Employment-Based Permanent Residency

Permanent residents, also known as green card holders, can permanently reside and work in the United States. International employees can pursue permanent residency through various pathways, including employment. All applications and petitions for University of Florida employment-sponsored immigrant statuses for permanent residency must be submitted through ICS/HRS. Sponsoring departments should contact ICS directly for such requests.

Categories for Permanent Residency

UF sponsors international employees for permanent residency through three categories:

EB-2 Perm – Special Handling

This application involves the University demonstrating that it recruited for the international employee’s faculty/teaching position through a good-faith search, including at least one advertisement in a national professional journal. The international employee must hold a permanent, full-time teaching position. The University must document that the international employee was the most qualified candidate who applied through the competitive recruitment process. The application must be filed within 18 months of the issuance of the international employee’s offer letter. Missing this deadline may require running a new ad and issuing a new offer letter.

EB-2 Perm – Regular Processing

The purpose of the PERM Labor Certification – Regular Processing is to prove to the Department of Labor that there is a shortage in the labor market for the offered position. This application involves the University demonstrating that a full-scale recruitment was conducted in good faith and that no minimally qualified US applicants (US citizens or permanent residents) were available and willing to accept the employment. The entire recruitment process must take place within 180 days.

EB-1(b) Outstanding Professor/Researcher

This application requires demonstrating international recognition for the international employee’s outstanding achievements in a specific academic field. The international employee must have at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in that academic area and should be entering the United States for a tenured or tenured-track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other higher education institution. The international employee must provide evidence in at least 2 of the following 6 categories to prove international acclaim:

    • Evidence of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement
    • Membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement
    • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien’s work in the academic field
    • Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field
    • Original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field
    • Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field

Other Employment-Based Petitions and Applications

International employees can personally file self-sponsored petitions for immigrant classifications, including EB-1 for persons of extraordinary ability and EB-2 (National Interest Waiver) for aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business whose presence and activities in the U.S. are in the national interest. Private legal counsel and services may be retained by international employees for such petitions, with the costs being their responsibility. Employing University units may provide a copy of the current offer of employment letters and/or a confirmation of current employment letters for employee-sponsored cases. However, departments/centers are not permitted to issue letters to international employees indicating permanent employment without written permission from ICS. A sample of the authorized letter is available in the Resources section.