Department ofHuman Resources

Visa Sponsorship Information for PLU Departments

Is your department looking to hire someone who requires a visa to work at PLU? Are you interested in bringing a scholar from another country to do research with your department at PLU?  Please review the list of visa options below to assist you in finding the right category for your international visitor or faculty member. If you are unsure of the type of visa needed or have questions, please contact Laura Fuhrman in Human Resources at fuhrmala@plu.edu.

Honoraria

PLU welcomes applicants for full-time tenure-track positions who are foreign nationals. The job is required to meet Department of Labor wage requirements, and PLU is required to have immigration status of foreign faculty approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before they can begin work for PLU.

An H-1B visa is a specialty occupation visa category. This category is appropriate for tenure-track faculty and multi-year visiting faculty positions on case-by-case basis. PLU will not support an H-1B visa for a one-year visiting faculty position. The H-1B visa is both employer and position specific.

The university has developed procedures to aid search chairs and committees in hiring international faculty. The procedures are designed to aid faculty involved in the search and hiring process and to convey a sense of the university's support. Please review this document in its entirety. It is equally important to follow HR’s Procedures for Recruitment & Selection of New Tenure-track and Multiple-Year Visiting Faculty. Following these procedures will ensure that the search is in compliance with PLU regulations, as well as federal immigration regulations. These documents can be found here.

Please notify Human Resources and the Provost if a foreign national in the pool of applicants rises to the level of semi-finalist.

The H-1B employee must meet minimum qualifications for the position at the time of filing the H-1B petition.

Due to processing times, the visa request process should be done well in advance, to ensure that the the employee is able to start on the date the department requests. A departmental request for assistance with filing an H-1B must be made no less than two months prior to start date. The Office of the Provost will cover the costs of filing an H-1B for tenure-track faculty.

The period of eligibility in H-1B status is six years, with an extension to be requested after three years of employment in H-1B status. Because H-1B is position-specific, please notify Human Resources in advance of any title or major responsibility changes. Return-home transportation costs are paid by PLU if the H-1B is terminated prior to the end of the authorized stay.

If your department wishes to hire an individual from Canada or Mexico, the TN classification may be appropriate. TN classification is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens who seek to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis to work in a professional-level job under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The individual may qualify for TN classification if the position in the U.S. falls under the NAFTA professional job list. TN classification is employer-specific and the individual must possess the qualifications of the position. TN classification is a non-immigrant category and can be given in three-year increments. 

TN classification is generally not appropriate for tenure-track positions, as TN status is intended to be temporary. Please allow at least one month to process TN status for Canadian citizens, and additional time for Mexican citizens. The sponsoring department will need to provide a TN support letter for the individual applying for TN status. Please contact HR for an example, if needed.

An applicant near Ph.D. completion may be eligible for OPT employment. OPT, which is a benefit of F-1 status is generally valid for 12 months, although individuals in STEM fields are eligible for a 17-month extension. A candidate with OPT status may work at PLU in a tenure-track or visiting faculty position. If a future employee is on F-1 and has OPT authorized, PLU's primary responsibility is to issue a properly worded contract. If a department hires someone in a tenure-track position, a change of status to H-1B will need to be filed by PLU.

While it is important that proper non-immigrant documents from the individual be provided to HR before the start date, OPT status generally does not require additional approval from USCIS.