Immigrant Status for International Faculty Members and Researchers

The ISSS office at CU-Boulder assists departments in obtaining green cards (permanent residency status) through employment-based immigration for their international hires if they are hired into permanent positions. Permanent positions are defined as those in a tenure or tenure-track stream, or a permanent research position (i.e., long term and indefinite).

NOTE: ISSS cannot file for permanent residency petitions for those in postdoctoral positions, since these positions are not considered permanent. 

All green card petitions based on employment at CU-Boulder must be filed by ISSS. The chancellor has made the decision that all labor certification applications and immigrant petitions filed by University of Colorado Boulder must be processed through ISSS and submitted by that office. See the chancellor’s memo

Colorado State Job Service and the U.S. Department of Labor will not process Boulder campus labor certification applications filed by any other office or individual. Special care should be exercised in the use of private attorneys. While it is always possible and permissible for an alien to retain an attorney, that attorney cannot represent the university’s interests without the express permission of university counsel.

In applying for immigrant status for a prospective international faculty member or researcher, the university undertakes a considerable responsibility under immigration laws. Departments must exercise care to use the employment authority of the university to obtain immigration benefits for aliens only when it is consistent with the university's goals, programs, and standards and within the intent of immigration law. 

NOTE: Departments and sponsoring faculty members should be aware that the penalty for knowingly providing false information in an immigration application is a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to five years (Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1001). This is why ISSS must insist on receiving careful and complete documentation of every application they file for immigration benefits.

The following pages will assist those who may be hiring international faculty:

  1. Things to Consider When Recruiting If Departments Expect International Candidates in their Applicant Pool
  2. Routes to Permanent Residency

U.S. immigration law emphasizes protecting jobs for U.S. workers and makes it extremely difficult to bring international workers to the United States, even if they are highly qualified and badly needed. ISSS is available to help with any problems related to immigration matters. We can’t change the law or regulations, but we do make it our business to know the law and regulations so that we can be of maximum assistance to departments. The university has made a commitment to this kind of in-house processing of these complex applications because we value the presence of people from other countries on campus and we wish to assist faculty in finding the best person for the job.