Permanent Resident Status For International Faculty and Researchers

Obtaining permanent residency in the United States depends on eligibility and availability of visas. In general, there are 4 ways a person can be eligible for permanent residency:

  1. Family Members of US Citizens or Permanent Residents
  2. Employment-based petitions
  3. Diversity Visa Lottery run by the U.S. Department of State
  4. Humanitarian reasons (Refugees, asylees, etc.)

At Colorado State University, ISSS files permanent residency on behalf of departments who have a permanent position for the international hire under the Employment Based criteria- tenured, tenure track, or for research positions, long term and indefinite. The applicant’s faculty supervisor and/or the department chair should set up an appointment with ISSS and the international hire (if your hire is already here). We can then determine the best route to take in filing a permanent residency petition. Each petition must have the full support of the employing department and the approval of the department chair.

Colorado State University sponsors employment-based permanent residence for full-time faculty or researchers who have been employed at CSU for a minimum of six months. Temporary positions, such as post-doctoral researchers, are not eligible for permanent resident status because of their temporary nature.

To initiate the permanent resident application process, the applicant’s faculty supervisor or department chair should meet with ISSS to determine eligibility and review the various pathways to permanent residence. Departments should be aware that the process to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States is lengthy, complicated, and involves sustained effort by both the hiring department and ISSS. As an employer, the decision to undertake this process must stem from business necessity and not sentimentality. Departments must exercise care when using the employment authority of the university to obtain immigration benefits for international employees. Permanent residence sponsorship should only be considered when it is consistent with university goals, programs, standards and policies, as well as being within the intent of US immigration law.

At Colorado State University, ISSS will file for employment-based permanent residence on behalf of departments who have a permanent position for the foreign national that meets the U.S. Government’s requirements. ISSS will file applications that represent the employer’s interest and are signed by CSU but not personal applications wherein foreign national employees are representing themselves. In other words, in cases where the employee opts to file for permanent residence independent of CSU, e.g. “extraordinary ability application” or “national interest waiver,” ISSS may not represent the employee. We will only file cases on behalf of CSU for the following types listed below.

  1. Outstanding Professor/Researcher
  2. Special Handling Labor Certification for those WITH teaching responsibilities
  3. Basic Labor Certification for those with NO teaching responsibilities

The President of Colorado State University has authorized ISSS to collect a fee for service to cover the administrative expense of permanent residence processing. A signed fee agreement is required before initiating any permanent residency application at CSU. Note that the fee is for ISSS services and costs and that payment of the fee does not guarantee permanent residence. This service is meant to assist departments by offering an economic alternative toward achieving a diverse faculty and workforce. Generally, outside attorneys may not represent Colorado State University. All labor certification applications filed by the University must be processed through International Student & Scholar Services.


Please contact Paul Collier in ISSS with any case-specific questions you may have.