UAMS Procedure for Beginning an EB Green Card Case
Applying for employment-based permanent residence is a complex process and requires the assistance of an immigration attorney with particular expertise in the area of permanent residence applications for UAMS employees. Because all applications for permanent residence sponsorship are filed on behalf of UAMS (petitioner) and the employee (beneficiary), the outside attorney who will prepare the actual filings must be selected from the UAMS Approved Immigration Attorney List and confirmed by the departmental hiring official. Note: Colleges and/or departments may have internal policies pertaining to sponsorship, so employees seeking an employer-sponsored application should first consult their hiring official regarding eligibility.
While employees may retain their own immigration counsel (at their expense) if they choose, they are required to use a law firm approved by the UAMS Immigration Services Office if they wish to apply for permanent residence based on their employment at UAMS.
Depending on the category of EB process, the hiring department may be required by federal regulation to pay for certain steps. For example, in an EB-2 PERM process, the hiring department must pay for all attorney fees and recruitment costs associated with the first step, the recruitment and PERM Labor Certification, which is often $2500-5000, depending on the law firm. The department may choose to pay additional fees, if desired.
In order to begin a green card process with an approved law firm, the hiring department must email the Immigration Services Manager with the information below. The Immigration Services Manager will then initiate the case with the chosen law firm.
“The Department of ___________________________ would like to sponsor __________ (employee’s name) for employer-based permanent residency. We would like to use ___________________(approved law firm name) for this case. All legal fees and filing fees for the case will be paid as follows: _______________________ (department/employee/shared cost – must provide breakdown if cost will be shared).”