International Programs Office

Permanent Residency

International faculty (including research faculty) who have some classroom teaching responsibilities may be eligible for permanent resident sponsorship under the Special Handling Category. This category is widely used by most universities and is based on the results of a competitive recruitment in which the foreign national was found to be the best qualified than any of the US workers who applied for the advertised position. The sponsoring department must show documentary evidence that a competitive recruitment was done for the position and, in addition, sponsorship must be approved by the Chair/Dean after which the hiring department has 18 months from the offer letter date to use this option. IPO recommends submitting the paperwork at least 12-15 months prior to the end of the 18 month window of opportunity.



The ad is the cornerstone of the special handling category and it is recommended that a print ad be done as part of the initial search. This should be done in the event that the institution would like to support the foreign national in the green card process using the 18 month window of opportunity.

When placing advertisements, particular care must be taken to anticipate Department of Labor (DOL) certification requirements. The DOL can require you to re-advertise the position and conduct a second full search, should it deem the advertisement unacceptable.

The Advertisement

  • The advertisement should state the specific job title and indicate whether the position is tenure track or tenured.
  • Include the words “teaching” or “instruction” in the description of job duties.
  • Any/all prior job experience requirements must be quantified in “years.” The kind of experience is to be defined. Note: International candidates must meet the experience requirements with experience gained prior to employment at Idaho State University.
  • State the minimum degree requirement.
  • Avoid vague qualifications such as “must be familiar with” or “knowledgeable of” or “able to” or “interested in.” State job requirements in specific, measurable terms (for example, “must have a record of published research in…”).
  • If alternate credentials are listed, the greater of the options is the minimum requirement. “Must be board eligible or certified” means “must be board certified.” Similarly, “must have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree” is interpreted “must have a Ph.D. and M.D. degree.”
  • All qualifications listed will be considered required, even if stated as “desired” or “preferred.” Include only criteria essential to the position; extraneous preferences should not be listed.
  • Job requirements should not be excessive or unduly restrictive.
  • Do not state the salary, or salary range, in the advertisement. Do not state that successful candidates must generate their own salary.
  • Publish the advertisement in a national professional journal at least 30 days before the application deadline. Emails and web postings are excellent supplements, but do not substitute for advertisements in national journals. Remember, if the candidate applies for a green card later on, a print ad as part of the original search will be required for the Alien Labor Certification (ALC). Spend the money now to avoid disappointment in the future.
  • Include the Idaho State University Affirmative Action Compliance statement.