UAB (and HSF) routinely sponsor qualifying researchers, faculty, and clinical faculty for permanent residence. Depending on your CV, whether you have a tenure-track offer, and the department’s needs, you could be sponsored in either the EB-1B or EB-2/3 PERM category. Conversations about sponsorship are initially held between ISSS and the sponsoring department, and ISSS will not move forward without email confirmation of departmental support for permanent residence. ISSS and the department will discuss the timing and category and determine a permanent residence strategy based on institutional need and workload.

The extensive information presented here has been developed over years of experience, is tailored to UAB/HSF processes, and will answer the vast majority of common questions. If you still have questions after reviewing this page, please drop in to ISSS "office hours" on Zoom, held every Tuesday from 3-5 PM. During that time, the Director will answer specific questions about the permanent residence process that are not answered elsewhere on this page. The link to Zoom office hours is listed in the weekly Globetrotter e-newsletter sent to all H-1B employees. Check your UAB/UABMC email. The Director admits Zoom participants one at a time, so no one else will be present during your particular discussion.

Note About ISSS 'Season'

ISSS processes permanent residence sponsorship requests in the order received and prioritizes requests for employees with the fewest years left in H-1B status. ISSS cannot proceed with permanent residence sponsorship without written (email) support from your supervisor. Generally, ISSS focuses exclusively on H-1B petitions from February through July and files prevailing wage requests to support EB-2 PERMs after the Department of Labor publishes its new wages every July 1. If you have questions, please review the extensive information below FIRST, then attend ISSS Office Hours with the Director any Tuesday on Zoom between 3-5 PM. The link is provided in the weekly Globetrotter e-newsletter.

Which employment-based route is possible for me?

Non-Clinical Faculty, Scientist ladder, Researcher IV and V, and certain IT professionals

Individuals in these job roles can qualify for either the EB-1B or EB PERM routes depending on experience and achievement. EB-1B status is available to outstanding professors and researchers. If you satisfy the evidentiary requirements for EB-1B sponsorship, you can bypass the lengthy PERM labor certification process and-depending on your country of citizenship-you could be eligible to file your personal I-485 green card application sooner. USCIS review of EB-1B petitions is highly subjective, and the petition requires a substantial amount of supporting evidence. Please refer to the document here for a detailed description of the EB-1B path to permanent residence, including time, cost, and evidence necessary. While a sponsoring employer (UAB) is required for the EB-1B process, success depends on your individual achievements. You are welcome to hire an attorney to help collect the necessary support letters and other evidence for an EB-1B petition. However, no attorney can submit a USCIS Form G-28 to represent UAB, and no attorney can draft USCIS Forms I-140 or I-907 for signature. All materials gathered for an EB-1B petition must be submitted to and reviewed by ISSS, which will prepare the USCIS forms, obtain proper signatures, and ship the petition to USCIS via UPS or FedEx.

Non-Clinical Faculty and Researchers (PDF) →   

If your CV does not qualify for EB-1B at the time your department wishes to begin the permanent residence process, then ISSS will work with your department to begin the EB PERM route. Faculty offered positions at the Instructor level or above can qualify for permanent residence sponsorship in the EB-2 PERM category. If the recruitment conducted that resulted in your hire meets Department of Labor criteria for EB-2 sponsorship, UAB can use a process referred to as “Special Handling.” If not, UAB may need to re-recruit for your position to test the US labor market and prove there are no more highly-qualified US workers available for the position. Employees who hold a job requiring at least a master’s degree as a minimum can also qualify for an I-140 immigrant worker petition in the EB-2 PERM category. This category requires UAB to file a request for a prevailing wage determination and conduct recruitment before filing the PERM. A flow chart describing the PERM process can be found here. The PERM process can take 9-12 months (Department of Labor processing times fluctuate and cannot be expedited), and all costs must be paid by the department. The employee cannot pay any costs necessary for the PERM process.

PERM flow chart (PDF) →

Clinical faculty

Clinical faculty with a tenure-track appointment at UAB are eligible for either the EB-1B category or the EB-2 PERM category. Please refer to the document for a detailed description of the EB-1B path to permanent residence, including time, cost, and evidence necessary. You are welcome to hire an attorney to help collect the necessary support letters and other evidence for an EB-1B petition. However, no attorney can submit a USCIS Form G-28 to represent UAB, and no attorney can draft USCIS Forms I-140 or I-907 for signature. All materials gathered for an EB-1B petition must be submitted to and reviewed by ISSS, which will prepare the USCIS forms, obtain proper signatures, and ship the petition to USCIS via UPS or FedEx.

Clinical Faculty (PDF) →

Clinical faculty without a tenure-track offer from UAB, and clinical faculty who are appointed 100% with HSF, are not eligible for the EB-1B category and will be sponsored in the EB-2 PERM category. A flow chart describing the PERM process for physicians can be found here. HSF will be the sponsor of your EB-2 PERM.

PERM flow chart (PDF) →

Permanent Residence Paths Not Requiring Employer Sponsorship

The EB-1B and EB PERM permanent residence routes require express employer sponsorship and support in form of filing documents with the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security and (in the PERM scenario) paying recruitment fees. However, you may qualify for permanent residence in a number of other paths that do not require involvement by your employer or the Department of Labor. These include the EB-2 physician national interest waiver (EB-2 PNIW), national interest waiver (EB-2 NIW), and EB-1A categories. Please feel free to pursue these routes on your own, or in consultation with a licensed immigration attorney. Only one approved Form I-140 ( in any eligibility category) is necessary to extend your underlying H-1B work authorization with UAB/HSF beyond six years, if that is an issue. ISSS does not and cannot advise on these routes, since they are not employer-sponsored. Information about the criteria for these routes can be found on the USCIS website.

Policy on use of outside attorneys

Institutional procedure requires ISSS to review all employment-based petitions prior to filing with USCIS. You are welcome to hire an attorney to help collect the necessary support letters; however, no attorney can submit a USCIS Form G-28 to represent UAB, and no attorney can draft USCIS Forms I-140 or I-907 for UAB signature in the EB-1A, EB-2 NIW, or EB-2 PNIW categories. Again, these categories are individual, not employment-based, and no attorney can represent UAB or HSF in the preparation of these categories of petitions. Please direct any questions (from you or your attorney) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..