Employment of Foreign Nationals
Stockton University does not discriminate in employment on the basis of national origin. However, all employment offers to foreign nationals must be conditional upon the employee's eligibility to work in the United States. Under no circumstances may the University knowingly employ, or contract employment with, a person who does not have the legal right or authorization under federal law to work in the United States.
As required by federal law, all individuals hired by the University, whether U.S. or foreign-born and without limitation or discrimination, must complete and sign United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Form I-9 - Employment Eligibility Verification, and present acceptable original documents as required by Form I-9 to establish identity and eligibility to work in the United States.
The determination of whether a foreign national is authorized to begin employment (or will need immigration sponsorship) will be made by the University prior to an offer of employment. If the Office of Human Resources determines that such authorization is required, the Divisional Executive who is hiring the Foreign National shall provide written notice to the Office of Human Resources and the Office of General Counsel to approve and fund University sponsorship for the necessary Nonimmigrant Visa.
The University will prepare and file a Nonimmigrant Visa Petition to obtain appropriate work authorization. It is the responsibility of the foreign national to fully cooperate with this process by providing to the University all requested documents within a reasonable time. The University reserves the right to withdraw an offer of employment if the foreign national intentionally or unreasonably delays providing required documentation to process a Nonimmigrant Visa Petition.
Information about H-1B Visa
The most common Nonimmigrant Visa classification used in the hiring of foreign nationals is the H-1B visa. Foreign nationals who are classified as professionals, i.e. persons working in positions that require at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialized field, can be eligible for H-1B status. H-1B status is a temporary, non-immigrant classification that is employer specific, so a person in H-1B status is authorized to work only for the petitioning employer.
The H-1B process must be initiated prior to the date the foreign national is expected to begin work in H-1B status. Approval of H-1B immigration status must be obtained by the University before the individual can be placed on the University’s payroll and begin work unless the individual possesses an immigration status that allows employment while the H-1B petition is pending.
Some employees in Nonimmigrant Visa Status may require extensions of their nonimmigrant status during employment with the University. In order to ensure the timely filing of an extension, the University will maintain a record reflecting the nonimmigrant status of University employees who are foreign nationals. The Divisional Executive shall determine whether to extend the nonimmigrant status of the foreign national employee and, not less than six months prior to the expiration date, shall provide written notice to the Office of Human Resources and the Office of General Counsel, to file an extension of the nonimmigrant status for such employee.
Sponsorship for Lawful Permanent Residence
The University will consider the sponsorship of Lawful Permanent Residence (“LPR”) for full-time, tenure-track and tenured faculty and full-time, permanent staff. Employees are eligible for University sponsorship of LPR after the first year performance review. Decisions to provide University support to faculty for an employer-sponsored permanent residence shall be made by the Office of the Provost, in consultation with the appropriate School Dean, on a case-by-case basis.
All other full-time employees are eligible for University sponsorship after their first-year performance review. Decisions to provide University support to staff for an employer-sponsored permanent residence shall be made by the employee’s Divisional Executive on a case-by-case basis.
Approval Process for Sponsorship
Only the Provost or the Divisional Executive can approve requests for foreign national sponsorship for permanent residence, and no commitments to sponsor foreign nationals may be made without prior approval from the Provost or the Divisional Executive.
To request University sponsorship of a foreign national for permanent residence, the appropriate School Dean shall submit to the Provost the form entitled Request for University Sponsorship of Foreign National for Permanent Residence.
In making such request, factors to consider shall include: (i) the program or activity in which the individual is involved; (ii) how the individual is needed as an integral part or as an essential component of the department or activity; and (iii) what current and future benefit the individual brings to the University. Such requests shall be treated as recommendations only and are not binding on the University. The final decision to sponsor a foreign national will be made by the Provost or the Divisional Executive. The University shall not initiate the process to sponsor any foreign national unless the Provost or the Divisional Executive provides written notice to the Office of Human Resources and the Office of General Counsel.
Employment-based Permanent Residency Classifications
The two most frequently used categories for permanent residency (“Green Card”) sponsorship by the University are EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher and EB-2 Labor Certification.
EB-1 Outstanding Professor or Researcher: The EB-1 category is reserved for established and outstanding faculty and researchers. This category requires filing only with USCIS.
EB-2 Labor Certification: The University uses the EB-2 advanced degree professional category for tenure-track and tenured faculty and some staff positions that require an advanced degree. This category first requires filing a Labor Certification Application (“PERM”) with the United States Department of Labor. This category is dependent on approval of the PERM by Department of Labor.
Retention of Immigration Counsel and Associated Expenses for Sponsorship
Applying for employment-based permanent residence is a complex process and requires the assistance of an immigration attorney with particular expertise in the area of permanent residence applications for University faculty and employees. Since the University will sponsor all applications for permanent residence, the University will select and retain the immigration attorney who will prepare and file the required documents.
While employees may if they choose retain their own immigration counsel (at their expense), they are not permitted to apply for permanent residence based on their employment at the University using an attorney that is not retained by the University.
Once an individual has been approved by the University for permanent residence sponsorship, decisions regarding payment of costs associated with the application process will be made in accordance with University procedures.
Employees shall be responsible for maintaining appropriate visa status to be authorized to work at the University, if and when applicable, and shall pay all fees and expenses that are not paid by the University. Employees shall inform the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Human Resources 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 application for Nonimmigrant Visa or Lawful Permanent Residence upon any request by the University or the University’s outside immigration attorney.
While the University will use reasonable efforts to sponsor an employee for permanent residence, the University does not guarantee permanent residence approval or U.S. work authorization. The federal government is solely responsible for approving petitions and applications and determining eligibility for any immigration benefit.
Questions about University sponsorship of foreign nationals should be directed as follows:
- Office of the Provost: Kelly.Oquist@stockton.edu (Ph: 609.652.4719) – Questions about sponsorship of faculty for permanent residency and associated expense.
- Office of the General Counsel: LegalDepartment@stockton.edu (Ph: 609.652.4295) - Questions about petitions, amendments, or extensions for H-1B or TN status; and the status of petitions for permanent residency.
- Office of Human Resources: HR@stockton.edu (Ph: 609.652.4384) – Questions about processing of employment documents, such ePARs; employability of persons who already have a visa; Form I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification; or authorization to work in the United States.
- U.S. Government Websites