Green Card Sponsorship and Request Process

The University of Michigan will sponsor green card petitions in the first three employment-based preference categories. To initiate a green card petition, a department must submit the request form to FSIS.  FSIS will either file such applications in-house or assign them to retained counsel. The university will not pay for, or reimburse, the costs and fees associated with a green card petition that was not filed by FSIS or assigned to retained counsel by FSIS.

The University of Michigan does not limit green card sponsorship to certain employment classifications (e.g. staff, research faculty) as long as the foreign national can meet the governmental eligibility requirements. However, individual departments, schools, colleges or other units may limit who they will sponsor or what categories of applications they will sponsor. Foreign nationals are not entitled to green card sponsorship. The University also cannot and will not guarantee the outcome of any immigration petition.

The two constant regulatory requirements are that positions for which a green card is sponsored must  be full-time and “permanent.” While tenure-track positions are considered permanent, to qualify for sponsorship, the position does not need to be on the tenure-track. Positions that do not have a specified end date or maximum duration may qualify but many (e.g. Postdoctoral Research Fellows) do not. Positions that are renewed annually may still qualify as long as the intent is that the position will indeed be renewed.

If a unit decides it wants to sponsor a foreign national for a green card, the department is responsible for the associated fees and costs. The total cost of an application depends on the type of application and on whether the petition is filed by the International Center or Retained Counsel.

  • The International Center on the Ann Arbor campus has sole discretion in deciding whether or not a petition is prepared by Retained Counsel.
  • All requests for a green card application must be reviewed by the International Center on the Ann Arbor campus.
  • Only the International Center and retained immigration counsel, as assigned by the International Center, may file immigration petitions on behalf of the University.

The green card request process depends on the type of application that is being considered. Individuals who are interested in pursuing an employment-based application that requires employer sponsorship should contact their departments to determine whether the department is willing to sponsor such an application.

Once a decision has been made to sponsor someone for a green card application, the hiring department should submit the appropriate request/authorization form to the International Center.

If a foreign national is interested in pursuing a green card application that does not require the formal sponsorship of the University, he or she may select the immigration attorney of their choice. However, all costs associated with the work performed by such outside counsel are the responsibility of the applicant, i.e. the foreign national.