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International On Campus

Permanent Residency

A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a 10-year visa to the United States. It gives you the legal right to work in the United States and grants you the status of a permanent resident—though not a citizen.

Once you have a Green Card, you may apply for U.S. citizenship after you have been in the United States for a certain period of time.

You can apply for and obtain a Green Card while in the United States on an H-1B visa. Ask International Student and Scholar Services for guidance.


An offer of permanent employment in the United States may make you eligible to obtain a Green Card. “Outstanding professors and researchers” are among those receiving first preference for permanent residence.

Applying for a Green Card is a time-consuming process that involves a lot of paperwork. Green Cards are granted in limited numbers. There is a per year quota for each country and each category of applicant.

If you do not gain permanent residency before your H-1B visa expires, you must live outside the United States for at least 1 year before reapplying for another H or L visa.

How to Apply


Permanent Labor Certification

Issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, a permanent labor certification lets your employer hire you to work permanently in the United States.

This document certifies that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job that you intend to accept. It also certifies that, if you were hired, the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers in similar jobs would not be adversely affected.

Your employer must apply for a permanent labor certification on your behalf. You cannot apply yourself. If you are employed at WSU, ask your hiring department to consult with International Student and Scholar Services.


Form I-140

This form, known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is used to request that USCIS confer an immigrant visa based on employment. Your U.S. employer must file this petition on your behalf.


Apply for Permanent Residence

If you are physically present in the United States, you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You can file this form for yourself and your family within the United States.

If you are outside the United States, you can apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate in your home country. This is known as “consular processing.”

Additional applications and requirements at this stage:

Washington State University