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Idaho State University

Permanent Residency

Permanent Residency is the right to live and work in the United States indefinitely.

Often, people refer to this right as having a "green card." This is because the evidence of having permanent residency was once ownership of a green colored identification card issued by the immigration service.

There are numerous ways to pursue permanent residency. Some of the most commonly utilized routes include:

  • sponsorship by an employer
  • sponsorship by a qualifying family member
  • self petitioning procedures by which applicants prove national interest or exceptional ability
  • seeking asylum
  • the diversity lottery

The University is able to provide employer sponsorship for faculty and high level researchers.

We also recommend the USCIS and U.S. Department of State websites, which contain very helpful information about permanent residency if you are interested in obtaining further information.

Special Handling Category for Permanent Residency

International faculty (including research faculty) who have some classroom teaching responsibilities may be eligible for permanent resident sponsorship under the Special Handling Category.

The special handling category is widely used by most universities and is based on the results of a competitive recruitment in which the foreign national was found to be the best qualified, above any of the U.S. workers who applied for the advertised position.

The sponsoring department must show documentary evidence that a competitive recruitment was done for the position and, in addition, sponsorship must be approved by the chair/dean after which the hiring department has 18 months from the offer letter date to use this option.

The IPO recommends submitting the paperwork at least 12 to 15 months prior to the end of the 18 month window of opportunity.



The advertisement is the cornerstone of the special handling category and it is recommended that a print ad be done as part of the initial search.

This should be done in the event that the institution would like to support the foreign national in the green card process using the 18 month window of opportunity.

When placing advertisements, particular care must be taken to anticipate Department of Labor (DOL) certification requirements. The DOL can require you to re-advertise the position and conduct a second full search, should it deem the advertisement unacceptable.

The advertisement:

  • must state the specific job title and indicate whether the position is tenure track or tenured.
  • should include the words “teaching” or “instruction” in the description of job duties.
  • must quantify any/all prior job experience requirements in “years.” The kind of experience is to be defined.
      • Note: International candidates must meet the experience requirements with experience gained prior to employment at Idaho State University.
  • must state the minimum degree requirement.
  • should avoid vague qualifications such as “must be familiar with” or “knowledgeable of” or “able to” or “interested in.” State job requirements in specific, measurable terms (for example, “must have a record of published research in…”).
  • should take into account that if alternate credentials are listed, the greater of the options is the minimum requirement. “Must be board eligible or certified” means “must be board certified.” Similarly, “must have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree” is interpreted “must have a Ph.D. and M.D. degree.”
  • should include only criteria essential to the position, without listing extraneous preferences. All qualifications listed will be considered required, even if stated as “desired” or “preferred.”
  • should not include excessive or unduly restrictive job requirements.
  • should not state the salary, or salary range, in the advertisement. Do not state that successful candidates must generate their own salary.
  • be published in a national professional journal at least 30 days before the application deadline. Emails and web postings are excellent supplements, but do not substitute for advertisements in national journals. Remember, if the candidate applies for a green card later on, a print ad as part of the original search will be required for the Alien Labor Certification (ALC). Spend the money now to avoid disappointment in the future.
  • must include the Idaho State University Affirmative Action Compliance statement.