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Updated November 21, 2023

EB-2A Process Steps

If a Tufts employee has been approved for permanent residence sponsorship under the EB-2A Advanced Degree category, these are the primary steps in the process. Note that any timeline information provided below is illustrative only and is subject to change depending on individual circumstances.

PERM Labor Certification

This is the most complex and time-consuming part of the process, requiring the immigration attorney and the employee's department to prepare several pieces of evidence to show (1) that the position is full-time and requires an advanced degree; (2) the employee has the required qualifications; (3) the job also meets Department of Labor requirements regarding hiring/recruitment, wages, and working conditions. Among the major steps include:

  • Preparation of a job description articulating job duties and minimum requirements
  • Requesting a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor
  • Posting a Notice of Filing at the job site
  • Reviewing the employee's job history
  • Conducting a recruitment (labor market test), if needed
  • Submitting the PERM Labor Certification to the Department of Labor

Processing timeline: This is a complex sequence of steps that often takes 12 - 16 months to prepare, start, and finish. Department of Labor processing of the prevailing wage and review of the PERM Labor Certification each take about six months or more and must be done sequentially.

Form I-140: Employer's Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

Once the PERM Labor Certification has been approved, the immigration attorney will prepare and file Form I-140, which is the employer's petition for an immigrant visa number for the employee.

Processing timeline: Preparation and processing time (with premium processing service): in most cases 1 to 2 months from preparation to submission and response, but may vary from case to case.

Form I-485 Adjustment of Status: Application to Adjust to Permanent Resident Status, or "Adjustment of Status" (AOS)

This is the employee's personal application for permanent residence; eligible accompanying dependents (if any) also file separate I-485 applications along with the employee at this time.

  • The employee works with attorney to collect required personal documents, e.g., immigration, tax, and educational records and evaluations; medical examinations, etc.
  • The employee (and dependents) have the option of applying for temporary work authorization and travel authorization (advance parole) at the same time as filing Form I-485
  • The employee's Form I-485 can only be processed when the priority date for the employee becomes current in the most recent Visa Bulletin. The priority date is based on the date Form I-140 for the employee was filed with USCIS. Depending on country of origin, the priority date may be current or there may be an extended waiting period before USCIS can start its review.
  • Once the priority date is current and the application is under review with USCIS, USCIS will provide additional instructions regarding other requirements such as a biometrics appointment and/or in-person interview. Because USCIS processing guidelines may change, consult with the immigration attorney responsible for assisting with these steps.

Processing timeline:  Once the priority date is current, USCIS processing times can vary from six months to a year in most cases.


Once Form I-485 is approved, the employee is a permanent resident of the United States.

  • The employee should notify the International Center by providing a copy of their I-485 approval notice and/or permanent resident card.
  • Following approval, the employee should update their Form I-9 employment eligibility information with Tufts Support Services
  • The employee is fully responsibility after approval for managing their permanent resident status, including complying with any requirements for maintaining permanent resident status, and following any procedures for replacing / renewing their permanent resident cards.