Scholars may have the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents through the employment-based immigration system. There are five employment-based immigration categories.  Only the first three categories are designed for academic settings:

  • EB-1: Individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers.
  • EB-2: Members of the professions holding advanced degrees; persons of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business; and persons who obtain national interest waivers of need for labor certification.
  • EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.

Scholars may "self-petition" for lawful permanent residence in the EB-1 "extraordinary ability" category and in the EB-2 "national interest waiver" category. To qualify for lawful permanent residence in the other EB-2 and EB-3 categories, the University typically must first sponsor the scholar for labor certification (also known as a "PERM"), which is a process administered by the Department of Labor.  The PERM process requires an offer of permanent, full-time employment from a U.S. employer.

Employment-based permanent residence applications sponsored by UMSL (in any of the above-referenced categories) must be filed by a UM System-approved law firm. The HR Coordinator for Immigration will facilitate this process. The HR Coordinator for Immigration is Ms. Lauren Reedy,

PERM labor certification applications for teaching faculty members are typically filed within 18 months of the job offer letter. If the department plans to file for permanent residency, please contact the HR Coordinator for Immigration during the faculty member’s first semester of teaching for assistance.  In accordance with regulatory requirements, UMSL will pay all costs associated with the PERM labor certification process. If that cost exceeds $5,000, then the scholar must pay all costs associated with the I-140 petition and the I-485 application to adjust status. If the cost of the labor certification has not exceeded $5,000, the University will pay 50% of any additional costs associated with the I-140 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, up to a maximum contribution of $5,000. With respect to other types of lawful permanent residence applications (such as an "outstanding professor or researcher" I-140 immigrant visa petition and the associated I-485 application to adjust status), the University will pay 50% of the cost, up to a total of $5,000 for the permanent residency application.[1]


[1] This policy is effective as of May, 25, 2022 and does not alter agreements existing prior to that date.