Hiring International Faculty

In our hiring process, we often have the opportunity to hire international (non-US resident) individuals. We should always keep in mind that international employees contribute significantly to the diversity of our workforce and should be treated as we would treat any other applicant in the process. However, some important issues need to be kept in mind in those searches where we will potentially be hiring international employees:

  1. International employees can be authorized to work for our university pursuant to an H-1B temporary worker visa. Human Resources has the ability to internally process these petitions to the U.S. Immigration Service. This visa applies only to the employer who seeks the petition and is granted for up to a three year period. It can be renewed for an additional three year period. Thus, under the H-1B visa an employee can work for an employer for up to six years. It is important to note that H-1B processing can take up to 4-6 months. Accordingly, be certain to leave this amount of time prior to the expected start date for this processing period.
  2. All of our Notices of Vacancy contain the statement in the boilerplate language that "an individual must be eligible to accept work in the United States." This is a signal to international applicants that they must be able to obtain the necessary work authorization. It does not mean that the individual already has the work authorization - only that they are eligible to obtain it.
  3. In the hiring process, you may inquire generally about the ability to obtain work authorization. You may ask whether a person will need time to obtain the work authorization or can begin work immediately. You may ask questions such as:

    a. "Are you legally authorized to work in the United States full-time and for all employers? And

    b. "Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for employment visa status?"

    If you ask these questions of one candidate, you must ask them of all candidates at the same stage of the hiring process.

    If a candidate volunteers more information in response to these questions rather than a simple "yes" or "no" it is generally not advisable to make further inquiries about the status of their work authorization. Instead, tell the candidate that if a contingent job offer is made, further information will be requested through Human Resources in order to evaluate the candidate's work authorization status.

  4. If the individual you intend to hire self-identifies the need for a visa to accept employment, contact Human Resources immediately at 6946. We can then begin working with the individual to process the necessary work authorization such as an H-1B temporary worker visa.
  5. In order for an international employee to work for an employer longer than the six years allowed for the H-1B temporary worker visa, they must seek permanent residency. They can do this through several different processes; however, the most common is an employer-sponsored process called Labor Certification which is pursued through the Department of Labor. Human Resources helps the employee through this process.
  6. We can only utilize the Labor Certification process for faculty/teaching positions on our campus. The standard utilized is that the international applicant was the "best qualified candidate" in the pool of applicants. For non-teaching positions, the standard utilized is "the only qualified applicant." There is virtually no way for us to demonstrate that an International individual is "the only qualified applicant" in the United States. Thus, while we can certainly hire International individuals for non-teaching positions, their employment with us will be limited to six years under the H-1B visa, unless they obtain permanent residency through some other non-employer sponsored process.
  7. The Labor Certification process requires that the employer used a national professional journal advertisement (i.e. 30 calendar day electronic posting in the Chronicle or a national print ad) for purposes of soliciting applicants for employment. If we do not use a national ad we are unable to sponsor an individual through the Labor Certification process. We have had several instances where a national advertisement was not placed in an effort to save money for the department. In these instances, the International faculty member had to resign from his/her current position and go through another good faith search for a different position - for which there is no guarantee s/he will be the successful applicant. This has caused significant difficulty for several of our valued international faculty members. Please remember that all probationary faculty searches, as a minimum, must utilize a national print advertisement and/or documented 30 calendar day electronic national advertisement (i.e. Chronicle of Higher Education).

Please feel free to contact Human Resources at 507-389-6946 with questions regarding international hiring. We want to insure that our hiring processes treat international candidates appropriately and fairly and that provides them an experience in the process that demonstrates our commitment to diversity and inclusion.