requires the assistance of an immigration attorney with expertise in permanent residence applications for University employees. The University will select the outside immigration counsel when the permanent residency petition is filed on behalf of the University.

  2. An employee may retain their own immigration counsel if they choose when applying through self-petition, which include the EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability) or the EB-2 (National Interest Waiver) preference categories.  The University has no legal obligation to pay any fees associated with these cases.

  3. The sponsoring department must pay the legal fees associated with the filing of the labor certification.  Remaining fees for permanent residency are typically the responsibility of the employee.  Legal fees are established by Outside Immigration Counsel and included in the permanent residency retention agreement.

.070 Process of Approval for Sponsorship Request

The sponsorship request approval process is as follows:

  1. To obtain permission for University sponsorship of a foreign national for permanent residence, the sponsoring department must submit the Request to Petition for Employment Based Legal Permanent Residency form and employee’s most recent CV to ISSS.

  2. ISSS consults with Human Resources (HR) to confirm labor certification pre-filing requirements have been met (for faculty/special labor certification) or are likely to be met (for regular labor certification).

  3. ISSS evaluates the viability of the request and submits materials to Outside Immigration Counsel, as appropriate.

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.  Note: US labor market conditions may also impact the ability to proceed with regular labor certification.

.080 Questions

Any questions about the University’s Immigration Policy may be directed to the designated personnel in ISSS. 

University Policy Updates

This policy shall be in effect until it is changed, modified, revised, amended or terminated. This immigration policy may be changed, modified, revised, amended, or terminated at any time, with or without prior notice.