Procedures for Departments
In order for a non-US citizen to live and work in the U.S. permanently, he or she must obtain lawful permanent residence status. As an employer, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) can pursue employment-based permanent residence status for any employee whom the university intends on retaining beyond the duration of their temporary visit. Sponsorship for permanent residence (PR) or a “green card” requires a significant commitment of University resources. Governmental agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are responsible for administering and regulating this immigration process. Applying for permanent residency involves multiple steps and can take years to obtain. The University cannot control the amount of time it takes to obtain permanent residence.
NCCU sponsors two categories for PR only – (1) Teaching Faculty under Optional Special Recruitment (previously known as Special Handling) and (2) Outstanding Professors and Researchers. NCCU does not provide sponsorship in cases where an individual can self-petition, such as for National Interest Waivers or Extraordinary Ability. The following information serves as a guide to NCCU’s policy and procedures for the permanent residency application process for these categories. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is here to assist departments with this process. Departments are prohibited by NC Statute from using outside attorneys when the employer, NCCU, is the legal petitioner of the immigration case.
Departments should never promise sponsorship before hiring as the above conditions and following procedures must be met. Only the Provost on the recommendation of the Director of OIA can approve requests for sponsorship, and no commitments to sponsor international faculty for permanent residence may be made without prior approval from the Provost’s office.
PERM Department of Labor Audit File for Optional Recruitment (Teaching Faculty)
As per the PERM regulations, the items below must be retained in the Audit file (must be there upon the filing of the case) in the event that the Department of Labor (DOL) requests them. If DOL requests them, which they regularly do, DOL will require them within 30 days of the PERM submission. Failure to provide them can result in denial of the case as well as fines, penalties, and/or supervised recruitment of the university by DOL.
Re: “Special Handling” (20 CFR, Section 656.18) (Now known as “Optional Special Recruitment and Documentation Procedures for College and University Teachers”)
1) Documentation to show clearly that the employer selected the alien for the job opportunity pursuant to a competitive recruitment and selection process, through which the alien was found to be more qualified than any of the United States workers who applied for the job.
2) Evidence includes the following “Documentation of the Competitive Recruitment and Selection Process”:
(A) a statement, signed by an official who has actual hiring authority from the employer, outlining in detail the complete recruitment procedures undertaken, and which must set forth: the total number of applicants for the job opportunity; the specific lawful job-related reasons why the alien is more qualified than each U.S. worker who applied for the job. (for example, “Dr. _____had experience in lie theory, one of the requirements in the national ad, and the other applicants who were not selected, Drs._______, ____, ___, did not.”)
3) A final report of the faculty, student, and/or administrative body making the recommendation or selection of the alien, at the completion of the competitive recruitment and selection process (made to the Dean, Department Head or similar executive officer) and also including the information above (total number of applicants for the job opportunity; the specific lawful job-related reasons why the alien is more qualified than each U.S. worker who applied for the job.)
4) A copy of at least one print advertisement for the job opportunity placed in a national professional journal, giving the name and the date(s) of publication; and which states the job title, duties, and requirements.
5) Evidence of all other recruitment sources utilized.
6) A written statement (from the department chairman or head) attesting to the degree of the alien’s educational or professional qualifications and academic achievements.
7) Proof that this application is being filed within 18 months after a selection was made pursuant to a competitive recruitment and selection process. (Selection date is usually prior to the offer letter – the date on which Human Resources, or whichever division deals with faculty hiring, approved the hiring.)
8) The original posting that was posted for 10 consecutive days in conspicuous locations “at the facility or location of employment.” Note: As per 20 CFR Section 656.10, General Instructions, this posting must “be provided between 30 and 180 days before filing the application.” So, the department should post the notice for 10 consecutive business days, then leave it up a minimum of 30 consecutive business days, and then file the case. Keep in mind how much extra time (40 consecutive business days) this adds to the timing of the case, and track the 18 month deadline accordingly.
9) Copies of any letters of recommendation for the alien for whom the University is petitioning.
10) Resume, degree(s) of the alien for whom the University is petitioning. (If the degree(s) is a foreign degree, there must be an official translation and official credentials evaluation.)
11) Resumes for all other candidates. The regulations state that “the certifying officer, after reviewing the employer's recruitment report, may request the U.S. workers' resumes or applications, sorted by the reasons the workers were rejected."
*Letter of Support by the Department Chair or Director (A template letter is available in the International Affairs Office).
*Letters from recognized experts in the field clearly explaining the faculty member’s contributions and standing in the field
*Letters from current/previous employers to demonstrate three (3) years of experience
*USCIS Fees: The cost for filing the I-140 is covered by the OIA. The cost for filing the I-485 (any dependents would be included in on his part of the process) is to be paid by the beneficiary of the petition. Please see the USCIS website, http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/G-1055.pdf for a list of current fees.
If the international faculty member feels he or she may be eligible for this classification or have further questions regarding any of these procedures, please contact Brenda Lewis, Program Manager, Office of International Affairs, for an appointment.