Permanent Residency Petitions

Clemson University is pleased to welcome an increasing number of international faculty, staff and students on campus. The Office of Global Engagement (OGE) assists Clemson's research and education community by coordinating and submitting nonimmigrant worker's visa petitions, e.g. H1-B, E-3, O-1, TN, B1/B2/WB and immigrant petitions such as Permanent Resident Petitions .

Our focus is to prepare and file required documents with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of hired faculty or staff, and to maintain the required documentation in our records.

OGE counsels and advises foreign national employees of Clemson on federal regulations and procedures related to their US immigration status. Please visit LPR Policy page for Clemson University sponsorship information. We also assist the international employee's family to obtain and maintain legal immigration status in the US.

  • Legal Permanent Residency (LPR)

    Clemson University welcomes the contributions of scholars from all over the world in carrying out its mission. Employer-sponsored applications for permanent residency help assure the continuing involvement of the foreign national in the life of the university. Below is a general outline of Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR) definition, types and process for obtaining it. For information about Clemson University’s sponsorship, including a request for an initial case review for certain full-time employees of Clemson University, please complete Clemson University Application for Permanent Residency and submit it to The Office of Global Engagement

    What is Permanent Residency (PR)?

    • A Permanent Resident of the United States is a person who has the right to live and work in the US indefinitely
    • Permanent Residency status is considered to be an immigrant status, as opposed to an F-1 student, a J-1 scholar or an H1-B temporary worker who are in the United States in nonimmigrant status on a temporary basis.
    • A Permanent Resident status is different from a United States citizenship status, since permanent residents remain nationals of their home country and may not vote or hold elected office in the United States.

    Ways to acquire Permanent Residence status

    There are five basic ways to pursue PR status in the United States:

    The most frequently used paths to Permanent Residency are the Family and Employment Based PR applications.

  • Employment Based PR

    This category is generally reserved to employees with an offer of permanent employment and evidence that there are no qualified US workers for the position. Most categories require the filing of a Labor Certification Application , but some do not. For more information about the different employment-based categories, click here.

    As a general rule, Clemson University will use one of the following methods to sponsor its employees:

    1. Employment Based 1 Priority Workers

    Does not require the filing of a Labor Certification

    Outstanding Professor / Researcher (Clemson University sponsored)

    Requirements :

    - Have an offer of employment for a tenure or tenure-track position. The USCIS defines a “permanent” position as one that is either “tenure or tenure track, or for a term of indefinite or unlimited duration, and in which the employee will ordinarily have an expectation of continued employment unless there is good cause for termination.” Visiting Faculty, Lecturers, employee-in-training appointments and Research Fellows are not considered permanent.

    - Demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field.

    - Have more than 3 years’ experience in teaching and/or postdoctoral research in that academic field.

    - Have a strong record of publications

    - Be the recipient of prizes, awards and other recognition.

    Supporting documents:

    At least 2 of the following documents:

    - Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement

    - Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement

    - Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field.

    - Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field

    - Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field.

    - Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field

    To apply for a Clemson University sponsored Outstanding Professor / Researcher, Click here .

    2. Employment Based 2 Advanced Degree Professionals and Aliens of Exceptional Ability (Clemson University sponsored)

     Optional Special Selection and Recruitment

    This option is reserved to teaching faculty. It was created to ease the labor certification process and the “better qualified” standard is the goal of the recruitment.

    Requirements :

    1. The application must be filed within 18 months of the selection

    2. The position must include actual classroom teaching

    3. Clemson must show that the employee was recruited because s/he was more qualified than any other U.S. worker who applied for the position

    Supporting Documents:

    4. Copy of the Print ad

    5. Recruitment report

    To apply for a Clemson University sponsored Optional Special Selection and Recruitment, Click here

    Permanent Alien Labor Certification for Advanced Degree Holders

    For those who do not qualify as Outstanding Professor/Researchers or Optional Special Selection and Recruitment)


    Applicants must have an advanced degree (Ph.D., Master’s, a baccalaureate plus 5 years progressive work experience in the field).

     3 Steps:

    1st step: Labor Certification Application filed with the Department of Labor (DOL). The purpose of the labor certification application is to demonstrate that the foreign national employee was selected through a competitive recruitment and selection process and no able, willing or qualified US workers was found for the position. This step is not necessary for an application filed under the Outstanding Professor/Researcher, Extraordinary Ability or National-Interest Waiver categories.

    Please Note: Under the new DOL regulation, the employer must pay all costs associated with the preparation and filing of the labor certification. An employer may not be paid or reimbursed for any fee incurred in the preparation and filing of the labor certification.

    2nd step: The Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker is filed. The approved Labor Certification Application supporting the I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker must be filed within 180 days of approval or it will expire

    3rd step: Application for Adjustment of Status : This is the filing of the actual “Green Card” application. The foreign national employee is responsible for the last step of this process and will use an attorney of his/her choice.

    To apply for a Clemson University sponsored Permanent Alien Labor Certification for Advanced Degree Holders, Click here

  • Self-Sponsored Applications

    EB-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability

    The applicant must be able to establish extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustain national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is needed and the Permanent Alien Labor Certification is waived. Employees interested in applying for this status can use an attorney of their choice.

    EB-2 national Interest Waiver

    An alien can apply for a green can based on the EB-2 national Interest Waiver if s/he can establish that his/her admission would be in the national interest of the United States. In this case, no offer of employment is needed and the Permanent Alien Labor Certification is waived. Employees interested in applying for this status can use an attorney of their choice.

  • Clemson University Policy Guidelines (Revised November 2015)

    Clemson University utilizes outside legal counsel to advise the University with the process of sponsoring our foreign national employees for Legal Permanent Resident Status in the US. To be in compliance with Federal Regulations, the sponsoring department is required to pay legal and filing fees under most circumstances. Please see our Fee Schedule for more information.

    Fee Schedule

    Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty: For tenured and tenure-track international faculty, the hiring department will provide up to $5,000.00 to support the permanent residency application process. Only one of the immigration attorney(s) designated by Clemson University and approved by the South Carolina Attorney General's office can be used for this purpose. A list of University approved attorneys can be found below.

    Non-Tenured and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: For non-tenured or non-tenure-track faculty positions, there is no expectation that the hiring department will pay legal fees. The department may choose to offer a taxable bonus up to $5,000.00 to be paid to the faculty member, minus the costs associated with preparing and filing the Permanent Labor Certification Application, to help defray costs associated with the process. If the hiring department pays for any portion of the permanent residency process, an attorney designated by Clemson University must be used.

    Self-Sponsoring Applications: If an employee is paying all costs associated with the permanent residency application process (labor certification not required), Clemson University may or may not pay any fees associated with the process. Any arrangements will be made between the department and the employee.

    Payment of Legal Fees by Clemson University: If an attorney designated by Clemson University must be used, the attorney will invoice the University through the General Counsel's Office and the Office of Global Engagement will invoice the hiring department and make payment to the attorney. The department must fill out Form IS-450 and submit it to the Office of Global Engagement before any payments will be approved.

  • Authorized Immigration Lawyers

    If a payment from Clemson University is involved, the hiring department must use one of the following immigration attorneys approved by the South Carolina Attorney General's Office to represent Clemson University in immigration cases.

    In alphabetical order:

     Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.

     Lawrence J. Needle, P.A. | South Carolina Immigration Lawyer

    With over 20 years of experience in the immigration field, Larry Needle handles employment and family based cases for hospitals, universities, international corporations, investors, and state agencies, as well as small and large companies. Offers prompt and individualized attention to clients. Offices in Columbia, SC and Charleston, SC

     Weinstock Immigration Lawyers

    Led by Karen Weinstock, one of the top immigration lawyers in the nation, selected to Best Lawyers in America since 2010. Weinstock Immigration Lawyers has worked with Clemson University since 2010 and obtained approvals in 100% of Clemson cases. This firm’s diverse international team speaks Spanish, French, Romanian, Farsi & Hebrew. Offices in Atlanta, GA

  • Recommended Deadlines and Processing Times

    The process is often lengthy and complex. Please contact our office as soon as you know you will hire a foreign national so that we can provide you with the necessary guidance. 

    H-1B, E-3, and O-1

    7 months prior to the employment start date, but no less than 3 months before the employee’s status expires if the employee is in the US.

    Note : Premium Processing Fee expedites only H-1B processing at USCIS. The preparation of the petition prior to its filing in addition the mailing it to the USCIS adds to the wait period. If the beneficiary is abroad, there will be an additional wait period to consider.

    Permanent Residency

    PERM Special Recruitment Cases for Teaching Faculty

    Between 1 day and 14 months after job offer is extended

    See USCIS Processing Dates

  • Other Important Information

    Signature Authority: The Office of Global Engagement office is the only Clemson University office authorized to sign any immigration documents on behalf of Clemson University.

    Reporting change of status from nonimmigrant to permanent resident or from permanent resident to US Citizen

    1. Contact the Office of International Employment to show your original permanent resident card and to complete a new I-9 form.

    2. Send a copy of your permanent resident card to the Office of International Service in order to have your record updated.


    Faculty and Staff Advising

    Appointments are required for faculty and staff advising services

    Individual advising for H1-B, E-3, O-1, TN and other employment based visas issues

    Individual advising for permanent resident issues


    We are hiring a Foreign National - Please contact Office of Global Engagement to have your case reviewed.

    Visa Type Explanation

    B-1/ B-2 or Visa Waiver Honorarium – Stay is less than 9 days / Foreign National must have a SSN or an ITIN

    F-1 / OPT

    The USCIS can issue an Employment Authorization Document / Optional Practical Training (OPT) to an international student in F-1 status (OPT) to be used during a degree program or after the completion of course requirements.

    H1-B Nonimmigrant visa allowing departments to temporarily employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations. H1-B petitions take 6 to 8 months to be processed.

    O-1 Individuals with extraordinary ability who have received national and international acclaim.

    TN (Canada & Mexico) Certain individuals from Canada or Mexico can work on a TN visa.

    E-3 Certain specialty occupation for professionals from Australia

    J-1 Non-immigrant visa issued to research scholars, professors and exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange.