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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 4 - Personnel - General
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs


4.24 Hiring of Foreign Nationals


I. POLICY STATEMENT


Foreign Nationals make many valuable contributions to the teaching and research mission of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Therefore, it is important that hiring departments are aware of the University policy and procedures for filing Foreign National employment petitions. A general overview of the policy for filing Foreign National employment petitions is provided below.    


II. RATIONALE


To comply with the provisions of the Title 8 of Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR) and Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), UTSA will only employ individuals who are federally authorized to work in the United States.  All petitions for temporary employment and employment based permanent residency must directly support the teaching and research mission of UTSA and comply with the rules and regulations of the Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to all staff and faculty with a Temporary Employment Visa and all Employment-Based Permanent Resident petitions sponsored by UTSA and the departments who hire them.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter4/4-24.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules & Regulations

  1. UTSA HOP Policy 2.02 Faculty Appointments and Titles 
  2. UTSA HOP Policy 2.04 Faculty Recruitment
  3. UTSA HOP Policy 3.02 Staff Recruitment
  4. UTSA HOP Policy 9.31 State Employment and Selective Service Registration
  5. UTSA OIP International Scholar Services Form

Other Policies & Standards

  1. Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations
  2. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
  3. U.S. Department of Labor Foreign Labor Certification

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 4.24 Hiring of Foreign Nationals, please contact the following offices:

The Office of International Programs - International Scholar Services
210-458-7266 or 210-458-8510


VII. DEFINITIONS


Employment-based Permanent Resident: An individual with an immigrant visa that has been approved by the United States government to work in the United States. 

Foreign Nationals: An individual who is a citizen of any country other than the United States.


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. UTSA Office of International Programs (OIP)
    1. Processes requests for non-immigration petitions, labor certifications, and Employment-Based Permanent Resident petitions.
    2. Tracks prospective and current Foreign National employees' immigration status.
  2. Sponsoring Department
    1. Reviews and approves all offers issued to Foreign Nationals for employment at UTSA.
    2. Notifies OIP as early as possible of the potential offer.
    3. Submits required information for Labor Condition Application to OIP.
    4. Submits required information for I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker to OIP.
  3. Foreign National Employee
    1. Applies for Visa to enter into the United States.
    2. Complies with all Federal, State and UTSA procedures and policies.
    3. Completes and submits any and all required forms and required background check.
    4. Maintains legal status as a Foreign National Employee.
  4. Human Resources
    1. Posts required Labor Conditions Application for positions being filed by UTSA International Scholar Services (ISS).
    2. Verified employment eligibility status (I-9 form) and completes E-Verify (as required).

IX. PROCEDURES


  1. The policies of the Attorney General and the UT System Office of General Counsel preclude an outside attorney from filing petitions and representing UTSA on behalf of an employee—without a (UT System and UTSA approved) contract in place.  If the petition is sponsored by UTSA the hiring department or scholar may not engage or use the services of an outside attorney on behalf of UTSA without first receiving prior and written approval from the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost).
  2. Employment Petition
    1. Sponsoring department creates and extends a written offer to the Foreign National.
    2. Sponsoring department submits required data for Labor Condition Application and I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker to OIP for processing.
      1. The routine processing time for a nonimmigrant worker petition may take up to three (3) to five (5) months. Premium (expedited) processing services for petitions will require the department to pay an additional fee as required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
      2. For Temporary Worker and Employment-Based Permanent Resident Petitions, the hiring department is required to pay the Prevailing Wage amount determined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)  or the actual job position wage, whichever is higher.
      3. OIP will communicate with the Foreign National and the sponsoring department with status updates of the petition.
  3. Visa Applications: Once the employment petition is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Foreign National worker (not currently in the U.S.) must apply for a visa to enter the United States.  The visa related administrative and security clearance processes within the U.S. Embassy or Consulate may sometimes result in extended delays. 
  4. Consultations: Professorial, research, and support staff should consult with the OIP scholar services advisors on questions related to the immigration status of prospective and current foreign employees. The department staff must consult the OIP regarding the sponsorship of  tenure track positions, since some individuals may be required to return to their home country for two (2) years (or receive a waiver of this requirement) prior to petitioning for Employment-Based Permanent Resident status.
  5. Legal Permanent Residency: The UTSA Legal Permanency Request Form must be signed by the sponsoring Department Chair and College Dean (or Vice President, if applicable), and then forwarded by ISS to the Office of the Provost for final review and approval, as appropriate.  
  6. Non-qualifying Positions: Because of the complexity of the immigration and labor laws, requests for submitting immigrant petitions for positions not listed in the table below will be determined (on a case by case basis) via special request through the department Dean, Vice President and the Office of the Provost depending on the department making the request.
  7. Employment-Based Permanent Residency: Employment-Based Permanent Resident petitions for Foreign Nationals to work at UTSA are generally limited to specific faculty positions within the following categories:   EB-11 (Extraordinary Ability), EB-12 (Outstanding Professor or Researcher), EB-21 (Advance degree Holder), and EB-22 (Exceptional Ability in the Science, Arts, or Business).  Eligible UTSA job titles for both H-1B and Employment-Based Permanent Resident status is shown in the table below.
  8. Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9): Newly hired employees must fill out section 1 of Form I-9 on the first day of work.  Human Resources completes section 2 of Form I-9 within three (3) business days of the employee’s first day of employment, and completes E-Verify as required.  The employee must present original documents from the List of Acceptable Documents as they appear on the current I-9 form.  Documents must be updated prior to expiration in order for the employee to continue working at UTSA.

UTSA Job Eligibility for H-1B and Employment based Permanent Resident Sponsorship

Academic Titles

Job Title
Eligible for
H-1B
Eligible for Permanent
Residency
Professor
X
X
Associate Professor
X
X
Assistant Professor
X
X
Distinguished Lecturer
X
X
Senior Lecturer
X
X
Lecturer I, II, III
X
Visiting Professor
X
Adjunct Professor
X
Clinical Professor
X
Clinical Associate Professor
X
Clinical Assistant Professor
X
Clinical Instructor
X
Professor in Practice
X
Associate Professor in Practice
X


Research Titles

Job Title
Eligible for
H-1B
Eligible for Permanent
Residency
Professor of Research
X
Associate Professor of Research
X
Research Scientist
X
Research Associate
X
Research Assistant
X
Postdoctoral Fellow
X



X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES



XII. APPENDIX


None