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Steps to Filing the I-140

Step 1

The e-form, Permanent Residency - Eligibility Form, is completed by the department and signed by the Department Chair in iTerp. ISSS will forward the eform to Academic Affairs for approval.

Step 2

ISSS will schedule a consultation with the employee and department.

During this meeting, ISSS determines the employee's eligibility for sponsorship, reviews the evidence required to file a petition, discusses timelines, and recommends next steps.

Step 3

The employee compiles evidence to be filed with I-140:

  1. Evidence of employment in the academic field for at least three years following PhD
  2. Letter of recommendation from Department Chair
  3. Detailed, current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  4. Academic degrees and diplomas from all university-level programs
  5. Strong evidence that the professor or researcher is outstanding and internationally recognized in the academic field.

The University will not file a petition unless we can show evidence of an employee's strength in at least three of the following six areas:

  1. Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the academic field
  2. Elected for membership in associations in the academic field which require outstanding achievements of their members
  3. Published material in professional publications written by others about the person's work in the academic field
  4. Participation on a panel, or individually, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field
  5. Letters of recommendation from experts in the field discussing the person's original scientific or scholarly research contributions to the academic field
  6. Authorship of scholarly books or articles, in scholarly journals with international circulation, in the academic field.

Note:  Any foreign document used for evidence must be accompanied by a full literal English translation, which the translator has certified as complete and correct, and by a certification that the translator is competent to translate the foreign language into English.

Step 4

ISSS and the Department complete the I-140 form and collect fee(s)

I-140 filing fee is $700. This fee must be paid by the department.

I-907 Premium Processing fee is $2,500. This fee is optional and requires Department Chair approval.

Make check(s) payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Step 5

ISSS prepares final petition and forwards to USCIS

ISSS compiles the completed I-140, fees, and evidence and prepares a cover letter to present the case and summarize the evidence.


Processing times vary considerably and are difficult to predict. Please consult USCIS's processing times website(link is external), select "TSC - Texas Service Center" and click on the respective "Processing Dates" to get an idea of the current waiting period for the application type you have submitted.

Note: The timeline is lengthened if there are Requests for Further Evidence (RFE's). ISSS will contact the employee and department if further information is requested by USCIS.

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