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Employer Based Residency

The university will not sponsor permanent residence for the following:

  • Non-immigrants who are in temporary and/or part-time positions, such as postdoctoral scholars and visiting scientists, because these positions do not meet regulatory standards as required for permanent residence.
  • Positions with a bachelor’s degree as the minimum requirement because they often difficult to be processed and approved by the Department of Labor and involve lengthy backlogs and wait times.

The university may sponsor permanent residence under the following conditions:

  • The candidate holds a permanent position at the University of Kentucky. "Permanent" is defined by immigration guidelines as employment that is intended to be of an indefinite or unlimited duration. In other words, the nature of the position is such that the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment. In these cases, the request for the university to sponsor the application must be approved by the applicant’s chair or director and the dean of the college.
  • The position demonstrates secured funding that is either regular in nature, or in the case of a grant-funded position, includes a reasonable expectation that funding will continue.
  • The candidate maintains a valid non-immigrant employment status while the application is being processed.
  • The supervisor or department head agrees to sign the documentation required. Please note that sponsorship or signatures on documentation doesn't necessarily include a responsibility to pay legal and/or other processing fees. The department's responsibility to pay fees will depend on the type of case and whether the use of attorney is involved in the process.

Requiring Employer Sponsorship

I.    Members of the Professions Holding an Advanced Degree
Obtaining this type of employment-based permanent residence consists of the following steps:

  1. Recruitment for the position following U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines.
  2. Application for Permanent Emplyment Certification (ETA-9089) filed with DOL.
  3. Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (I-140) and approved ETA-9089 filed with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
  4. Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485) filed with USCIS.

For teaching positions, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services will prepare the ETA-9089 application and the I-140 petition. In order to begin the process, departments should contact William Arnold to schedule a meeting with both the supervisor and the employee.  The department will be required to complete and submit an "Assessment Form" and the employee will complete and submit a "Candidate Form" to ISSS for review.

For non-teaching positions, the services of an attorney are required. Attorneys must follow these steps as outlined in the Attorney Guide.  Because the attorney will be representing the University of Kentucky, first contact Elizabeth Leibach. A "Department LC InitiationForm" will be requested from the department before any attorney is hired and prior to the commencement of any immigration work.

NOTEAll fees associated with the filing of a Permanent Labor Certification must be absorbed by the employer (i.e. department).  It is unlawful for the employee to pay any fees associated with the filing of a permanent labor certification (Form ETA 9089).

II.   Outstanding Professors and Researchers (EB-1b)
This category is for faculty and researchers with at least three years of experience in the academic area who are recognized internationally as outstanding. There must be an offer of a tenured or tenure-track teaching, or a permanent research position.

For this category the services of an attorney are required. Because the attorney will be representing the University of Kentucky, first contact Elizabeth Leibach for more information. A "Dept. Attorney I-140 Initiation Form" will be requested from the department before any attorney is hired and prior to the commencement of any immigration work.

NOTE:  The employee or department may absorb costs as determined by the supervisor, department head or business officer.

Working with Outside Attorneys
The Office of International Students and Scholars must approval all attorneys prior to any work commencing on behalf of the employee or the University of Kentucky.  Departments are required to initiate this process by submitting one of the following forms:  I-140 Initiation Form or Labor Certification Initiation Form.  Please also see the Attorney Guide for information on the process of working with immigration attorneys.