Georgia Tech only sponsors individuals for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status when the application is based on permanent, professional employment at Tech. Foreign national employees must meet the qualifications for one of the following categories:
- EB-1 (Employment-based, 1st Preference) Outstanding Professor or Researcher
- EB-2 (Employment-based, 2nd Preference) Advanced Degree Holders With Special Handling for College Teachers
For an overview of permanent residence procedures please review the powerpoint: Processing Immigrant Petitions.
Process and Criteria
Georgia Tech may only file a permanent residency (PR) petition based on employment on behalf of the foreign national employee (FNE). The process must be initiated by the hiring department with iStart. It is critical that the following legal, regulatory and GT requirements are met before any commitments are made to an employee or potential employee:
- For an EB-1 petition, the foreign national employee (FNE) must be able to establish their eligibility as an outstanding Professor or Researcher. The specific criteria for establishing eligibility can be found here.
- An EB-2 petition must be submitted within 18 months from the time of job offer. Therefore, the process must be started before or during the foreign national employee's first semester in the qualifying position. Also, the position must be advertised.
- The department chair or center director must approve the request from the employee or supervisor for sponsorship based on the fact that GT will benefit by this action. This is documented through the completion of a department letter, which should describe how the employee's permanent resident status would benefit GT.
- The department should initiate the permanent residence process via iStart and send the original department letter to Global HR, Office of Human Resources (OHR), GT Mail Code: 0435, for review. OHR will determine which type of PR application, if any, is appropriate.
- OHR will evaluate the foreign national employee’s qualifications and determine whether the employee meets the legal minimum requirements for a first- (EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher) or second-preference (EB-2 Advanced Degree Holder) employment-based petition. OHR will make a recommendation to the Provost or Vice Provost for Research, as appropriate. OHR may not take further action without the written approval of the Provost or Vice Provost.
- State law prohibits Georgia Tech from hiring private attorneys.
- Employees may not hire attorneys to file a PR petition naming GT as the petitioner without express permission from OHR.
- The Director of Global HR or his/her designee is the only authorized signatory for a GT sponsored employment-based permanent residency petition.
- All requests for an exception to the GT policy for employment-based permanent residence must be sent to the Director of Global HR.
- If the department has initiated the permanent residence process for a Foreign National Employee, and the FNE leaves employment at Georgia Tech, the department must promptly notify OHR. This should be done prior to the FNE’s departure, however, if that is not possible, the notification should be no later than 10 days after.