Overview

Permanent residence is permission from the United States government to reside and work permanently in the U.S.

Permanent residence is usually obtained by applying to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on either a qualifying family relationship or qualifying employment, although there are other grounds of eligibility, and is documented by a permanent residence card or “green card”. Employment-based permanent residence may require employer sponsorship or be self-sponsored, depending on the category. In general, the permanent residence process can take years or even decades, depending on the basis for eligibility and whether the applicant is subject to a per-country backlog.

The University of Washington sponsors anywhere from 20 to 50 faculty for permanent residence each year. The sponsoring unit must provide certain information and documentation to International Scholars Operations (ISO) as part of that process, including filing fees of up to $3,200 to be paid to USCIS. Without exception, permanent residence petitions requiring employer sponsorship are processed through ISO on behalf of the UW.

Eligible Titles

UW sponsors full-time, UW-salaried employees in competitively-recruited faculty titles for permanent residence. Eligible titles include:

  • Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor (including tenured, tenure-track, and without tenure)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Professor
  • Assistant Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, and Teaching Professor
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, and Clinical Professor (salaried, dental pathway only)

In order to be eligible for UW sponsorship, appointments must include some teaching responsibilities, whether through classroom teaching, laboratory instruction, or mentorship. Affiliate, acting, and emeritus titles are not eligible for sponsorship; nor are temporary titles such as Postdoctoral Scholar or Acting Instructor.

Because the sponsorship process is complicated and can be lengthy, units must contact ISO regarding appointments eligible for permanent residence sponsorship as soon as possible in order to facilitate a successful green card sponsorship.

Recruitment guidance for permanent residence sponsorship eligible positions is available in the Recruitment section of the OAP website.