Permanent residency sponsorship is for employees UVM intends to employ indefinitely.


According to UVM policy, only the Provost has the authority to determine whether or not an individual employee will be sponsored by UVM for permanent residency. To avoid misunderstandings arising during the hiring process, no persons associated with the recruitment process should make oral or written representations to any candidate who is a foreign national regarding sponsorship for permanent residence without the advance required approval from the Provost. The University hires its own immigration counsel to manage these cases, so hiring departments also should not make promises about allowing employees to use specific firms or attorneys. In addition, regardless of institutional sponsorship, under no circumstances should the hiring department make any guarantee of permanent resident status: the decision as to whether to grant a petition is solely within the discretion of immigration authorities.

Permanent residency sponsorship is for employees UVM intends to employ indefinitely. UVM will consider tenure-track faculty for permanent residence sponsorship. UVM will also give sponsorship consideration to faculty who have worked full-time at UVM for a minimum of two years in Research Associate or higher rank and whose employment, including funding, is expected to last at least three years at the time the petition is filed.

Exceptions to the two-year waiting period in the research track will be considered based on factors such as the following: length of time individual will continue to remain eligible for H-1B, the extent to which permanent residency is essential for the individuals’ continued employment or receipt of funding and the consequences to the department or unit if the individual is not sponsored prior to the end of the two-year waiting period.

The Provost will consider exempt staff for sponsorship on a case-by-case basis, with substantial weight given to the availability of funding (in the case of non-General Fund positions) and whether UVM could otherwise recruit qualified candidates in the relevant US labor market. UVM will not consider sponsorship of foreign nationals for employment in part-time, temporary, visiting, post-doctoral or term appointments.

Processing and Timeline FAQs

When should a department apply for permanent residency for an employee?

For new tenure-track faculty members, the department should contact OIE within 3 months after the employee's arrival at UVM to ensure that the application can be submitted within 18 months of the date of the offer letter. The employment-based permanent residency process can take one to three years to complete. The permanent residency process should be started no later than the 5th year of H-1B status, after which ongoing work authorization may be difficult to obtain if certain parts of the permanent residency process have not been completed.

What costs are involved in sponsoring an employee for permanent residency?

If sponsorship is approved by the Provost, sponsoring departments are required to pay the cost of employer filing fees ($700) and any special circumstances which require additional fees by outside counsel. Optional expedited processing of  the employment application for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is $2,500. Departments also may choose to pay the adjustment of status fee, which is considered a personal fee, on behalf of the employee ($1,225), as well as the cost of outside counsel preparing that document (~$2,000).

Application Process

All requests for immmigration paperwork should be requested through the OIE's online iStart system. Department iStart instructions.


    Post-Approval Next Steps

    Employees need to have their I-9 re-verified based on their new status and related documentation; this reverification may be done at Human Resource Services or by the Office of International Education. The employee also must provide a copy of their permanent resident card to the Office of International Education (OIE) to close their OIE record and to withdraw their H-1B or other application.


    Still have questions?  Contact us at or 802-656-4296.