EB-2 PERM as University Professor

This type of application is ideal for a new faculty member with limited professional experience who might not yet qualify for EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Research Category. This path to a green card, also known as PERM Special Handling, permits Montclair State University to file a labor certification application based on the results of a recruitment search and hiring that has already taken place.

NOTE: The Department of Labor (DOL) requires retaining all applications, files, correspondence and search documentation for 5 years from the date on the offer letter in the event of a DOL audit.


To qualify for processing of an EB-2 Special Handling (PERM) as University Professor at Montclair State University, the case must meet the following criteria:

  • The position must be a tenure-track faculty position
  • The position must include some teaching duties
  • The job ad for the position must have been posted in a print national journal such as The Chronicle of Higher Education.  DOL requires entire original and web/internet or other notices showing date posted and date removed. 
  • The print journal ad must include at least the following information: job title, duties, and requirements for the position. Job duties can be described generically, e.g., "teaching and research in Sociology," but advertisements must be very specific in stating that academic or professional degree required.
  • The faculty hired for the position must have met the minimum requirements including the degree required by the date on the initial offer letter. However, if the print ad specifies that the degree required for the position must be attained by the date of appointment, then the faculty member must have had the required degree by the first day of the academic year - usually September 1.
  • Labor Certification must be filed within 18 months of the applicant having been selected. DOL starts counting the 18 months from the date of the initial offer letter, not the beginning date of employment.


1. IS files a request for Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) electronically.

Application process requires a wage determination from the Department of Labor (DOL).  This takes approximately 6 weeks.

2. IS files Labor Certification (PERM: Form ETA- 9089).

The Department of Labor (DOL) examines the application for Labor Certification to ensure that the U.S. work force is protected:  that qualified U.S. workers have been given the opportunity to apply for the position, that the individual hired is more qualified than all of the U.S. workers who applied, and that the wage being offered meets the prevailing wage for the particular occupation. It is essential that the foreign scholar have all of the minimum requirements as stated in the advertisement and on the Labor Certification application prior to being offered the position. Prior experience in the same or a similar position at MSU cannot count toward meeting the minimum requirements. Prior experience with the same employer is only acceptable if the positions are clearly different.

The provision of the law permits Montclair State University to file a labor certification application based on the results of a recruitment search and hiring that has already taken place.  Extensive documentation of the recruitment process must be gathered and retained for five years from the date of filing the ETA-9089.  An application for Labor Certification alone to the DOL should take anywhere from 45-365 days, unless the application is selected for audit.

The date on which the application is filed with the DOL is established as a “priority date” for the international employee, which will be important later in determining how long the final step of the permanent residence process will take.  Once the DOL certifies an ETA 9089 and returns it to the employer, the employer must immediately sign the application and submit it in support of an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) filed with the USCIS.

3. IS files a petition for employment-based immigration (I-140) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Through Form I-140 and supporting documents, the employer must prove that the beneficiary is qualified for the job as advertised. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) evaluates the applicant’s qualifications for the specific preference category for which the University is applying.

4. IS files an application for adjustment of status (I-485) when priority date is current.

Finally, after the I-140 is approved, the beneficiary must apply for adjustment of status for lawful permanent residence, either with the USCIS, or at a U.S. Consulate overseas.  The current priority dates can be found on the USCIS visa bulletin.


The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) charges the following processing fees for lawful permanent resident applications:

  • $580 for I-140 fee paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (paid by the department)
  • $1070 for I-485 fee paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”  (paid by the applicant)
  • Additional I-485 fee for dependents (paid by the applicant).  Visit http://www.uscis.gov/
  • Form I-765: no additional fee if filed with I-485
  • Form I-131: no additional fee if filed with I-485

Tips for Hiring Departments

  • During initial hiring interviews ask the applicant, “Do you need sponsorship?” and make a written note. Please note that MSU provides H-1B sponsorship to employees; it is not lawful to reject an applicant based on their need for sponsorship.
  • Keep all recruiting documents: print/website ads, applicant tracking sheet, copies of CVs for at least 5 years.

Items Required from Hiring Department

  • $580 for I-140 fee paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. Pursuant to the regulations, this fee MUST be paid by the department - Sample Invoice for Green Card Fees
  • FedEx account #
  • Name of department contact and phone extension #
  • Employment Verification Letter
  • All advertisements for position: original journals and web postings with dates
  • CVs of all applicants in connection with the search
  • Applicant Tracking Sheet listing all applicants' name, address, date of interview, and reason of rejection
  • Copy of initial tenure-track offer letter to international faculty person (including any amended offers)
  • Final report of the committee making the recommendation by way of Affirmative Action Report
  • Assuming the position is covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, a copy of page of the union salary schedule that was current at the time the alien began employment, with the alien’s starting salary highlighted

Items Required from Faculty Member

Click here for a comprehensive list.

Submit all documents to:

Victoria Donoghue, Director of International Services, Montclair State University, 22 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043, phone: 973-655-6862, fax: 973-655-7726, donoghuev@mail.montclair.edu