The Permanent Residence Process: Getting a Green Card
Foreign national employees often wish to pursue Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR), or a “green card.” LPR status allows you to live and work permanently in the United States, as opposed to renewing a non-immigrant visa status every few years. LPR status also allows you to work for any employer in the U.S. The steps you must take to apply for a Green Card will vary depending on your individual situation. Below is information specifically about Employment-Based permanent residence processes. For information about other categories, such as family-sponsored or marriage-based green cards, visit the USCIS website.
Employment-Based Permanent Residence “Greencard” Sponsorship
Employment-based (or EB) permanent residence requires a permanent employment position, such as faculty or staff, and an employer who is willing to sponsor you for this process. The (EB) categories of permanent residence include:
- First preference (EB-1)– priority workers
- Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (EB-1-1);
- Outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1-2); or
- Certain multinational managers and executives (EB-1-3).
- Second preference (EB-2)– foreign nationals who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or who have exceptional ability. This category includes EB-2 with a PERM Labor Certification, and requests for national interest waivers (NIW).
- Third preference (EB-3)– skilled workers, professionals, or other workers.
The most common type of EB process sponsored at UAMS is EB-2 PERM, followed by EB-1-2, for Outstanding Professors and Researchers. Please note that category eligibility must be determined by an approved immigration law firm prior to beginning the process.