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Permanent national lab jobs and immigration status

  1. Apr 24, 2015 #1
    I understand that connections, research record will play a major role in landing an interview for a national lab job, even for a staff scientist position, and I wouldn't be opposed to working in a national lab after graduation (and any appropriate postdocs). However, that is not my question.

    As I am not an US citizen, I feel that I would be at a disadvantage in an attempt to land such a permanent job. Perhaps my advisor is wrong on that count but since national labs are under the purview of the DOE, permanent jobs (as defined by USCIS) at national labs are primarily offered to US citizens, or US citizenship could even be a requirement.

    But do permanent jobs at national labs actually have any requirements pertaining to citizenship? Or can a national lab sponsor an EB-2 green card if the position is permanent (or H-1B if the position is temporary)?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Depends on the lab and depends on the job. X division at LANL is a different thing than a beamline position at SLAC.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2015 #3

    ZapperZ

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    The staff job opening will indicate if the job requires someone already having permission to work (i.e. permanent resident or US citizenship). If it doesn't, then yes, you may apply for it. If you get the job, you will probably start first with a H1 visa. This is because this takes less work and shorter time to be processed and approved, so that you may start work without significant delay. During that time, the lab will assist you in submitted your permanent residency application based on whatever categories that they deemed appropriate.

    Note that it is unusual for someone fresh out of college to get a permanent staff position at a US Lab. More often than not, you will be applying for a postdoc position. Since this is a temporary position, the lab will only help you in getting the H1 visa.

    Zz.
     
  5. Apr 27, 2015 #4

    analogdesign

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    I have a permanent staff position at a US National Lab. I assure you that a huge percentage of the permanent staff were not US Citizens when they were hired. In my group non-US citizens outnumber US Citizens. A percentage (not sure what it is exactly) of the postdocs at my lab are not US Citizens.

    I work for a science lab, it is likely somewhat different at the National Defense Labs (LANL, LLNL, Sandia, and to a lesser extent ORNL).
     
  6. Apr 29, 2015 #5
    However, that does mean no postdoc at LANL, LLNL or Sandia for me...
     
  7. Apr 29, 2015 #6

    ZapperZ

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    That is not true, either. There are many foreign nationals working at LANL, for example. This is because the lab also has non-DOD-related work. Again, it depends highly on the nature of the job and how it is funded! The job opening advertisement will explicitly mention if US citizenship/permanent residency is required.

    Zz.
     
  8. Apr 29, 2015 #7

    analogdesign

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    To be more accurate you should say non-defense-related work as the DOE is charged with the stewardship of the nuclear arsenal. The labs do very little work explicitly associated with DOD (except of course leasing them weapons for $1 a year).
     
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