As a leading educational and research institution, Washington University regularly recruits and hires scholars, researchers, and physicians from around the world. Effective, efficient processing of immigration matters is vital to ensure WashU’s continuing ability to successfully attract and retain these individuals. The Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) coordinates the filing of applications for WashU-sponsored permanent residence application.

WashU LPR sponsorship

WashU sponsors lawful permanent residency (LPR) applications based on departmental approval, in various positions. The key issue is the “permanent” nature of the position. Therefore, WashU does not apply for permanent residence for training or temporary positions, such as postdoctoral researchers or clinical fellows.

WashU is committed to applying for LPR for individuals who have been offered tenure-track and tenured positions. For other positions, the department must approve pursuit of LPR for that specific position. There are department policies for LPR for various positions, but critical factors are business need for the individual and continued funding for the position.

Generally, WashU sponsors LPR applications for the following employment-based categories.

EB-1B Outstanding Professor/Researcher

This application requires WashU to substantively document broad-based international recognition of a faculty member’s or researcher’s outstanding achievements. According to immigration regulations, successful LPR applications through this avenue must demonstrate specific criteria. These include more than three (3) years of teaching and/or postdoctoral research experience, a strong publication record, superlative evaluations by recognized experts in the field, and the receipt of prizes, awards, or other forms of professional recognition.

EB-2/EB-3 PERM Labor Certification

Applications for workers in some employment categories require a labor certification. The labor certification requires documentation of the recruitment and selection process to demonstrate that the individual will not displace a U.S. worker, and that no U.S. workers’ salaries or working conditions were adversely affected by hiring an international employee. These applications are submitted through the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) system. PERM requires that there be only one point of contact (OISS) for this system for each employer.

EB-2 National Interest Waiver

Those seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the job offer and labor certification be waived in the interest of the U.S. USCIS considers all the following factors for national interest waiver applications:

  1. The proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance.
  2. The applicant is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor.
  3. On balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer, and thus the labor certification.

Retention of counsel

Applying for employment-based permanent residence is a complex process and applications based on WashU employment raise some unique issues. These applications generally require the assistance of an immigration attorney with specialized expertise. The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel (OGC) is the legal counsel for WashU and its affiliated entities. LPR applications are filed on behalf of both WashU and the employee. Due to this, OGC selects and retains outside counsel to prepare all relevant filings. Faculty, staff and students may not employ outside attorneys to represent or provide legal services to WashU or its affiliated entities. The last step in the LPR process is the filing for adjustment of status (Form I-485) or consular processing. This step is solely the employee’s application and responsibility. For efficiency’s sake, WashU recommends that this application is filed by the same attorney who handled the previous steps.

Once a department decides to sponsor an employee for LPR, they should submit the Attorney Referral Form to OISS.

Note on independent applications:

An employee who wishes to independently submit an employment-based first-preference extraordinary ability petition (EB1-A) or an employment-based second-preference national interest waiver (EB 2 NIW), where the I-140 petition is signed only by the employee, may retain the services of an immigration attorney.

The immigration attorney retained by the applicant may not hold themselves out as acting on behalf of, or with authority from WashU and must clearly indicate that they represent only the employee in any correspondence with applicable government agencies. It is the responsibility of the employee to inform their immigration attorney of these rules.