Permanent Resident Policy

G7.05 Permanent Resident Policy

Missouri State University (“University”) will only support an employee’s petition for 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 the university will sponsor an applicant’s Petition, the Director of International Services will direct the applicant’s department head to outside immigration counsel to review the application. Postdoctoral positions and other non-permanent positions (e.g., “visiting”, “acting”, “interim”, etc.) are not eligible for university-sponsored permanent residency Petitions.

Following initial review by outside counsel, the application will be provided to the Permanent Residency Approval Committee (“PRAC”) for determination as to whether the university will sponsor the applicant’s Petition. If approved by PRAC, all attorneys’ fees for permanent residency shall be the responsibility of the applicant’s department.

As a general rule, the University does not support visa or permanent residency applications for non-faculty staff employees. In rare circumstances, an exception to this general rule may be granted if the department requests, and receives, permission from PRAC to provide permanent residency sponsorship. The decision as to whether to grant an exception for a staff position rests solely with the discretion of PRAC, provided that no exception will be granted unless and until outside immigration counsel has evaluated the circumstances underlying the request, and opined that that a permanent residency application for the staff position at issue is likely to be successful.

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”). Petitioners not approved by PRAC may seek outside legal counsel, but the university will not sign the petition for permanent residency.

University sponsorship for legal permanent residency is separate and distinct from tenure, and approval by PRAC is not a guaranty of tenure, or even continued employment, in the future.

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.

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.

PRAC is composed of the following voting members: Provost or designee, General Counsel or designee, and Vice President for Community and Global Partnerships or designee. The Director of International Services shall serve as the facilitator and is a non-voting member of the committee.

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.

* Note: "Permanent" is defined by 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.

Effective date

Approved by Board of Governors:  October 20, 2023