U.S. Permanent Residency Sponsorship Guidelines

These sponsorship guidelines serve to assist UMMS Departments who are interested in sponsoring a UMMS employee for U.S. permanent residence. Please note that since the decision to sponsor any employee is based on an institutional need, all requests for UMMS-sponsored U.S. permanent residence must be initiated at the department level, and must be made in conformity with these guidelines. An offer of employment does not guarantee UMMS permanent residency sponsorship.

The information below is taken directly from UMMS policy on U.S. permanent residence sponsorship.

Positions Qualified for SponsorshipProcess for Obtaining Sponsorship Approval - Items to consider when requesting PR sponsorship

Positions Qualified for Sponsorship

UMMS will consider the following appointments as a standard for institutional sponsorship:

  • Tenure or tenure-track faculty members
  • Highly technical positions of a permanent nature or non-tenure faculty positions if the employee has been working full-time at UMMS for a minimum of three years and holds the title of Instructor or higher.

    EXCEPTIONS:
    Any requests for consideration for exceptions to the above will be forwarded to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, or designee, as well as the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance, for review and a recommendation.

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Process for Obtaining Sponsorship Approval

If a Department Chair is in support of a request for sponsorship for an employee, he/she must write a letter of support to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance of the Medical School, who will review the request and verify eligibility.  This letter must be co-signed by the Department Head/Administrator of the respective department, with a copy to the Senior Manager, Compliance and Immigration(fax 508-856-5922). The Chancellor’s office will inform Immigration Services of the final decision or forward the request to HR if policy exception is requested.

The support letter should include the following:

  • Name of employee
  • Job title of employee
  • Length of employment at UMMS
  • Detailed job description
  • Employee’s credentials and experience (Attach CV)
  • Statement of available funding for this position for a minimum of 3 years into the future
  • Confirmation that the department will pay any fees associated with the filing of a labor certification application (advertising or other recruitment, filing costs, etc.), should the sponsoring attorney determine that this is the appropriate method for proceeding. These costs are estimated at $6000 and cannot be passed back to the employee.

    Upon receipt of the approved sponsorship request, Immigration Services will inform the employee of the decision, and provide a list of University of Massachusetts approved attorneys.  

The sponsoring UMMS department is not required to pay attorney fees or fees not related to the filing of the labor certification (see above).  We therefore recommend that the department and employee seeking sponsorship discuss and agree upon who will be responsible for the payment of fees not associated with the labor certification prior to making the request.

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Items to consider when requesting PR sponsorship

  • Careful consideration should be given to an employee’s credentials and experience before a letter is written in support of a permanent residency sponsorship. If the person for whom the support letter is being written does not possess the required minimum education and experience, or that person gained those required minimums through employment at UMMS in the same or substantially similar position to the one for which sponsorship is proposed, the employee may not meet the requirements for the approval of a Labor Certification.
  • The evaluation of credentials and position requirements is completed by a University of Massachusetts Medical School approved attorney. Therefore, the agreement of UMMS to act as a sponsor for permanent residency is not a guarantee of an approval of the application. Prior to the submission of a permanent residency sponsorship support letter, however, departments may consult with Immigration Services in order to confirm eligibility for Institutional Sponsorship. During this consultation Immigration Services may provide to the departments information regarding cost of sponsorship, the application process, and credential requirements.
  • Since the majority of the positions that UMMS will sponsor require the minimum of a Ph.D. degree and some research and teaching experience, it is likely that many of these positions will be eligible for sponsorship in the USCIS category of “Outstanding Researcher or Professor”. Some less experienced faculty and researchers (or other positions that have been approved as exception to policy) may not qualify in this category and will then be subject to additional requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor, which involve the filing of a Labor Certification. The appropriate category will be determined by the UMMS- recommended attorney once the University approves the sponsorship.

Once the sponsorship process has commenced, it is ultimately the responsibility of the sponsored foreign national to ensure that all necessary documentation is forwarded to Immigration Services and/or the designated attorney. The Senior Manager, Compliance and Immigration is the sole designated official eligible to sign any documentation required for filing applications for permanent residence. Hiring departments may not prepare or sign immigration documents or applications for Labor Certification related to permanent resident petitions. Before the Senior Manager, Complaince and Immigration will sign any documents, the job title, job description, stated qualifications, and salary will be reviewed in order to ensure that they are accurate. Any inaccuracies will result in a delay in the approval of the required forms.

Some types of permanent residency applications do not require an offer of employment. Employees (faculty and staff) who wish to submit applications on their own behalf may do so without approval by UMMS. These eligibility categories are titled by the USCIS as “Extraordinary Ability” or “National Interest Waiver”. While UMMS employees may write recommendation letters in support of such applications, they may not sign any U.S. Government forms on behalf of UMMS in relation to these applications. If an employee files an immigrant petition on his/her own behalf, UMMS will not pay or reimburse the costs of the application. 

Unless termination is voluntary or for cause, upon approval of the green card, the sponsored employee should remain employed in the sponsored position for a minimum of six months.

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