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Human Resource Management - Employment Based Visas


Policy and Procedure

Subject Area: Employment
Policy Title: Employment Based Visas
Policy / Procedure No: HRM035
Responsible Office: University Counsel

PURPOSE: To provide support for qualifying international employees who seek employment based Visas or permanent residency ("green cards"). These are typically foreign nationals who are hired into tenure track faculty or senior scientist positions. The University will also petition for temporary Visas for candidates who qualify for "specialty occupations;' in a University setting (H1B), typically research and tenure track faculty positions; selected other professional positions may qualify.

SCOPE: Qualifying employees who are tenure track faculty members or senior scientists seeking permanent residency. Candidates who qualify for "specialty occupations" (H1B Visas), typically research and tenure track faculty positions; selected other professional positions may qualify.

POLICY: The Office of University Counsel processes all employment based Visas (H1B) and applications for permanent residency. Those seeking employment based Visas must be pre-approved by the Senior Vice President (to whom the department reports), after consultation with University Counsel. For all faculty and research positions, or other positions based in the colleges, the Provost Office must approve institutional support for the Visa. For all other departments, the relevant Senior Vice President must give approval.

Employment Based Visas

Employment based Visas are the domain of the employer; the University files the petition with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) on behalf of the employee. The employee cannot seek an employment based Visa outside the University and no University funds will be used for private attorneys. Offers of employment may not include promise of a Visa or permanent residency to a candidate.

1. Temporary Visas: H1B

Only qualifying positions and qualified individuals will be supported for H1B Visas, for "specialty occupations" that require specific degrees and experience credentials. These include tenure track faculty in all disciplines. Incoming tenure track faculty must be on an H1B Visa before employment can begin and may not be hired on a J-1 Visa. Typically lower level administrative positions with general liberal arts degree requirements do not qualify for this type of Visa. Degrees must directly relate to the work to be done.

Employees may not bear the cost of H1B petitions nor may they be asked to reimburse the employer for the cost of the petition. If the H1B employee is terminated prior to the end of the Visa period, the University is responsible for the cost of returning the former employee to his or her foreign abode.

2. Permanent Residency (Green Cards)

The University petitions for permanent residency for its qualifying employees who are tenure track faculty members or senior scientists and qualify as "Outstanding Professors or Researchers". Employees must have been at the University for at least a year and have the support of their department, appropriate dean and the Provost office. This is a minimally two-year process. Certain colleges stipulate that employees may not be considered for permanent residency until a third-year review has taken place. Minimum evidentiary standards have to be met and the University will not petition for any whose credentials do not meet that standard.

The employee covers all fees for the adjustment to permanent status.