Overview of Procedures
- Labor Certification (for EB-2 petitions only). PSU files a Labor Certification application with the Department of Labor. See EB-2 (link) for more details.
- I-140 – Petition for an Immigrant Worker. After receiving documentation from the hiring department (EB-2 Special Handling) or the beneficiary (EB-1), the I-140 Petition for an Immigrant Worker is filed by PSU. After the I-140 has been approved by USCIS, PSU’s role in the process is complete.
- I-485 Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident. In the final adjustment of status phase, the scholar must self-petition the USCIS by filing his/her own adjustment paperwork requesting to change from non-immigrant to immigrant status using form I-485. Because this is considered to be the applicant’s own personal petition, PSU may not assist with the process. Applicants may consult a private attorney during this phase of the process if they wish.
Tips for Hiring Departments for Successful Permanent Residence Sponsorship:
Always plan on the possibility that the top candidate in a search may need permanent residence sponsorship and may most easily be sponsored through Labor Certification. To that end, OIA recommends the following:
- Always place a print ad in a journal with national circulation. If your field’s primary journal is now only online, the Chronicle of Higher Education is an acceptable alternative (specify print option).
- Make sure that the position requirements are not described in a manner which inadvertently eliminates the possibility that an applicant who did not have the terminal degree at the time of selection can be sponsored for permanent residence in the event that Labor Certification is needed. See page 6 for more information.
Fees for Permanent Resident Sponsorship
There are two fees connected with permanent residence sponsorship at PSU: external government fees (for the filing of the petition) and an internal PSU charge (for preparing the petition).
- Department of Homeland Security Fee for Filing Form I-140: $475
- Portland State University charge for filing a permanent residence petition: $2600
The administrative fee will be charged at the I-140 immigrant petition stage of the process and must be received before the application will be processed. This fee may be paid by either the department or the scholar (provided the salary meets Department of Labor (DOL) wage requirements). The OIA will determine whether the salary meets DOL requirements.
Fee for Adjusting Status
There are also fees associated with adjusting status to permanent resident. Since the I-485 is a self-petition, this fee must be paid by the petitioner (the person wishing to adjust status).
- Fee for filing the I-485 (filing fee and biometric fee): $1070 per applicant (I-485 application fee is $635 for applicants under age 14 when filed with the I-485 application of at least one parent)
Please note that paying these fees does not guarantee approval of the petition. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the adjudicator of the I-140 and I-485 and makes the final determination about a case’s approvability.
Options to self-petition without PSU sponsorship
There are several employment-based petitions that do not require an employer’s support and are thus considered self-petitions. They may be filed through an outside immigration attorney without need for PSU’s approval or involvement. The outside attorney may only represent the petitioner and his/her dependents and may not represent PSU.
A PSU employee may self-petition (apply to USCIS on his or her own behalf) for permanent residence in the following two employment-based categories, as these categories require neither a job offer nor the signature of any PSU representative:
- EB-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability: In this category, the individual is one who has risen to the top 5% in his/her academic field and must demonstrate this by documenting sustained acclaim and achievements.
- EB-2 Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees — National Interest Waiver. Under the National Interest Waiver, the requirement of a labor certification and the job offer letter are waived if the skills and qualifications of the individual and the services the individual can provide to the US are determined to be in the national interest.
Portland State University is not involved in filing these two types of petitions, nor can a PSU employee (other than the self-petitioner) sign these documents. An individual may choose to hire an immigration attorney to assist in self-petitioning but PSU funds may not be used to pay for self-petitions.