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Permanent Residence

The three most common bases for qualifying for permanent residence are close family relationship, public policy, and employment sponsorship. The most common filing categories in higher education are the following employment-based categories:

  • Extraordinary Ability: An individual who is internationally recognized as being at the very top of their field.
  • Outstanding Professor or Researcher: An individual who is internationally recognized as outstanding and has at least three years of experience in their field.
  • Advanced Degree Holder: An individual holding an advanced degree that is required for the position.
  • Advanced Degree Holder with National Interest Waiver: An individual holding an advanced degree who can establish that it is in the national interest for them to be exempt from labor certification requirements.

UT Knoxville will sponsor professional-level employees for US permanent residence if the employee is employed (or has been offered employment) in any full-time professional position considered to be permanent. See the applicable UT policy for more details regarding the criteria for university sponsorship of permanent residence.

Please contact Elizabeth Smith, ewasham@utk.edu, if you meet the criteria for university sponsorship and are interested in more details regarding the categories or process at UT.