Obtaining permanent residency in the United States is a matter of eligibility and availability of visas. In general, there are four ways a person can be eligible for permanent residency:

1. Family Members of U.S. Citizens of Permanent Residents

2. Employment based

3. Visa Lottery (run by the U.S. Department of State)

4. Humanitarian reasons (refugees, asylees, etc.)

At CU Boulder, ISSS will file for permanent residency on behalf of departments who have a permanent position for the international hire under the employment-based criteria, and if the department has a permanent position for the employee (tenured, tenure track, or for research positions, long term and indefinite.)

If you are interested in pursuing permanent residency for one of your international hires, we will also need a memo from the chair of the department verifying that the job is, indeed, permanent. See a sample memo.

We suggest that you set up an appointment with an advisor in ISSS and your international hire (if your hire is already here). We can then determine the best route to take in filing a permanent residency petition.

Under the employment-based criteria, ISSS will use one of the following avenues to obtain permanent residency for your hire:

1. Outstanding Professor/Researcher

2. Special Handling Labor Certification for those with teaching components in their positions

3. Basic Labor Certification for those with no teaching components in their positions

We remind departments that the Chancellor has made the decision that all labor certification applications and immigrant petitions filed by the Boulder campus must be processed through the International Student and Scholar Services office.