H-1B Visas & University-Sponsored Permanent Residency Working Group Results & Next Steps Adria Baker, Director – International Students & Scholars Jana Callan, Director – Recruitment & Systems Management (HR)
What Raised the Issue? • The process is complex, involves many offices, and no one group “owns” or monitors the entire process. • Increased numbers of H-1Bs and University-sponsored Permanent Residency application requests, with an expectation of greater growth ahead, given the V2C. • Laws have changed and non-compliance penalties have increased.
H-1B Visas • Used to employ a professional temporarily in a “specialty occupation”. • Maximum of six (6) years. • Requires a new petition if: 1) transferring visa to new employer, or 2) when job changes significantly.
H-1B requires… • Employer sponsorship for a specific job • Prevailing wage determination • Attestations to the Department of Labor • Maintenance of a central public audit file • Subject to audit from the DOL
H-1B Costs/Timing • Rice MUST pay $500 anti-fraud fee • Total estimated costs are $2,500 • Premium processing, an addtl. $1,250 • Processing time, 5-6 months • With premium processing, 4-6 weeks
University-Sponsored Permanent Residency • Available in different ways for different groups: • EB1 for “Extraordinary or Outstanding Workers” • EB2 for “Advanced Degree Workers” • EB3 for “Professional & Skilled Workers” • For employment based groups other than EB1, Department of Labor requires labor certification, called PERM.
PERM requires … • Rice sponsorship for a specific job • Prevailing wage determination • Attestations to the Department of Labor • Maintenance of a compliance file (5 year retention period per case) • Being subject to audit from the DOL
Permanent Residency & PERM Costs/Timing • Rice must pay all PERM -related fees/expenses (approx. $4,000). • Estimated total cost of Permanent Residency & PERM combined is $9,000 to $10,000. • Processing time is variable based on the employment category.
Why the need for procedures and a process? • Increase in recruitment & hiring of international faculty & staff • Requests from Rice departments for clarification of process and procedures • Change in DOL laws regarding PERM
Why the need for procedures and a process? (cont.) • DOL’s “outreach” effort to train employers on the new laws. • Lack of compliance could lose Rice the ability to sponsor H-1B visas or university-sponsored PRs.
Working Group’s Charge (Sponsored by Provost Levy-July 2007): • Reviewing issues and identifying risks. • Reviewing changes in recent laws and DOL audit practices. • Outlining appropriate procedures for processing H-1B and PR while maintaining compliance. • Identifying who’s responsible for what piece (and risks).
Processes … • Are different depending upon the type of employee being hired, i.e. • Faculty • Staff (including research staff) • Postdoctoral Associates • On what is being applied for • H-1B • Permanent Residency and the employment category
Processes … (cont.) • And involve: • The employee • Hiring department • Immigration attorney • Human Resources • Office of International Students & Scholars
What’s Next • Dean’s Council update, November 28 • Focus group opportunity, December 3; 9:30-10:30am; OISS, A 2nd floor, Lovett Hall • Trainings, December 10 & date in January TBA • “Manual” of Processes/Forms posted on HR & OISS websites
H-1B /PR Working Group Co-Chairs • Adria Baker, Office of International Students & Scholars • Jana Callan, Human Resources Special Visitors • Paula Sanders, Dean of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies • Judy Lee, Immigration Attorney – Quan Burdette & Perez Working Group • Kathy Collins, VP for Finance • Mary Cronin, Assoc VP for HR • Colleen Dutton, Human Resources • Carlos Garcia, Office of the General Counsel • Kevin Kirby, VP for Administration • Carol Quillen, Vice Provost – Academic Affairs • Yemeen Rahman, Info. Technology • John Randall, Bioengineering • Bart Sinclair, Brown School of Engineering • Tessie Skulski, Controller’s Office • Richard Zansitis, General Counsel