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UC Merced International

Eligibility for PR status

EB-2 Special Handling PERM for College/ University Teachers:

This is the main employment-based preference category that OIA uses to sponsor individuals for Permanent Residence. It is particularly useful for sponsoring faculty whom have been hired recently, provided that the department can document that a competitive search (that meets Department of Labor stipulations) has been conducted, and that a Labor Certification has been obtained by OIA.

Labor Certification is a determination by the US Department of Labor that no U.S. worker is able, willing, and qualified for the position. An important exception known as “Special Handling” is available for college and university teacher positions requiring classroom teaching and enables the employer to select the most qualified individual, even when there are qualified U.S. workers.

In order to take advantage of the EB-2 Special Handling exception, the employer must demonstrate that the following conditions were met:

  • An ad was placed in a national professional journal;
  • The employer conducted a competitive recruitment;
  • Specific job-related reasons why US workers were not selected must be provided.
  • The candidate must have met the stated minimum qualifications for the position at the time of selection.

Eligibility Criteria for EB-2 Special Handling:

  • Beneficiary must possess a master’s degree or higher
  • Tenure-track position that requires teaching as part of the assignment
  • The placement of an ad in a national professional journal during the recruiting process (an electornic ad in a national professional journal is sufficient as long as it was posted for at least 30 calendar days and there is evidence of the start and end date of the advertisement).
  • A thoroughly documented search that indicates that the individual selected was the best qualified applicant for the position
  • The Labor Certification application must be filed within 18 months of the date of months from the date the hiring committee submitted a formal recommendation (Proposal for Appointment)

EB-1 Outstanding Researcher/ Professor:

This category is sometimes used to sponsor legal permanent residency (LPR) for qualifying faculty from certain countries (e.g. India or China) who are often subject to long wait times for a 'green card' under the EB-2 category or for faculty that were hired without the usual search

Process Overview:

  • The hiring department places an ad in a national professional journal and conducts a competitive search.
  • The hiring department provides OIA documentation of the recruitment and selection process along with the required PR Request Documents
  • OIA files a Labor Certification application with the Department of Labor
  • Once the Labor Certification has been certified, OIA files Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
  • Once petition I-140 is approved, OIA will file Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status.
  • Foreign national receives Green Card once Form I-485 is approved.


Requirements of Regular PERM (for non-faculty or staff titles)

Permanent Residency for non-faculty titles are done at UC Merced only by exception by the Provost. Following is a brief description of requirements for sponsoring PR status for regular PERM.

  • Unlike Special Handling, any applicant who applies for the position who is minimally qualified must be considered for the position.
  • The selected foreign national must be the best candidate among all the applicants.
  • Any applicant who is seemingly qualified on the face of the resume must be considered.
  • Requires much more in the way of recruitment and has strict guidelines. A regular PERM has certain mandatory advertising/ recruitment methods which includes:
    • Two Sunday newspaper advetisements in newspaper of general circulation in the area or one in the Sunday paper and in a professional journal
    • Job order filed with EDD job bank for 30 days
    • Advertising/ Recruitment in at least three out of the following which would be most appropriate for type of job and type of employer:
      • Employer website
      • Job fair
      • Other job search websites
      • On campus recruting - presumably elsewhere
      • Private employment firm
      • Employer referral program with incentives
      • Campus placement office - presumably elsewhere
      • Local or ethnic newspaper,
      • TV/ radio advertisement
  • Salary must be at or above prevailing wage.
  • Any applicant who is seemingly qualified on the face of the resume must be interviewed.A detailed recruitment report must be maintained setting forth the job related reason why other applicants were not chosen for the position.


UC Merced retains an outside attorney to assist with permanent resident cases. OIA in collaboration with the attorney will provide counseling in determining strategy for a case; review documents prepared by the attorney; ensure compliance with UC Merced’s policy, procedure, and format; obtain university signatures; and provide status reports.

For information about UC Merced's sponsorship for permanent resident status, please contact Becky Mirza at 209 355-0913 or by email to initiate the process.