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Procedures for Faculty and Staff Recruiting and Hiring 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 and staff positions.  There are many different factors affecting the eligibility of non-citizens for faculty and staff 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 US—and for how long?


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 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.)

2.  Discuss the above-referenced information and determine whether to proceed with the hiring recommendation.


A hiring letter must be approved by the relevant parties (Dean and Associate Provost for Faculty and Administrative Affairs for faculty hires and Hiring Manager and Staffing Manager for Human Resources for staff hires) 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 employment authorization, i.e (H-1B).



When the candidate signs and returns the hiring letter to the Department Chair, it should be forwarded to the Office of the Provost.  The Office of the Provost will send a contract to the candidate.  Once the contract is signed and returned, the candidate should phone/email the Legal Affairs Compliance and Affirmative Action Office who will coordinate immigration documentation.


The candidate should sign and return the offer letter and background authorization form to Human Resources.  Once this step has been completed and the background check is clear, the beneficiary should phone/email the Legal Affairs Compliance and Affirmative Action Office who will coodinate immigration documentation.


Employment authorization petitions, i.e. 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 this particular immigration process.  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 candidate 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 candidate may not be authorized to work (or volunteer) until UD hears back from CIS with either a Receipt Notice and/or Notice of Action (approval notice). 

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.