University of Wisconsin–Madison

Permanent Residency (aka “Green Card”) Toolkit

General Process for EB-2

The Permanent Residency process is a multi-step process involving both the Department of Labor (DOL) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This process is a three-way partnership between IFSS, the hiring department and the applicant/employee.

The hiring department is encouraged to contact IFSS with any questions about the permanent residency process and to discuss procedures. Once you’ve started the process, email forms to IFSS at We will advise on more specific timeframes as we move through the process.

Step 1 – Wage Determination and Recruitment Evaluation

In order to sponsor an EB-2 Special Handling Labor Certification permanent residency petition, the University must have conducted national recruitment that meets the U.S. Department of Labor standards. The standards are:

  • One full advertisement must be in a professional journal of national circulation
  • The ad must include the title, duties, minimum education, training and experience requirements listed (the same as what is listed in the UW’s PVL)If the ad is in a journal online, it must be available for at least 30 days.

To determine if the recruitment meets the above standards, please send the following documents to

The University must also agree to pay at least 100% of the prevailing wage as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Step 2 – Labor Certification

Once we know the recruitment meets the above standards and the UW is paying at least the prevailing wage, we can proceed with preparing the Labor Certification (aka PERM, aka 9089). Please send the following documents to

IFSS will submit the Labor Certification electronically. There is no fee for this application.

Step 3 – I-140 Petition

Once the Labor Certification is approved, the University has six (6) months to file the I-140 petition. The Department prepares the I-140 for IFSS to sign.

  • I-140 Petition
  • Copy of diploma
    • If not in English, a translation is required
  • Transcripts of the highest degree, if the field of study is not on the diploma
  • Credential evaluation, if the highest degree is not from a U.S. college or university
  • Copy of the first page of 2 publications
  • Copy of two letters of recommendation
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of most recent I-94
  • If position includes clinical duties:
    • Copy of the Wisconsin medical license
    • USMLE scores
    • ECFMG Certificate
    • Documentation of Board Eligibility or Board certification, if required in PVL
  • Filing Fee
  • Optional: Premium Processing Fee
    • This additional fee will guarantee that USCIS will make a decision in 15 calendar days.
    • NOTE: this does not guarantee approval. A decision may be an approval, a Request For Evidence (RFE), a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) or a denial. We will reach out to the Department immediately if the decision received is an RFE, NOID or denial.
    • IFSS will prepare the I-907 if the employee chooses to pay for premium processing.

Mailing the Petition

Preferred couriers that pick up daily at 21 N. Park Street already (no need to schedule a pick-up):

  • UPS
  • FedEx

Standard Processing

Attn: I-140
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

Premium Processing

USCIS Nebraska Service Center
850 S. Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

US Postal Service

IFSS will prepare the mailing label for these shipments.

Step 4 – Adjustment of Status

Once IFSS has obtained the I-140 Approval Notice, it will be shared with the employee to complete the last step of obtaining permanent residency, who can then share it with his or her attorney. With the approved I-140, the employee has now become eligible to “adjust” from a non-immigrant to an immigrant status. However, the Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin determines the employee’s ability to file for the I-485 based on the priority date issued on the approved I-140. On the DOS Visa Bulletin webpage, there are two different bulletins: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates of Filing”. USCIS will determine which of these bulletins is used for each month. The DOS webpage provides a link to the USCIS webpage to figure out which one to use.

It is important to understand that, during this part of the process, IFSS cannot be involved since this is a personal application. While the University of Wisconsin petitions for an employee’s eligibility, we cannot actively assist after the I-140 has been approved (with the exception of the Supplement J; see below).

It is highly recommended that you seek an immigration attorney to at least review your I-485, or prepare the application entirely. IFSS recommends retaining an attorney early in the process (around step #2 above) to begin working on this final step and determine timelines for the employee in order to ensure this last step goes smoothly. IFSS is able to provide names of local immigration attorneys upon request, but cannot make recommendations.

Filing Fees for this step can be found at USCIS.

Please remember: The University of Wisconsin cannot pay for any fees, whether they be lawyer or USCIS filing fees, associated with the I-485 application.

I-485 Supplement J

This is an attestation by the employer that the employee is working in the job offered to them in the Form I-140. The employee should contact IFSS when preparing the I-485 for submission to request this form, if the Supplement J was not provided with the I-140 approval.

Employee with PR leaving the UW?

No need to notify IFSS. Please follow all other standard HR procedures for an employee leaving the UW.