What is Permanent Resident Status?
In immigration terms, an individual with Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status is not a U.S. citizen but has acquired the legal right to remain in the United States indefinitely. A permanent resident has similar rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen such as employment, due process, and in some jurisdictions, permission to vote and hold public office (usually at the local level). However, permanent residents cannot vote in federal elections or hold federal elective office. Permanent residents may be restricted from certain federal jobs but otherwise are able to work in any occupation and anywhere in the United States. Synonymous terms for a permanent resident include immigrant, green card holder and resident alien.
Categories of Sponsorship at UC Merced
Under employment-based eligibility, two categories of sponsorship are available to departments and institutes that hire a nonimmigrant employee into a permanent position at UC Merced:
- EB-2 Member of the Professions with an Advanced Degree (Labor Certification)
Primarily reserved for tenure-track teaching faculty positions that were filled by a national competitive recruiting and hiring procedure. The process involves filing a petition with the Department of Labor (DOL) within 18 months of the individual's selection date (date of employment offer in most cases) and usually takes anywhere from nine months to one and a half years or longer for the faculty member to acquire the green card.
- EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher
Used for permanent or tenure-track or tenured faculty positions that were hired without the usual search/recruitment or for qualifying Indian or Chinese nationals who are subject to long wait periods to obtain permanent residency status.
Other LPR Categories
As stated above, UC Merced sponsors only two LPR categories; EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher and EB-2 Member of the Professions with an Advanced Degree. Below is a description of some of the other LPR categories. UC Merced employees interested in applying for an LPR category other than the two mentioned above must either file the applications on their own or hire an immigration attorney. The university cannot advise on these other LPR categories, but detailed information is available through the links below.
- Family-based: Close family relationship to a U.S. citizen or LPR.
- Employment-based: In addition to the categories listed above.
- Refugee or Asylee based: Having a well-founded fear of persecution if one returns to their home country.
- The Diversity Lottery: An annual lottery of select underserved countries.
- Special Acts of Congress: Laws that change or make exceptions to the standard procedures for certain persons or groups of people.
Where To Begin
See more information for UC Merced Departments considering hiring international faculty or researchers.
If you are or will be hired at UC Merced as a faculty or staff member, and are considering permanent resident status, make an appointment with Becky Mirza, the employment-based adviser at 209 355-0913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.