Employment-Based Immigration Sponsorship

Date Approved:6-25-1998
Last Revision:2-10-2020
Last Reviewed:2-10-2020
Approved By:President
Oversight Unit:ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, PROVOST & VP
Attached form file: Reimbursement Agreement Approved by PC 11-20-2019.pdf
Purpose

To provide guidance in hiring faculty or staff members from outside of the United States.

Applicability

All Full-Time Faculty and Staff, excluding those with one-year term contracts.

Policy

Northern Michigan University

Internal Policy on Employment-Based Immigration Sponsorship

 

I.               Introduction and Scope:

This immigration policy defines the university’s position towards employment-based immigration sponsorship for university personnel. This policy is applicable to all full-time faculty or staff members, excluding those with one- year term contracts who require immigration sponsorship for temporary or permanent employment authorization with the university.

The university is committed to strengthening its academic standing, by recruiting, hiring, and retaining scholars and academic professionals who have the potential to make significant contributions to the university. The university does not discriminate on the basis of national origin in recruiting, hiring, advancing, or terminating university personnel, and complies with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) and other applicable federal, state or local laws and regulations. Nothing in this policy should be used or construed as the basis for discrimination against any individual or group because of race, sex or gender, age, color, ethnicity, religion or creed, national origin,  disability or, marital status, pregnancy, weight, height, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, immigration status (unless restricted by State or federal laws and regulations) familial status, military or veteran status and also includes any other characteristic protected by federal or state law in employment or the provisions of services; nor will it be construed as a basis for circumventing equal employment opportunity laws, policies, and standard employment procedures.

Staff of the university may include faculty and administrators who are not US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, Asylees, Refugees, or Temporary Residents under the 1986 amnesty program. The university may employ foreign nationals who require university sponsorship for certain employment-based nonimmigrant and/or immigrant visas before he or she can be employed by the university. This policy outlines the parameters of the University’s position on immigration sponsorship, and outlines the University’s policy for providing immigration support to its current and prospective faculty and administrators who are foreign nationals, and who may require immigration sponsorship.

Employment of foreign nationals will be authorized only under the provisions of this policy, and only when conditions and requirements are in compliance with established federal and/or state laws.

 

II.            Definitions:

Foreign National: any prospective faculty or administrator who is a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder), refugee, asylee, or temporary resident under the 1986 amnesty program at the time of their appointment.

Nonimmigrant Visa Status: a temporary immigration status providing permission to a Foreign National to work for the University in a specific position. This includes H-1B status, TN status, O-1 status, and J-1 status, among others.

Immigrant Status, Permanent Residence or “green card”: a foreign national who has been granted the unrestricted right to live and work in the United States for any employer for no set time limit. Persons may be sponsored to become permanent residents through a close family member, an employer, or in rare cases, by themselves.

Labor Certification: The first step in a three-step process toward obtaining employment-based permanent resident status. For most faculty, “Labor Certification” must be sought through “Special Handling” within 18 months of the faculty member’s appointment decision or “selection date”. Some faculty may be exempt from the “Labor Certification” process due to their exceptional scholarly record. For non-teaching positions, the labor certification requires extensive evidence of unsuccessful recruitment for qualified U.S. workers.

Labor Condition Application: An application filed as part of the H-1B process, also referred to as the LCA.

H-1B Visa: A nonimmigrant classification available to specialty occupation professionals, or foreign nationals who

(a) have been offered a position in a specialty occupation requiring a minimum of a U.S. or equivalent bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to the offered position; and (b) who hold the required U.S. or equivalent bachelor’s degree and state licensure, if applicable.

 

III.          Proof of Employment Authorization

As required by federal law, anyone hired by the University after November 6, 1986, whether U.S. or foreign- born, must complete and sign Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Every new employee must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 on or before the first day of employment, but no later than three days after commencement of employment. Each new employee must present an acceptable original document or documents, as required to establish the employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. The University shall review and copy the document(s) presented by the employee, record the required information in Section 2, and sign the Form I-9 no later than three days of the commencement of employment. The copy of the supporting documentation completed in Section 2 must be attached to the Form I-9.

 

IV.           Employment of Foreign National Workers

Foreign National workers must have lawful employment authorization in order to be employed with the University. The University (through the Office of Academic Affairs), will determine whether a Foreign National is employment authorized, or whether the Foreign National will require immigration sponsorship to become employment authorized. If the Foreign National requires immigration sponsorship to become employment authorized, the provisions of this policy apply.

 

V.             Immigration Sponsorship Policy

The University may choose to sponsor faculty and staff for employment-based temporary nonimmigrant employment authorization or permanent, employment-based immigrant employment authorization subject to the following guidelines.

       A.            Tenure-track and Tenured faculty and Term Appointments for Two or More Years

            1.           Nonimmigrant Sponsorship

A Foreign National worker who receives an offer of employment from the University may need to be sponsored for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for lawful employment authorization  with the University. In these cases, the University will support and sponsor the Foreign National for H-1B nonimmigrant status upon hiring. It is the responsibility of the Foreign Worker to cooperate with this process by providing all requested documents required to process the visa within a reasonable time. In the event the Foreign Worker does not have valid status at the time of filing the nonimmigrant petition, or has concealed or misrepresented any aspect of his or her immigration or work history, or is inadmissible or removable under federal immigration law, then the University reserves the right to withhold or withdraw sponsorship of the Foreign National.

If an H-1B Foreign National is terminated before the validity period reflected on the I-797 H- 1B Approval Notice, the University will offer to pay for the costs of return transportation of the Foreign Worker to his or her last place of residence outside of the United States. These costs include the reasonable cost of the Foreign National’s return plane ticket. Other  associated relocation costs, such as moving fees and shipping costs for furniture and household goods are not included.

            2.           Immigrant Sponsorship for Legal Permanent Residence

The University may choose to sponsor a Foreign National offered a Full- Time, Faculty or Staff position for permanent resident status in the United States. The University does not sponsor Full-Time Faculty and Staff with one year- term contracts. All Full-Time, Faculty offered Tenure Track positions are automatically eligible for permanent residence sponsorship through the University, after one full year of employment. For all other positions eligible for sponsorship, a request to sponsor a Foreign National for permanent resident status in the  United States shall be made in writing to the Academic Affairs Office including the approval  of the applicable Vice President and/or President of the University.

In instances where the University has agreed to sponsor a Foreign National for permanent resident status in the U.S. at the time the Foreign National has been extended an offer of employment with the University, the University will work with external counsel to file a PERM Labor Certification Application through “Special Handling” wherever possible. The PERM “Special Handling” Application must be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor within 18 months of the date of the offer letter. Where a PERM “Special Handling” Labor Certification Application cannot be filed, and the merits of the case warrant, a traditional PERM Labor Certification Application may be filed subject to the traditional recruitment process mandated by the Department of Labor.

If the University choses to sponsor a Foreign National for legal permanent residence, the Academic Affairs Office will cooperate to provide the information and documents required to support the University’s sponsorship for legal permanent residence on behalf of the Foreign National.

            B.           All other Employees

Foreign National workers holding all other positions not outlined above, would be sponsored for permanent residency on a case-by-case basis.

 

VI.           Immigration Fees and Costs

The University will bear all legal fees, government filing fees and related costs, if the University chooses to sponsor a Foreign National for H-1B employment-based nonimmigrant status, and the Foreign National will not be required to reimburse the University for any portion of these fees, either directly or indirectly. The University will also bear all legal fees, government filing fees, and related costs if the Foreign National is not eligible for H-1B status, and qualifies for a different nonimmigrant category which authorizes employment (such as TN or O-1). The Foreign National will be required to pay all legal fees, government filing fees, and related costs associated with any nonimmigrant applications for dependent family members of the Foreign National. The University does not cover any costs associated with any nonimmigrant applications for dependent family members of the Foreign National.

The University will bear all legal fees and costs directly associated with the filing of a PERM Labor Certification Application, and the Foreign National will not be required to reimburse the University for any portion of these fees, either directly or indirectly. The University will bear all legal fees, filing fees and costs (except for the costs associated with obtaining the required medical examination) associated with other permanent residency filings, which include the I-140 Immigrant Petition, the I-485 Application to Adjust to Permanent Resident Status, I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, and I-131 Application for Advance Parole, on behalf of the Foreign National only. The Foreign National will be required to pay all legal fees, government filing fees, and related costs associated with any applications for lawful permanent  residence, which includes the I-485 Application to Adjust to Permanent Resident Status, I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, and I-131 Application for Advance Parole, for dependent family members of the Foreign National. The University does not cover any costs associated with any applications associated with lawful permanent residence applications for dependent family members of the Foreign National.

The University will cover all of the costs associated with obtaining the temporary work visa and permanent residency, subject to the terms of the Foreign National Employee Immigration Benefit and Reimbursement Agreement.

If the Foreign National pursues permanent residence through a self-sponsored petition, the University will not bear any legal costs or reimburse the Foreign National, either directly or indirectly, for any fees or costs associated with the self-sponsored petitions. Any information relating to the Foreign National’s employment with the University must be verified and approved by the Academic Employment Specialist prior to submission to a government agency. This provision applies to staff members who wish to obtain permanent residency, as NMU will cover the costs of permanent residency for tenure-track faculty.

 

VII.        Authorized Signatures

Only the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs is authorized to sign any petitions or applications related to temporary or permanent immigration sponsorship on behalf of Northern Michigan University.

 

VIII.      Applicability of University Employment Policy

The University’s willingness to sponsor a Foreign National for nonimmigrant employment authorization, or  employment-based, legal permanent residence in the US, does not constitute a contract of employment, and does not supersede any of the University’s internal employment policies. Any verbal statements made by the University, faculty, administrators, staff, employee, or agents of the University, faculty, administrators, staff, or employee on the University’s willingness to sponsor the Foreign National for nonimmigrant employment authorization, or employment-based legal permanent residence in the U.S. does not constitute a contract for immigration sponsorship. Foreign National understands that approval of nonimmigrant employment-based status, or employment-based legal permanent residence is not guaranteed, and is subject to the discretion of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Labor, or any other associated federal agency involved with adjudication of the discretionary immigration benefit. While the University will utilize best efforts to ensure the success of the associated immigration benefit, the University cannot guarantee the associated immigration benefit will be approved.

 

IX.           Compliance with State and Federal Law

As part of the process of sponsoring University personnel for immigration benefits, the University may be required to make statements and/or attestations to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and/or other relevant governmental agencies under penalty of perjury. Any such statements and/or attestations, including those regarding the hiring, recruitment or termination of University personnel, and/or business requirements, may be made by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 

X.             Policy Changes

This immigration policy is effective as of February 10, 2020, and may be changed, modified, revised, amended or terminated at any time, for any reason, with or without notice.