International Student Services
At this time, BGSU policy is to sponsor permanent or long-term employees for employment-based visas and for legal permanent residency on the basis of the hiring unit’s commitment to continued employment. For this reason, BGSU will not routinely sponsor post-doctoral fellows for a green card. Tenure-track and tenured faculty positions (teaching as well as research), as well as continuing specialty occupation staff positions, constitute the vast majority of BGSU sponsored immigrant visa petitions.
The proper status to use when hiring international faculty and staff depends, in part, upon the type of position offered. The visa status that is typically used for temporary or term-limited positions is F-1 OPT, J-1, H-1B, O-1 or TN (for Canadian citizens only). Temporary or term-limited appointments should not carry with them the expectation for BGSU sponsorship for legal permanent residency and hires in these positions should be informed of policy at the start of the employment period.
Hiring departments/schools/units should contact International Student Services to discuss visa/status options appropriate for internationals offered employment based on their individual circumstances and the position offered. ISS can be reached via email here:
Types of Appointments:
Temporary Faculty, Researchers or Staff
For individuals hired to fill part-time or full-time appointments for a limited fixed term (a temporary position), a non-immigrant status is appropriate. Temporary appointments for the purpose of visa options would include positions outside the tenure system, e.g., post-docs, visiting scholars, visiting researchers, temporary faculty/staff, and exchange visitors.
Tenured, Tenure-Track, and Other Continuing Appointments
Immigrant status, the intention to pursue permanent residency in the U.S., is most appropriate for faculty appointed to a tenured or tenure-track position. It’s also appropriate for staff appointed to a continuing appointment even though staff contracts are annual. Until permanent residency can be obtained, a process that routinely takes up to five or more years, a foreign national employee can work in H-1B status. An approved H-1B petition certifies work eligibility in three year increments with extensions beyond six years allowed if adjudication for legal permanent residency takes longer than that.
The H-1B visa is unique in that it allows for dual intent for both the H-1B petitioner (BGSU) and beneficiary (the employee). This means an H-1b employee has the option of either returning to the home country at the end of six years or remaining in the U.S. while waiting for legal permanent resident status. The H-1B also allows for an international employee to begin the permanent resident process without jeopardizing work authorization or restricting travel outside the U.S.
J-1 Exchange Visitor/Visiting Scholar status is not an appropriate status for employees in the tenure system or other continuing appointments.
Internationals appointed to tenured appointments should have permanent resident status (“green card” holder) at the time of hire.
Procedure for Recruitment and Hire
For any tenure-track position that could result in the hire of an international, a national recruitment strategy must be carried out. Documentation to establish that the search was national in scope and competitive in nature must be collected for presentation to the Department of Labor. This would include an original print ad, showing title of publication and date, in a national outlet common to the discipline as well as print-offs of all websites or other electronic means used to reach applicants.
All letters offering positions to international candidates should include a phrase that “under the regulations of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, BGSU must verify your identity and employment eligibility within three (3) days of the start of work.”
Upon arrival at BGSU, newly appointed non-immigrant faculty and staff are to report to the contracting office to complete the Form I-9. An authorized BGSU staff member, representing the employer, is required to verify an international’s work authorization and identity, and to attest on the I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification), under penalty of perjury, that the information provided is true. International Student Services will assist departments/schools and hiring units in completing the form and examining the foreign national’s documentation necessary to comply with this law. ISS can be reached via email here:
International hires should be prepared to present their passport, Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94), visa, EAD, or any other immigration documents necessary to complete the employment verification process.
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