Permanent Residents

Hiring International Faculty and Researchers

All ladder-rank international faculty employed by UC Berkeley need permanent residency status to continue their employment on a permanent basis.

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.

EB-2 Labor Certification: The EB-2 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 approximately one and a half years for the faculty member to acquire the “green card." In the event of an audit by Department of Labor the process may take longer.

EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher: 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, or in cases in which the Labor Certification Application process has long wait times (currently those born in China, India). 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 General Description of the PR Process

To start the process, the employing department will contact Rajan Eapen at, Assistant Director for Employment Based Services at Berkeley International Office (BIO). The PR Initial Information Form and required attachments will be submitted to BIO. BIO will set up a conference call between BIO, the employing department 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, the employing department will provide the IOF payments to BIO for recharge and legal services. The law firm will then maintain direct communication with BIO, the employee and the employing department . All fees leading to the approval of the Immigrant Petition (Form I-140) are the responsibility of the employing department.

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. 

Information and Forms

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