Permanent Resident

At Lehigh, International Students and Scholars represents the university to file permanent resident applications on behalf of faculty members on a non-immigrant visa. Two most commonly used categories are “Outstanding Professors and Researchers” and “Labor Certification for Teaching Faculty” (Special Handling).

Outstanding Professors and Researchers

The professor or researcher must have at least three year years of teaching or research experience in an academic area, and a permanent, full-time position (a tenured or tenure-track position). In addition, the professor or researcher must provide the evidence that he or she is recognized internationally as outstanding in their academic field. This evidence shall consist of at least two of the following:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievements in the academic field;
  • Membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members;
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the individual's work in the academic field;
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles, in scholarly journals with international circulation, in the academic field;
  • Original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field.

Labor Certification for Teaching Faculty (Special Handling)

U.S. immigration law permits the university to obtain permanent residence for foreign nationals employed in full-time faculty teaching positions (tenure-track or tenured) via a process known as labor certification with special handling. This process requires only that the university demonstrate that the decision to hire the foreign national resulted from a full and fair recruitment process in which the foreign national was found to be the best qualified applicant for the position.

To be eligible for this type of petition, the following conditions must be met:

   1. Teaching must be a part of the foreign national’s job duties.

   2. Applications must be filed within 18 months of the date of selection. The Department of Labor will accept the date of the offer letter as the “selection” date.

   3. The employer must have conducted a competitive recruitment and selection process (i.e. national search), and be able to document and documentation must clearly show that the foreign national was the most qualified applicant.

Information for Lehigh Hiring Department

Who’s eligible?

  • All ranks of professor positions (Tenure-track) 
  • Research faculty

What is require for sponsoring a teaching or research faculty?

1.   The Lehigh department or unit appointing the faculty member initiates and approves sponsorship and submits a written request, signed by the department chair, to OISS.

2.   The department chair, in addition to the supervising faculty member, and in consultation with OISS, approves the specific academic category under which the permanent residency petition will be submitted, ie. Outstanding Professor or Researcher; Advanced Degree Holder, etc., as defined by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services 

3.   The Lehigh department attests to having at least three years of funding in place for the sponsored position with the reasonable likelihood of continued funding

How to proceed for filing a green card for a faculty

Contact OISS for initial consultation.