Onboarding Foreign Nationals

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1 Onboarding Foreign Nationals

2 Presenters: Jim Hammerschmidt, Ph.D., Executive Director, Office of International Services Ron Puskarits, Director of Compensation, Human Resources

3 TYPES OF IMMIGRATION/VISA CATEGORIES Nonimmigrant Temporary (have time limitations) Immigrant Permanent Annual quota limitations Dual Intent Temporary or Permanent (example: H-1B)

4 COMMON NONIMMIGRANT CATEGORIES AT UIC B1/B2 or WB/WT: Tourist or Business Visitor F-1: Student and/or OPT with work authorization J-1: Exchange Visitors or Students J-1 sponsored by 3 rd parties J-2: Dependents with work authorization ( EADs ) H-1B: Professionals in a Specialty Occupation State 30 H-1B: Physicians under 3 year contract E-3: Australian Specialty Occupation TN: Professionals under NAFTA (Canada/Mexico) O-1: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability PR/1-485 pending: Pending immigrants

5 VISITOR STATUS B-1 = Visitor for business Standard User: Consult with business associates Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars Undertake independent research No teaching, UIC research, or other paid employment permitted Points to Consider: Six-month maximum period of initial authorization Reimbursement of incidental expenses only Permitted to request extension or change status May receive academic honoraria payments Virtual check-in required with documents

6 VISITOR STATUS (CONT.) B-2 = Visitor for pleasure Standard User: Tourism, visit relatives or friends Medical reasons Participate in conventions or conferences of fraternal, social, or service organization Prospective student, but no study Points to Consider: No employment nor study permitted Reimbursements of incidental expenses only May receive academic honoraria payments

7 PROCEDURES FOR INVITING A VISITOR Write a B-1/B-2/WT/WB invitation letter (see OIS website for a template) International must obtain visa stamp (if B-1/B-2) No payment = no I-9 All visitors at UIC must do a virtual check-in at OIS with invitation letter and immigration documents.

8 F-1: STUDENT If enrolled full-time - eligible to work on campus with OIS approval up to 20 hours/week during semester up to 40 hours/week during breaks Maximum of 20 hours/week or 50% appointment not both Can obtain maximum of 1 year* of Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization in field of study *Exceptions exist ( cap-gap, STEM/17-month ext.) Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card) F-1/OPT/CPTs must check-in at OIS with offer letter, and immigration documents

9 F-1/OPT VS. H-1B Reasons to use OPT: EAD provides work flexibility No obligation or filing fees for department Recommended to use OPT time before beginning H-1B time One-time benefit Travel flexibility Reasons not to use OPT: Usually not eligible for full UIC health benefits Stipend provided in most cases that covers part of health insurance cost Cannot recapture unused time of OPT Department wants to begin LPR process ASAP

10 J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM OVERVIEW Objective: Temporary visits for cultural exchange, such as research, teaching or scholarly pursuits Expectation to return to home country with knowledge/experience obtained in U.S. Not an employment visa Health insurance requirement for all J-1s Substantial Presence UIC policies not sufficient Eligibility: Knowledge and experience in a specific field Adequate funding (UIC vs. self-funded) English proficiency requirement UIC Categories: Student Intern, Short-term Scholar, Research Scholar, Professor, Specialist Each category has specific uses, limitations, requirements, etc.

11 J-1 HR POINTS TO CONSIDER Regulatory restrictions: 212(e), 12-month & 24-month bars 30-day grace period Prepare for departure No employment allowed Taking classes permitted But must be incidental to UIC program/research Direct patient contact or care Not allowed for UIC-sponsored J-1s If foreign MDs, must include No Patient Care Letter If a change in activities, worksite, funding, etc. Department must consult OIS first Interdepartmental transfer - download form from website B-1/WB may be a better alternative if objective of visit is only for benefit of the international Timing: OIS can usually process within 2-3 weeks of complete application

12 H-1B: SPECIALTY OCCUPATION OVERVIEW Temporary, professional/specialty position Immigrant and nonimmigrant intent (dual intent) Employment-based (employer petitions for employee) Bachelor s degree or higher required in a specialized field Educational credential evaluation required for all foreign degrees Appropriate state licensure prior to filing, if required for the job Maximum of 6 years H-1B time, unless: Recapturing time requires evidence of time outside U.S. In the LPR process I-140 approval, I-140 pending for 365 days, or Labor Certification pending for 365; may be eligible for 1 or 3 year extension Academic institutions not subject to yearly cap Must be paid prevailing wage as determined by US Dept. of Labor

13 ADDITIONAL H-1B REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL GRADUATES ( IMGS ) M.D. degree or equivalent Credential evaluation required for foreign degrees showing MD diploma & training equivalency State medical license (if clinical practice) must be issued before H-1B petition submitted ECFMG Certificate from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates FLEX, USMLE, etc. (copies of qualifying exams) Certificates: residency, fellowship, board, etc.

14 H-1B HR POINTS TO CONSIDER Changes to original UIC appointment Usually requires an H-1B amendment to be submitted to USCIS prior to change occurring I.e. Changes in worksites, FTE appointments, duties, departments, titles, etc. Allow 6-8 weeks for amendment to be processed by OIS Dual Titles contact OIS to discuss Return cost home obligation of department if job ends sooner than requested H-1B end date. LOA OIS must be notified in writing by department Benefits - H-1Bs must receive full UIC benefits Timing: OIS can usually process within 3-4 months of request

15 H-1B HR POINTS TO CONSIDER (CONT D) Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) Some University positions are covered by CBAs; additional steps Offsite Placement Special rules for University H-1B employees working offsite UIC must retain right of control over employment/employee H-1B Right of Control Memo signed by Dean required, and copy of Hospital Affiliation Agreement in case of audit by DHS/DOL

16 THE BASICS: J-1 VERSUS H-1B Two common types of J-1s at UIC Non-Clinical J-1s UIC-sponsored, research or teaching (non-tenure) purposes only No patient care/contact allowed Request made by department to OIS using J-1 Request Forms available on OIS website Clinical J-1s ECFMG-sponsored for residency/fellowship training OIS must keep a file with relevant documentation including University Resident Agreement, immigration documents, Check In Form, etc. Department works with GME Office for DS-2019; copies to OIS Always subject to 212(e), 2-year home residency requirement May be eligible for State 30 Waiver after training complete

17 THE BASICS: J-1 VERSUS H-1B (CONT D) Two types of H-1Bs Regular H-1B Employment visa sponsored by UIC for up to 6 years Location, date and job title-specific Can only work as disclosed on the H-1B petition Never change terms of employment without speaking with OIS first, as H-1B amendment may be required prior to change State 30 H-1B (above applies plus ) Available for certain physicians who were sponsored by ECFMG for residency/fellowship in J-1 status and subject to 212(e) Require State 30 Waiver to be approved by US Dept. of State Filing Deadlines: October 1 st filing for July 1 st start dates Requires contract to work in medically-underserved area for 40 hours per week for 3-year commitment

18 TN: PROFESSIONAL UNDER NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement agreement between U.S, Canada and Mexico Set list of professions Most require a bachelor s degree Instantaneous, at the border processing 3-year increments Not for tenure-track positions OIS needs a copy of the TN offer letter Cannot transfer from one institution to another without amending status Complete information on OIS website under Guide to Hiring

19 O-1: ALIEN OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY An individual alien who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Initial petitions = 3 years maximum Subsequent petitions = 1 year increments Immigrant intent: if O-1 has an I-485 adjustment application pending, may NOT apply for extension of O-1 status High burden of proof; a lot of documentation required

20 WHAT IS A PERMANENT RESIDENT? May live and work in the U.S. permanently in same manner as a U.S. citizen May not vote or run for public office Continues to owe permanent allegiance to country of citizenship Must pay U.S. taxes just like a citizen Many countries allow dual citizenship Can lose permanent resident status, generally only by criminal conduct or by abandonment through extensive residence abroad Eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizen after five years as permanent resident (three years if married to U.S. citizen sponsor)

21 PATHS TO PERMANENT RESIDENCY You Employment-Based (EB) Family-Sponsored (F) Diversity Lottery (DV) EB-1 I-140: OR or AEO EB-2 Labor Certification I-140: NIW EB-3 I-140 Depends on a family relationship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (spouse, parent, child, sibling, etc.). Preference categories according to how close the relationship. It is best to consult an attorney for the required I-130 and I-485/Consular Processing 50,000 green cards available worldwide based on countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Find more information at: /english/immigrate/diversityvisa.html And I-485 Adjustment of Status OR Consular Processing Green Card

22 COMMON EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANT CATEGORIES EB-1B: First preference outstanding researcher or outstanding professor No Labor Certification Required EB-2: Second preference advance degree professional Labor certification is obtained first Teaching and non-teaching appointments Master s or higher is minimum requirement for position EB-3: Third preference professionals and skilled workers (requiring 2 or more years of specific education) Labor certification is obtained first Non-teaching appointments Bachelor s degree is minimum requirement for position

23 EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES AT UIC Extra Help Student Worker Graduate/Research Assistant Visiting Academic Professional Academic Professional Civil Service Clinical Track Tenure track

24 RECRUITMENT PROCESS Job Analysis Creation of job description Data entry in HireTouch Job posting Review of resumes/cvs Interview process Visa options for international applicants

25 TEMPORARY WORK VISA/PERMIT PROCESS Department identifies potential candidate Department official contacts OIS OIS makes initial assessment based on candidate's qualifications and job offered OIS reviews applications and contacts department with questions Department submits appropriate forms to OIS for processing OIS prepares and submits H-1B petition, TN application or O-1 petition to the immigration service (USCIS) OIS prepares the DS-2019 for the J-1 Exchange Visitor and notifies the department If in the US: obtains approval notice and checks-in with OIS If outside the US: Int'l applies for a visa (entry permit) and enters the US Int'l checks-in with OIS before beginning work/program

26 HIRING VISITING RESEARCH SCHOLAR The HR representative from the Department of Medical Research s the Office of International Services requesting review of a case because the department head just hired a foreign national who will need a visa to enter the U.S. The HR representative sends the Office of International Services copies of a signed offer letter and CV. The manager states that the department would like to bring the international in as a J because there is a short turn-around time and the international is expected to begin employment in two months. Upon review of the documents, the Office of International Services realizes that the international has already signed the offer letter. Contained within the letter is information regarding acceptance of the appointment of the Visiting Research Scholar. The terms of employment (i.e., yearly salary and confirmation of 3 month vacation every summer) are also outlined in the letter. The Office of International Services also notices from the CV that the international is a physician in the home country where she teaches. The job duties of the position include teaching and research involving patient contact.

27 HIRING CIVIL SERVICE CASE SCENARIO The Department of Nuclear Physics has identified a candidate for an IT Technical Associate position and during the interviewing process, the individual discloses that they are a foreign national and will require H-1B sponsorship. The department HR representative is unsure whether non-u.s. citizens and nonpermanent residents are eligible for Civil Service positions. The department HR representative contacts the Office of International Services and is assured that the individual is eligible for H-1B sponsorship so long as the position qualifies and the union is notified of the H-1B filing. There are questions, however, over the degree requirements and whether the position qualifies as a specialty occupation because when looking at the Job Description, there is a mention of the minimum requirement being an Associate s Degree and 60 credit hours of college credit in computer science or a Bachelor s Degree.

28 HIRING ACADEMIC PROFESSIONAL CASE SCENARIO The Department of Xenobiology has identified a candidate for the Visiting Clinical Research Coordinator position. As the candidate is a foreign national, the department HR representative has contact the Office of International Services about H-1B sponsorship. In completing the initial intake forms and submitting the Job Description, the minimum requirement for the position is a Bachelor s Degree in any sciencerelated field. The Office of International Services contacts the department HR representative and says that it would not be possible to proceed with an H-1B because the position does not qualify as a specialty occupation due to the lack of a specific field or related fields as a requirement.

29 HIRING FACULTY CASE SCENARIO The Department of Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences wants to hire a soon-to-be Ph.D. recipient from The Science Academy in Brazil for an August 16 start date. They are scheduled to graduate in May but because The Science Academy only issues degrees in December, they will not have a degree in hand by the start date of the position. In discussions with the Office of International Services, they have requested that a copy of the diploma, a translation, and a credential evaluation be submitted as part of the H-1B paperwork. Without the diploma in hand, there can also be issues with the College.

30 ORIENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP All international employees must check-in with the Office of International Services. Report any changes in employment activities (change of title, work location, etc.). Report changes in visa status. Report termination/separation of employment. Report any leave of absences.

31 SERVICES AVAILABLE The Office of International Services offers the following services: Customized orientation for all new international employees Seminars and workshops for both administrators and international employees Cultural Activities Tax Preparation Software Electronic newsletters

32 Questions?

33 CONTACT INFORMATION Jim Hammerschmidt Telephone: Ron Puskarits Telephone:

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