Ramapo College of New Jersey (the “College”) may sponsor foreign nationals for work visas to be employed by the College on a temporary or permanent basis, as needed. It must be understood, however, that immigration regulations are complex and the process may be time-consuming. In addition, the decision to hire a foreign national employee requires a commitment of resources; therefore, no such hire will be made without authorization from the Provost. The College as the employer, and the foreign national as the employee, both have responsibilities and obligations related to the various visa processes and procedures. The College will, in its sole and absolute discretion, assist candidates in the process of attaining appropriate visa status, and will pay those fees that are required by law. The employee shall be responsible for maintaining appropriate visa status to be authorized to work at the College, if and when applicable, and will pay any fees not absorbed by the College. The College may, in its sole and absolute discretion, seek repayment for any funds advanced in connection with the immigration services being advanced for any employee provided that the reimbursement of such monies is permitted by law.
The following procedure serves to clarify institutional and employee responsibilities and obligations for the hiring of non-resident aliens as well as to ensure consistency of procedures for such hires. It is important to note that certain procedures for nonimmigrant and immigrant visas are different and will be more thoroughly outlined in subsequent documentation pertaining to same.
General College Responsibilities
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at the Roukema Center for International Education (RCIE) is responsible for overseeing both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa application processes, including compiling the necessary documents and fees for submission of applications to the Department of Labor (“DOL”), the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) and to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) for the visa in question. ISSS ensures that the College maintains compliance with all applicable laws and regulations set forth by the DOL, DOS, DHS, USCIS, and other government agencies related to international students, faculty staff, or other international visitors, and their accompanying dependents. The ISSS will also assist with the renewals/extensions of nonimmigrant visas as needed.
International Student and Scholar Services is the only unit officially authorized to represent Ramapo College with regard to processing the Labor Certification and all visa documents (F-1, J-1, H-1B, LPR, O-1, TN etc.) of nonimmigrant aliens for all schools. Only the Deans or the Hiring Managers will be authorized to sign the support letter and the Competitive Recruitment Report for the PERM Labor Certification to be submitted to the USCIS and DOL respectively. Samples of the support letter/report will be provided by the ISSS.
Preparation and planning for immigration applications will be performed in coordination with the College’s People Operations and Employee Resources Department and ISSS. The People Operations and Employee Resources Department will notify any union of any application for either nonimmigrant or immigrant status for a potential employee as is required by the law and by policies in any Collective Bargaining Agreement between the College and the union. The People Operations and Employee Resources Department is responsible for monitoring the non-immigrant status of foreign national employees who are placed on the College’s payroll to ensure that all employees are authorized to work in the United States and have satisfied the Department of Homeland Security’s I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form requirements for the time that they remain on the College’s active payroll.
Nonimmigrant (e.g., H-1B, O-1, TN, J-1, F-1) and immigrant (PERM/”Green Card”) visa status can be requested for tenure-track faculty and full-time staff on a temporary or permanent basis, as needed. A determination whether to process a case “in-house” or to refer it to a private attorney is made on a case-by-case basis, depending upon variables such as type of case, level of expertise required, employment category that provides the best fit of individual qualifications, history of non-immigrant visa status, time allowance, terms of employment, etc. Review of available options is based on documentation and information provided by the nonimmigrant foreign national, followed by preliminary dialogue with the immediate supervisor who would support the permanent residency application.
Staff members must hold a permanent position at the College and must have been employed at the RCNJ in H-1B or O-1 visa classification for at least two years in order to be eligible for sponsorship for permanent residence by the College. Staff must obtain approval from ISSS if the Permanent Labor Certification Application is to be processed by an outside attorney. ISSS will consult with the Provost’s Office if attorney costs may by incurred by the College. If a foreign national is authorized by ISSS to retain the service of an attorney for any visa categories, ISSS must sign any formal documentation including USCIS Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative, as the official representative of the College. Other hiring officials, faculty members or staff members are not authorized to sign on behalf of the College. Under no circumstances should the hiring department make any commitment of sponsorship for permanent residence to the employees and should be referred to ISSS for preliminary consultation.
The College will pay for the government instituted application processing fees and for attorney fees accompanying the filing of either a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa application, if necessary and as required by law, and in the sole and absolute discretion of the College. The College will not pay for premium processing fees or associated attorney fees for premium processing. Exceptions will be made for premium processing fees paid only where such filing is clearly for and on behalf of the College’s benefit and the fees are clearly delineated as a College business expense, such as, where recruitment efforts have not produced a viable candidate, and timing is a factor. Approval by the Provost in consultation with ISSS for such delineation shall be required.
Because nonimmigrant visa status is temporary in nature, and carries a specified term limit, it may be necessary for the employee to renew his/her nonimmigrant visa in order to remain employed by the College or to attain permanent resident status to continue employment at the College (this is especially the case if a job offer is made after the prospective employment candidate has been on a nonimmigrant visa). The College is fully responsible for attorney fees and advertising costs associated with the PERM labor certification process, a necessary component of the permanent residency process for some prospective employees, and any other fees that may be incurred by the College in connection with the PERM Application (otherwise known as the “first step” to obtaining a green card or immigrant visa), as is now or hereafter required by law.
By law, any prospective employee who does not have proof of work authorization (pursuant to the I-9 document verification requirements referenced above) may not be placed on or remain on the College’s active payroll and will not be permitted to perform any work until valid work authorization and identity documents can be provided pursuant to the Form I-9 document requirements.
Employment verification on the Form I-9 shall be undertaken by the People Operations and Employee Resources Department in a nondiscriminatory manner. The College shall not determine which documents the prospective employee should show in the verification process. That shall be the choice of the prospective employee. The verification shall be made on or before the date when the employee’s work authorization is due to expire. Any reverification shall take place in accordance with the employment verification rules promulgated by the DHS, the Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration-related Employment Practices (“OSC”) and any other organization with rules that govern the employment verification process.
All search materials must be transferred to the Roukema Center for International Education where they will be retained for six and one-half (6-1/2) years for federal auditing purposes.
General Employee Responsibilities
The employee shall continue to be responsible for keeping his/her nonimmigrant visa status up to date in order to be authorized to work at the College. The employee shall inform the People Operations and Employee Resources Department and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) within 180 days of any potential lapse of their immigrant or nonimmigrant status. The employee shall provide all necessary information required for submission of the nonimmigrant or immigrant visa application upon any request by the College or its legal counsel. The employee must provide timely notification to the Dean/Unit Head, ISSS at the Roukema Center for International Education, and the People Operations and Employee Resources Department if the temporary status needs to be extended, or if there are any emerging issues with regard to the nonimmigrant status. The College shall not be responsible for assisting any spouse or children of the employee to either obtain or maintain their immigration status in the U.S.
The employee is required to pay for any premium processing fees. Exceptions may be made for premium processing fees paid only where such filing is for the College’s benefit and the fees could be delineated as College business expenses, such as, where recruitment efforts have not produced a viable candidate, and timing is a factor. Approval of the Provost (or his/her authorized and designated representative) in consultation with ISSS for such delineation shall be required.
Because the nonimmigrant visa status is temporary in nature, it may be necessary for the employee to renew their nonimmigrant visa, or to attain permanent residency status (green card) to continue employment at the College. The ISSS at the Roukema Center for International Education will assist in the renewal of nonimmigrant visa status.
While the College will pay for attorney fees and advertising costs associated with the PERM labor certification process for permanent resident status, the employee shall bear all other costs required for the permanent resident application, including any and all associated attorney fees and related costs for the filing of the Form I-140 and subsequent adjustment of status application (I-495) (or consular processing) as required by each particular case.
It is important to note that any foreign national employed by the College shall also be bound by all College policies, laws and regulations, including the Code of Conduct, ethics and reporting requirements, as required by any and/or all other Ramapo College employees.
Should the College act, in any capacity, as a sponsor in connection with the immigration status of a foreign national employee, it is expected the employee will remain employed with the College for at least two years after attainment of permanent residency (unless a contract is not renewed or the employee is discharged for cause). Failure to remain employed with the College for two years after attainment of permanent residency (green card) shall give rise to an obligation by the employee to reimburse the College for “liquidated damages” (not a penalty) for expenses and fees associated with the permanent residency process (as permitted by law).
Summary of College Responsibilities:
- Compile necessary documents and fees for submission to DOL, DOS, and DHS
- Assist with visa application and renewals/extensions
- Notify union of any applications for either nonimmigrant or immigrant status
- Monitor non-immigrant status
- Ensure all employees are authorized to work in the U.S. via Form I-9
- Pay for those fees as required by law (attorney fees and advertising costs associated with the PERM labor certification process)
- Retain search materials for 6-1/2 years
Summary of Employee Responsibilities:
- Maintain up-to-date nonimmigrant visa status
- Inform HR within 180 days of potential lapse of immigrant or nonimmigrant status
- Notify College promptly of any emerging issues of nonimmigrant status
- Work with an outside attorney approved by the College for Lawful Permanent Resident process if needed
- Abide by all College policies and procedures
- Remain in the employ of the College for two years after attainment of permanent residency
- Pay for those fees not required by law to be paid by the College (premium processing; attorney fees for premium processing; costs required for Permanent Resident application (except for advertising and attorney fees), such as fees for filing Form I-140, and subsequent Adjustment of Status Application (or Consular Processing)
Board of Trustees Foreign Nationals Policy – 482
See also College Search Process
October 16, 2009
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