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Permanent Residence Overview

Updated November 21, 2023

US permanent residents - also referred to as "lawful permanent residents," "immigrant visa holders," and more colloquially, "green card holders" - are allowed to live and work in the United States permanently. They enjoy many (although not all) of the same benefits as US citizens, including the ability to pursue almost any type of US employment, reside in any location of their choosing, receive certain types of federal benefits, any apply for a wider array of federal research funding opportunities. Permanent residents also do not require, as non-immigrants do, an entry visa to re-enter the US following international travel.

There are many routes to permanent residence, including family-based, employment-based, and other routes. The full range of options are discussed on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) web site.

Tufts University Sponsorship: Main Steps

Tufts University offers permanent residence sponsorship to eligible employees approved for sponsorship by their respective schools (or divisions). All sponsorship cases must be approved under a general school-based policy or on a case-by-case by the school Dean or division VP. The sponsorship process follows these major steps:

  1. The sponsoring school and department and the sponsored employee reviews the Tufts Permanent Residence Sponsorship Policy and Sponsorship Process General Overview.
  2. The sponsoring department and the sponsored employee contacts the appropriate International Center advisor to arrange an initial consultation.
  3. The department prepares and submits a signed and completed Tufts Legal Permanent Residence Sponsorship Request to the International Center.
  4. The International Center processes the request and assigns it to a University-approved immigration attorney.
  5. The attorney works with all parties - including the employee, the employee's department, and the International Center - to prepare and submit petitions and other materials required to apply for permanent residence for the employee.
  6. Upon obtaining US permanent residence, the employee adjusts their employment records and assumes full responsibility for complying with any requirements attached to US permanent resident status.

Please note that the International Center has no role in determining who is offered sponsorship, as these reside entirely with the individual schools and divisions. Instead, our responsibility is to ensure that sponsorship requests are in conformity with federal regulations and University policy, assign specific cases to University-approved immigration attorneys, and facilitate communication across parties during the sponsorship process.