The Catholic University of America

Obtaining Lawful Permanent Residency (“Green Card”) for the Foreign National through Employer Sponsorship

Permanent Residency at CUA is initiated through the Department and/or School for which the international employee works. Please note, the employee cannot initiate the process independently. All University departments wishing to sponsor a Catholic University employee for permanent residency should contact ISSS to be referred to approved outside counsel. ISSS will serve as a liaison throughout the process. 

Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) Process

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)
1. 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 Permament Foreign Worker)
2. 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 
3. 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.

Categories for the Lawful Permanent Residence Process

Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference EB-1

You may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. Each occupational category has certain requirements that must be met:

Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference EB-2

You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference visa if you are a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability.

Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3

You may be eligible for this immigrant visa preference category if you are a skilled worker, professional, or other worker.

·         “Skilled workers” are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature

·         “Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions.



There are filing fees and legal fees that will be associated with the Lawful Permanent Residence process that each department/school will be responsible for paying.

The Labor Certification process will also incur fees associated with the advertisement phase of the Lawful Permanent Residence process that the department/school will be responsible for.

University’s Policy May Be Changed at any Time Without Prior Notice