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Permanent Residency Sponsorship Requests and Eligibility

The Office of International Student, Faculty & Staff Services (OIS) is the only office with the authority to prepare or facilitate the preparation of Employment-based permanent residency petitions that REQUIRE a job offer. Pursuant to Institutional guidelines and policies, as well as Federal government regulations and requirements, the OIS has the authority to accept or decline the filing of such petitions that require a job offer. There are alternative employment-based petitions that DO NOT REQUIRE a job offer letter or employer sponsorship. With regard to these cases, the foreign national may choose to submit a petition on his/her own and/or with the assistance of an attorney, without any employer sponsor. However, even in these cases that do not require an employer sponsor, it is extremely important that the OIS is aware of the filing as it may have serious implications on the international’s non-immigrant status within the United States. It is the responsibility of the foreign national to notify the OIS prior to filing any immigrant petition.

A designated OIS staff member MUST approve and sign the petition to USCIS for the following preference categories:
  • EB-1(B): Outstanding researchers and professors who are internationally recognized, have had a minimum of three years of experience, and have been offered a tenured, tenure-track, or long-term research position comparable to tenure-track at a university or research institution. No labor certification is required.
  • EB-2: Members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. “Advanced degree” is defined as any academic or professional degree or foreign equivalent above the U.S. baccalaureate. In some cases, a baccalaureate plus five years of appropriate experience can be counted as a master’s degree. A Permanent Labor Certification and a job offer ARE REQUIRED.
  • EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers. Professionals who do not hold advanced degrees, but who hold licenses, certificates, or other professional qualifications. A Permanent Labor Certification and a job offer are REQUIRED. In all instances, use of an outside attorney is required to process the Permanent Labor Certification, as well as preparation and filing of Form I-140. OIS does not perform this service.

As a job offer letter is required to file under any of the above categories, the appropriate permission* and OIS approval must be obtained before any case may be forwarded to an external attorney. Attorney fees incurred are the responsibility of the beneficiary, i.e. the foreign national AND/OR his/her department. Effective July 2007, the employer must pay all associated fees for labor certification and recruitment. These costs cannot be recouped from the foreign national.

The OIS should be informed of an international’s filing in any of the following preference categories, but the OIS is not responsible for signing or approving the petition since no employer sponsor is required. If an employer sponsor is used to add merit to the case, however, and the "Johns Hopkins” will be listed as the petitioner on the Form I-140, then permission* and OIS approval must be obtained before filing.

  • EB-1(A): Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and who will prospectively be of substantial benefit to the United States. No labor certification is required. No job offer is required.
  • EB-2 (National Interest Waiver): Aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business whose presence and activities in the U.S. are in the national interest. A job offer is NOT required and the labor certification is waived.
Permission to initiate a case

Permission to initiate a case for permanent residency varies by School, and sometimes by Department. The following criteria must first be met:

  • Non-faculty employees must hold senior staff positions (Job Classification 4 or above) and have been employed at the JHU, JHH or JHHS in H-1B status for at least two years.
  • Faculty members must hold the rank of Assistant Professor.

After it is established that the international meets the criteria above, contact Jennifer Kerilla in the OIS. In most circumstances, before the international can seek the permission of their School or Department, the OIS will require an in person meeting with the international. In cases where Labor Certification will be necessary, the OIS will also invite the sponsoring Department to participate in a consultative meeting. The international will be advised by the OIS how to secure the appropriate School or Department permission by the OIS.