Permanent Residency (Green Card)

The U.S. immigration system classifies people inside the U.S. as citizens or aliens (legal terminology).  Aliens (foreign nationals) are divided into two categories: Immigrants and Non-immigrants.  Immigrants are permanent residents/green card holders who are authorized to live and work permanently in the U.S.  Non-immigrants are individuals with temporary authorization to be legally present in the United States.  NDSU provides sponsorship for permanent residency in two employment-based categories: EB-1b and EB-2b.

There is a unique route to obtaining Green Card sponsorship designed specifically for university teachers with teaching responsibilities (EB-2b). This is the preferred method of sponsorship at NDSU for ranked faculty positions.  The following criteria must be met to be considered for sponsorship in the EB-2b category: 

  1. The position must be full-time and permanent;
  2. The position must have been advertised in a national, professional journal;
  3. The paid advertisement must have been posted at least 30 calendar days;
  4. The job title, duties and teaching responsibilities must be clearly stated – and/or implied by way of classes listed in the advertisement

When to Contact Us:

  • EB-1b (Outstanding Professor/Researcher)

There is no regulatory deadline for sponsorship in the EB-1b category, therefore NDSU generally will wait to discuss the process after one year of employment.  Because each candidate’s petition is different, our Faculty Immigration Office will discuss NDSU’s eligibility criteria with each applicant and will determine if and/or when we can proceed with an EB-1b petition. 

  • EB-2b (Typically used for ranked faculty positions)

(Temporary and non-ranked faculty positions will not be considered for EB-2b sponsorship)

It is the responsibility of the faculty member to notify our office about their interest in sponsorship for this categoryDue to critical timing with the Department of Labor, our Faculty Immigration Office requires that the steps to initiate EB-2b sponsorship start after employment begins but within 10 months from the date of the offer letter in order to minimize the risk of missing the 18-month regulatory deadline.  Thus, we highly encourage interested faculty members to contact us towards the end of their first semester or end of the Fall semester – whichever is sooner.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Failure to contact our office and/or respond to our question(s) in a timely manner may result in our inability to proceed with a sponsorship case.
  • Departments and employees are not permitted to use personal nor external counsel for NDSU-sponsored petitions.  If the Faculty Immigration Office determines that external counsel is needed for an NDSU-sponsored petition, we will consult with a ND SAAG (Special Appointment Attorney General).
  • NDSU employees are not authorized to sign Form G-28, which would authorize external counsel to represent NDSU.  Any request for a G-28 must be forwarded to the Faculty Immigration Office.  Additionally, NDSU employees are not authorized to sign the I-140 petition, unless instructed to do so by the Faculty Immigration Office.
  • The Faculty Immigration Office reserves the right to decline specific cases/requests and thus recommend that the employee retain their own legal counsel for permanent residency.


Labor Certifications and I-140 petitions for Green Card sponsorship are prepared in-house by the Faculty Immigration Office.  All fees related to the Green Card sponsorship are the responsibility of the employee and must be paid by the employee – except in specific cases where the law requires the employer to pay the legal fee(s).  NDSU departments cannot pay for nor negotiate payment of Green Card fees on behalf of the employee. 

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