International hires may be eligible for green card sponsorship through PERM Labor Certification.  For faculty positions, departments will need to document that the foreign national was the best qualified applicant for the position, and the PERM Labor Certification application must be filed within 18 months of the offer of employment.  OISS can assist with this process.  Please use this PERM Checklist and consult with OISS (longtermvisa@sa.ucsb.edu) to plan for obtaining employment permission for the position.  It will likely be necessary for the employee to utilize the H-1B visa while awaiting the lengthy green card process. Please refer to the chart below for an overview of the green card process and timelines. 


For any other full-time career position, departments will need to show that the foreign national was the only applicant who met the minimum requirements for the position.  For these positions, the PERM Labor Certification must be filed within six months of when the first advertisement was placed.  Departments should consult with OISS about obtaining a referral to UCSB's external immigration counsel for directing the recruitment and processing the PERM Labor Certification.

PERM Labor Certification/Green Card Process for Faculty Hires

Step 1: Department works with OISS to prepare PERM documentation

  • Certified Prevailing wage obtained from Department of Labor (4 months)

  • Department posts NAAC notices on web and in 2 department locations (32 days)

  • Department prepares template letter and retrieves Search Report materials

Step 2: PERM Labor Certification application is submitted to Department of Labor

  • OISS will prepare draft for employee/department review, then submit

  • DOL approval will take 5-8 months

  • Approved PERM will be valid for 6 months

  • PERM application must be submitted to DOL within 18 months of the offer date

Step 3: I-140 is filed with USCIS

  • Filing fee is $700

  • USCIS processing time: 5-8 months or 15 days (premium processing, additional $2500)

Step 4: Employee files I-485 (green card) application with USCIS

  • Separate I-485 filed for employee and any dependent(s)- $1225 filing fee each

  • USCIS processing time: 4-12 months

  • May be subject to USCIS "backlog" based on home country limits (India/China)