FOR UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS
Campus Permanent Resident Policy
(Updated September 2007)
Missouri State University ("University") will only support a petition for an individual’s permanent residency in limited circumstances. Tenure-track academic positions or positions designated as "permanent", i.e., funded for three years, may be eligible for a University-sponsored petition for legal permanent residency. Before University will sponsor an applicant’s Petition, the Permanent Residency Approval Committee ("PRAC") will review applicant eligibility and processing priority (see #5 below for PRAC membership). Post-doctoral positions and other non-permanent positions; e.g. "visiting" "acting", "interim", etc. are not eligible for University-sponsored permanent residency Petitions. All attorneys’ fees for permanent residency (whether or not sponsored by the University) shall be the responsibility of the individual unless previously discussed and approved by the department, the Dean and the Provost of the University. The Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance (formerly the Office of Equal Opportunity) shall be responsible for overseeing this policy, and any questions should be directed to that office.
- University will sign petitions on behalf of non-immigrants seeking permanent residence only within certain employment-based classifications as defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Before a representative from University will sign the petition, all applicants must be reviewed and approved by the PRAC. Petitioners not approved by PRAC may seek outside legal counsel, but the University will not sign the petition for permanent residency. University’s General Counsel or a private attorney properly engaged to represent the University will review externally processed petitions as required. The role of University is limited to those aspects of document preparation and submission that are directly related to the University's interests and responsibilities as an employer.
- If a faculty member wishes to be considered for university-sponsored permanent residency, he or she must notify the department head and must begin the process on or before the time for recommendation of appointment for a second year of employment. (see the academic work calendar for specific dates) University sponsorship for legal permanent residency is separate and distinct from tenure, and approval by PRAC is not a guaranty of tenure in the future.
- The following categories of University employees may be reviewed for University sponsorship for permanent residence, in order of priority:
- Tenured/tenure-track faculty or researchers who hold or have been offered a permanent* position and qualify for the "Outstanding Professor/Researcher" category as defined by USCIS.
- Tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty or researchers, eligible under USCIS criteria for "members of professions with advanced degrees," provided the individual holds the highest terminal degree appropriate for a permanent* faculty/staff appointment in the field.
- In limited circumstances, University employees possessing academic or non-academic appointments may be considered for University sponsorship after PRAC review and approval.
University will not sponsor permanent resident petitions for "visiting" faculty or staff positions or other temporary positions, such as visiting professors, post doctoral fellows, post doctoral associates, graduate research or teaching assistants, etc. Though it is possible that a post-doctoral fellow or visiting scholar could be employed for a duration of three years, the nature of these appointments is considered temporary employment.
University reserves the right to determine acceptable cases under this category where the long-term services of such an employee are deemed to be in the best interests of the University and would serve to further the University's missions of teaching, research and public service. In addition, there must be assurances of a long-term commitment on the part of both the employing department and the employee.
- The University sponsoring department in consultation with the Dean will adhere to the following guidelines:
- The department will devote the staff time necessary to initiate requests for PR sponsorship by the University. This will include completing certain forms, providing verification statements, letters of support, and other supporting documentation required for the preparation of a permanent residency application.
- The department must pay any filing fees required by federal agencies for all cases approved by PRAC.
- University policies must be followed in regard to recruitment and hiring of any faculty/staff position, including those that may be petitioned for under the employment-based permanent residence policy.
- No University department, unit or individual should promise current or prospective employees that the University would obtain permanent residence on their behalf. The decision to file such a petition must be supported by the appropriate department head in consultation with the Dean and approved by PRAC. The petition process is lengthy, involving up to three government agencies, and the final decision to grant permanent residence must be made by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is never a certainty that permanent residence will be approved, and therefore should not be promised as an enticement.
- A Permanent Residency Approval Committee, composed of the following: Provost or Associate Provost, College Deans, Chancellor of Mountain Grove, Chancellor of West Plains, the Director of Human Resources, Equal Employment Opportunity Office (ex-officio non-voting member) and General Counsel’s Office (ex-officio non-voting member) will review cases, establish institutional PR processing priorities, and determine the appropriateness of cases that have been recommended by a University department. Cases deemed inappropriate for University sponsorship will be returned to the initiating department with a written explanation of the denial.
- A private attorney must not be engaged to represent the University in any nonimmigrant or immigrant petition or application unless approved by the Office of General Counsel and the President in accordance with University policy. Any external employment-based PR petitions shall require review by University’s General Counsel or private attorney hired by the University. Before engaging a private attorney, it is recommended that a foreign national consult with the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance to obtain names of attorneys who have been approved to represent the University. A foreign national is free to retain counsel to obtain his or her own legal advice or representation; however, in order for a private attorney to be able to represent both the foreign national and the University for permanent-residence processing, the attorney must be a University-approved private immigration attorney. The University will not reimburse individuals for legal expenses, whether or not the University has permitted the attorney to also represent the University for purposes of permanent residency processing, unless specifically approved as stated in this policy.
The University Permanent Residency Form is Available online (You need Microsoft Word to view this file)
* Note: "Permanent" is defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a position in which there is no anticipated ending date on the part of both the employer and the employee. In the case of positions that are grant-funded, it is possible to consider them to be permanent provided there is a reasonable expectation that the funding will continue into the foreseeable future. UNIVERSITY defines a "permanent" position, for the purposes of where there is a reasonable expectation that funding is available for at least three years. The term "permanent" should not be construed to suggest future employment without regard to University employment policies and budget considerations.