Permanent Residents

Hiring International Faculty and Researchers

The University of California, Berkeley assumes a considerable responsibility under immigration law when it sponsors international faculty or researchers for permanent resident status. We ask departments to exercise care and use the employment authority of the University to request immigration benefits only when it is consistent with the University’s goals, programs, and standards and within the context of immigration laws.

Categories of Sponsorship at UC Berkeley

Under employment-based eligibility, the two most frequently used categories for permanent residence sponsorship by the University of California, Berkeley are are EB-1-2 Outstanding Professor or Researcher (OPR) and EB-2 Labor Certification.

The Labor Certification process is 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) and usually takes anywhere from nine months to one and a half years or longer for the faculty member to acquire the “green card. The Outstanding Professor or Researcher petition process is used for permanent research positions or for tenure-track or tenured faculty positions that were hired without the usual search. The OPR petition involves a lot of detailed preparation of supporting documents evidencing that the applicant has abundant outstanding academic achievements that have generated international recognition.A

A General Description of the PR Process

To start the process, the the hiring unit will contact Kaetlin Henry (kaetlin@berkeley.edu), Lead Employment Based Advisor in  Berkeley International Office. The PR Initial Information Form and required attachments will be submitted to BIO through ISD. BIO will set up a conference call between her, the hiring unit manager/Department Chair, the employee and a representative of the law firm that the university has retained for the filing of all permanent residency cases on behalf of the university. Once a determination has been made regarding the pathway to permanent residency Campus Shared Services or a Department Representative will assemble a complete package of required materials and forward it to BIO. This will include the IOF payments to BIO for recharge and legal services. BIO will screen and forward the completed package of materials to the law firm. The law firm will then maintain direct communication with BIO, the employee and the hiring unit. All fees leading to the approval of the permanent visa (Form I 140) are the responsibility of the hiring unit.

Information and Forms

The following information materials will assist departments who may or will be hiring international faculty or researchers: