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Employment: Employment of Foreign Nationals

SECTION: HR - Employment NEXT REVIEW DATE: July 2017
APPROVED: January 2012 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: July 2016

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To ensure that Wheeling Jesuit University follows and remains in compliance with Federal, State, Local and USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) laws and requirements.


2.1 Policy Statement

2.1.1 Any candidate for employment or existing faculty, administration or staff member who is not a U.S. citizen and who requires a particular immigration status to maintain employment in the United States will be governed by the contents of this policy.

2.2 Requirements

2.2.1 The teaching, research, and service mission of the University is enhanced by knowledge and expertise shared by foreign nationals joining our community as teachers, scholars, and specialists. In order to employ international faculty, administration, and staff, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, federal law requires that an employer file a petition with USCIS seeking approval of the employment. In order for the University to complete the petition, certain technical requirements must be met, including attestations to labor conditions.

2.3 Petition

2.3.1 Petitions for non-immigrant (visa) sponsorship will normally be evaluated only for positions requiring a high level of expertise and/or a terminal degree in the field, or a high level management or technical position justifying the University's sponsorship. (Faculty members will generally be considered for sponsorship. Administrative and Staff positions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

2.3.2 Petitions for immigrant (green card) sponsorship are based on reasonable expectations of continued employment.

2.3.3 Foreign nationals may not be eligible for sponsorship due to requirements under federal law, including Export Administration Regulations, International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and other federal security requirements.

2.3.4 The University only supports petitions that it authorizes and prepares. Petitions for temporary visa or labor certification submitted without the approval of the Human Resource Department are not binding. Privately-retained attorneys do not have authority to represent the University in these matters unless authorized by the Human Resource Department on behalf of the University. All immigration documents filed by or on behalf of the University must be approved by the Human Resource Department.

2.3.5 The petition process is lengthy and complex. Success in obtaining approval of petitions for temporary and permanent employees is dependent upon reasonable adherence to law, regulation and procedures.

2.3.6 Foreign nationals are limited to employment only for the length of time determined by their initial status, assuming the employee's job performance is otherwise satisfactory and that adequate funding exists.

2.4 Coordination of Effort

2.4.1 Human Resources will be the initial point of contact for all visa and green card sponsorships and will coordinate all activities necessary to obtain the necessary work status assuming employment is expected to continue on a regular basis. This process of assistance is in no way a guarantee of long term employment.

  • There are several categories common to WJU faculty, administration and staff such as H-1B, O-1, TN and permanent residence. There are significant time constraints and costs depending upon category type.
  • Generally, the Departments should allow several months in advance of the start date to prepare the required paperwork and petition to USCIS.

2.5 Employment Documentation

2.5.1 Under no circumstances should a manager or supervisor in any department allow a non-citizen / foreign national to work prior to receiving and submitting all documents to the Human Resources Department for verification. If you have questions about securing employment authorization for non-citizens/non-resident aliens, please contact the Human Resource Department. The following documents are required for every foreign national seeking employment with WJU:

  • Passport, issued by candidate's home country;
  • Permanent Resident Card (green card) or U.S. Work Visa;
  • Social Security Card or proof/receipt of application;
  • Employment Authorization Card (or OPT card for recent graduates);
  • Other/Alternative visa documents that provide work authorization

2.6 Audits:

2.6.1 Random audits are conducted by multiple federal agencies. These can include unannounced visits from the agencies of the Dept. of Labor, DHS ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement), and USCIS (United States Citizenship& Immigration Services). In an effort to establish compliance and consistency with their regulations, all pertinent files involved in any audit will be retained in the Human Resources Department.

2.6.2 In the event of a random audit/visit to your department by any federal officer or investigator, refer them to Human Resources immediately and do not answer any questions. The Human Resource Department will cooperate with any federal officer or investigator to provide the required public audit files for inspection. Legal counsel is permitted by law to be present either in person or telephonically in the event of an audit; Human Resources will initiate that contact should that course of action be deemed appropriate.

2.7 Responsibility and Chronology

2.7.1 Department Head/ Hiring Manager

  • Reviews current policy on hiring practices PRIOR to starting the recruitment process;
  • If anticipated that there will likely not be a qualified US citizen to fill the position, consults with Human
    Resources PRIOR to beginning the recruitment process and PRIOR to making any offers;
  • If there are no US citizens qualified for the position and there is a resulting need for immigration sponsorship, obtains approval to hire a foreign national from Human Resources.

2.7.2 Human Resources

  • Coordinates and authorizes the petition / sponsorship application process and expenses incurred (attorney fees, etc.) with the responsible Executive VP / Chief Academic Officer;
  • Coordinates all outside activities with legal counsel as the sole "point of contact";
  • Reviews & maintains all documentation to ensure proper completion and compliance with all federal, state and local laws, including public access files;
  • Tracks visa expiration dates to avoid potential of missed deadlines and ensures eligibility for continue

2.7.3 Candidate

  • Submits all required recruitment and immigration documentation to Human Resources when needed for official files including I-9 files and USCIS/Immigration files.

2.8 Other Policies and Employment

2.8.1 These guidelines do not replace but are in addition to the University's normal search and recruitment procedures. In all cases, regardless of visa type, a search must be conducted if normally required for the position and all usual forms must be submitted.

2.8.2 Foreign national employees may perform only those functions and responsibilities that are consistent with the appointment and authorized by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. They may begin performing services only after having obtained all necessary government approvals to be employed by the university.


The Director of Human Resources, in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Staff, has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice, and in compliance with the US guidelines established by the Department of Immigration and Naturalization, with the approval of the Board of Directors through the University President or his designee.



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