Guidelines for International Hires
The Associate University Counsel/Affirmative Action Officer in Legal Affairs is available to assist departments in addressing issues related to the hiring and employment of non-US citizens for faculty positions. There are many different factors affecting the eligibility of non-citizens for faculty positions and each case must be reviewed on an individual basis. For this reason, we recommend that departments should contact Patsy Bernal-Olson (x4211) early in the hiring process and maintain contact throughout all phases of the process.
Departments should determine the status of a candidate’s eligibility to work in the US. Questions about citizenship during an interview are not lawful but questions regarding employment eligibility are legal and appropriate. Questions that can be asked of the potential employee include: Are you eligible to work in the UD—and for how long?
RECOMMENDATION FOR HIRE PHASE
If appropriate, the department should inform the Legal Affairs Compliance and Affirmation Action Office that the potential hire may not be a non-US citizen. The Associate University Counsel/Affirmative Action Officer will then assess the following:
1. Determine whether an H-1B visa is an option at this time. Some of the factors that are considered at this point are the following
a. immediate and future department hiring needs
b. duration of the position to be filled
c. candidate’s immigration status with respect to visa type and the duration of time remaining on that status
d. individual circumstances of each beneficiary seeking an employment visas (adjustment of visa status; waivers; etc.)
CONTINGENT OFFER PHASE
A hiring letter must be approved by the Dean and Associate Provost for Faculty and Administrative Affairs before being sent to the prospective employee. The letter must indicate that employment is contingent upon the successful results of the background check. The letter should be specific regarding employment eligibility regarding immigration status and should direct the potential employee to contact the Legal Affairs Compliance Affirmative Action Office to discuss the necessary steps and proper documentation for obtaining an H-1B visa.
POST ACCEPTANCE PHASE
If the candidate signs and returns the hiring letter, the Office of the Provost will send a contract to the candidate. Once the contract is signed and returned, the visa beneficiary should phone/e-mail the Legal Affairs Compliance and Affirmative Action Office who will coordinate immigration documentation.
PROCESSING OF IMMIGRATION SERVICES MATERIALS
Employment visas, H-1Bs, are processed by the Associate University Counsel/Affirmative Action Officer in Legal Affairs. The hiring department is responsible for the processing fees associated with obtaining these work visas. There are several steps in the petition process, each requiring specific information and paperwork. At different stages of this process, the Associate University Counsel/Affirmative Action Officer will either contact the hiring supervisor and/or the visa beneficiary for the necessary information and/or paperwork. Once the petition is submitted to the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship, and Immigration Services, it takes approximately four months to receive approval. Depending on the details of each case, the visa beneficiary may not be authorized to work (or volunteer) until UD hears back from CIS with either a Receipt Notice and/or Notice of Action (visa).
The University itself does not process green cards. UD refers these immigration matters to an outside counsel who works closely with the Legal Affairs Compliance and Affirmative Action Office. The hiring department is responsible for the fees associated with green cards. The Department is not responsible for covering the costs of the green cards for the beneficiary’s dependents.