The Office of International Affairs presently does not process applications for Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR). All LPR applications filed on behalf of the University of Chicago are filed by external counsel/immigration attorneys. However, OIA will be glad to advise on matters such as internal procedures, sponsorship policies, and general information for departmental administrators and attorneys working with LPR cases on behalf of the University.
Caution: Professional Expertise Required: LPR is a complex structure that requires considerable expertise and experience on the part of the professional handling the case. While some types of applications for LPR can be filed by individuals, we strongly urge anyone to retain an immigration attorney to handle the case or at least advise the applicant throughout the process. Forms are readily available via the Internet, but contextual understanding of the law and the ability to respond to issues that may arise are crucial. LPR is too important a matter to risk for lack of adequate resources and support!
A basic understanding of how LPR works can be gained from the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). However, we urge caution: The information presented is very basic and merely meant to give you a general understanding. Any application for LPR requires the guidance of a professional in the field of immigration law.
Money Matters and Legal Fees: The LPR application process can involve significant legal fees. We recommend that employees have two conversations about money up front:
- First with the department when a request for sponsorship is made. Payment of such fees, except for those fees the employer is required to pay law, is entirely at the discretion of the department and the employee should find out whether any of the costs will be covered or not. If the department does contribute to the legal fees, it is important to know that the employee will have to make payment up front and can then request reimbursement. The departmental Human Resources Administrator can provide detailed information about this process.
- Another conversation about money should take place when the employee makes initial contact with the immigration attorney. Employees should ask what has to be paid when. Please note that some law firms will charge a consulting feee up front. While it may seem distasteful to have to discuss money, it is essential to know what to expect.