Permanent Residency Sponsorship

Permanent residency, sometimes also referred to as "green card", permits a foreign national to reside and work in the United States permanently. Several avenues exist through which one may become a permanent resident, one of them being sponsored employment. When an employer sponsors an individual for permanent residency, the employer agrees to employ the individual in a permanent position and to file the petition to the federal government on behalf of the individual.

Definition of "Sponsorship"

For purposes of this policy, "sponsorship" constitutes an agreement by the employer (i.e. the university) to engage the state-appointed attorney to file an application for Labor Certification and permanent residency on its behalf with the employee as the beneficiary. Sponsorship does not imply any financial agreement with regard to the above matters, with the exception of the costs associated with Labor Certification, which the university is required to pay.

Note: William & Mary does not itself file petitions for permanent residency on behalf of its employees; however, the Reves Center for International Studies can authorize the state-appointed immigration attorney to do so, provided that the position meets certain criteria:

  • Permanent teaching faculty appointment (e.g Tenure eligible) 
  • Permanent research appointment that requires a master's or higher
  • Permanent profesional/professional faculty appointment that requires a master's or higher
Payment of Costs and Fees

Costs of Labor Certification are billed directly to the university. All other costs outside the Labor Certification application are the responsibility of the sponsored employee and are direct billed by the attorney to him/her. The hiring unit may agree to reimburse a sponsored employee for permanent residency related costs outside the Labor Certification application. When state funds are used for the reimbursement of attorney fees, they are subject to a cap of $5000. An outline of estimated costs can be found on the Permanent Residency Financial Agreement (pdf).