There are three different stages in the process.
The employer drives the first two while the employee is responsible for the final one:
PERM Labor Certification (assessment of whether or not there are qualified US workers)
- The Eligibility is the First Stage: During this stage the School or department works with International Student and Scholar Services to establish the employee's eligibility for a given green card classification. This means either going through the Labor Certification process (PERM) or assembling the documentation needed for the classification that is exempt from that process.
I-140 Petition (Employer Petition for Permanent Foreign Worker)
- The I-140 is the Second Stage: The Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is used to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to classify a beneficiary eligible for immigrant visa based employment. The petition is essentially a request by the University. The petition is supported by the documentation assembled during the first stage. The I-140 must be filed within 180 days of the Labor Certification approval.
I-485 Application (Employee application for permanent residence Green Card application.
- The Application for Adjustment is the third and final Stage: This final step of the process is the international employee's (and any dependents) personal application for immigrant status. This stage belongs to the employee, not the University. Adjustment of Status is the foreign national responsibility. The employee and any dependents who are also pursuing permanent residency must maintain their legal status while waiting for the green card to be approved.