FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY APPLICATIONS:
FACULTY, RESEARCHERS, STAFF AND STUDENTS
University sponsors for U.S. permanent residence full-time,
regular employees in certain academic positions. The
University will not sponsor staff who are in non-academic
positions, except when a special case is made for an
exception to this policy. Drexel University will not
sponsor students, part-time, or temporary employees
for permanent residence.
the University is able to sponsor a non-immigrant employee
for permanent residence, International Students and
Scholars Services (“ISSS”) will authorize an attorney
retained by the employee to initiate the permanent residence
application. A University-sponsored permanent residence
application CANNOT be initiated without the authorization
of ISSS. Deans, Directors and Department Heads must
consult ISSS to initiate the permanent residence process
for any employee. Employees initiating the permanent
residence process without prior written permission from
ISSS risk having their application process delayed or
FOREIGN NATIONAL EMPLOYEES IN ACADEMIC
POSITIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY
University offers permanent residence sponsorship to
full-time, regular foreign national employees in academic
job classifications at the University. These positions
include professor, associate professor, assistant professor
and research associate. (A department must have funding
for at least three years in the future for the University
to sponsor a research associate). The University does
not sponsor post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, auxiliary
or adjunct faculty for permanent residence, since these
positions are considered by the University to be temporary
and do not always carry full University benefits. The
University requires that individuals offered tenured
appointments must be U.S. workers as defined by the
U.S. Department of Labor, before accepting the position.
A) Tenured Appointments
a department is considering offering a tenured appointment
to a foreign national who does not already have permanent
residence status, the following points must be borne
Since a tenured appointment is an appointment without
limit of time, the only status appropriate for such
an appointment is permanent residence or other indefinite
U.S. worker status.
· Obtaining permanent residence takes considerable time,
approximately 18-24 months at the time of this publication.
· A tenured appointment cannot be conferred by the University
until the individual has obtained permanent residence
or U.S. worker status.
· If an academic department is considering an offer
of a tenured position and feels the delay is too lengthy,
the department may wish to consider offering a temporary
position, such as a visiting faculty appointment. This
will enable the University to obtain H-1B visa status
for the individual.
· If the scholar is already in the U.S. on a temporary
visa, adjustment of status to permanent residence is
sometimes possible. However, this process must be completed
before the individual can take up the tenured appointment.
B) Tenure Probationary Appointments
international scholar may be appointed to a faculty
position that at the outset is not tenured. If the candidate
does not have, at the time of appointment, the appropriate
immigration status, the letter of offer should clearly
state that the appointment is conditional upon obtaining
the appropriate immigration status.
with the appointment of a foreign national to a tenured
faculty position, if the appointee does not have U.S.
permanent residence status, or is not a U.S. worker,
the University will normally sponsor the application
for such status. If there is not sufficient time to
obtain permanent residence status, the appointee may
obtain H-1B status for the initial period of the appointment
(i.e., the first three years in most instances). Immigration
law permits “dual intent,” for H-1B visa holders. This
makes it possible for employers to use the H-1B status
for tenure-track or lecturer appointments while in the
process of obtaining permanent residence status for
C) Non-Tenure Accruing Academic Appointments
the University will sponsor for U.S. permanent residence
certain individuals holding non-tenure accruing positions
within the academic staff. In all instances, there must
be evidence of on-going support (a minimum of three
years) for the position and written approval by the
Department Head and Dean/Director indicating the basis
for their decision to sponsor the application. This
policy will include some research associates and, in
a few cases, the position of senior lecturer.
2. NONIMMIGRANT EMPLOYEES IN NON-ACADEMIC
STAFF POSITIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY
University does not sponsor foreign national employees
in non-academic staff positions such as research specialist,
programmer analyst, or laboratory technician for permanent
residence. This policy is an expression of the University’s
desire to provide employment opportunities for U.S.
workers in the Philadelphia area. The University can
make an exception, however, if it can be demonstrated
that there are no qualified U.S. workers available in
the Philadelphia area for a given staff position.
University department can request an exception to this
policy on behalf of a foreign staff member by writing
a letter (with an attached job description) to ISSS.
The process includes placement of a newspaper advertisement
and other procedures necessary for consideration of
the exception request.
employees sponsored by the University for permanent
residence are required to commit to a minimum of three
years full time employment at the University upon the
granting of permanent residence by United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services.
3. GENERAL APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR FILING FOR
U.S. PERMANENT RESIDENCE STATUS
are normally three steps involved in obtaining U.S.
permanent residence status on the basis of an offer
of employment when an individual is in the U.S. and
seeking to adjust to permanent residence status while
remaining in the United States. The University’s authorized
immigration attorney shall be responsible for taking
the following steps:
Application for Labor Certification filed with the Department
of Labor. The purpose of the Labor Certification (for
faculty positions only) is to demonstrate 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 U.S. workers who applied for the job.”
The standard for non-faculty positions is more stringent.
Non-faculty labor certifications will only be approved
if it can be demonstrated that there are no qualified
U.S. workers available for a position. This step is
not necessary for an application filed under the outstanding
researcher or national interest waiver category.
Please note that, while ISSS exception request process
reflects some labor certification procedures, the exception
process is completely separate from and usually has
no bearing on an application for labor certification
with the Department of Labor.
Petition for immigrant classification filed with the
Immigration Service (I-140). This is the first step
in the application for classification as an outstanding
Application for adjustment of status to that of a U.S.
permanent resident filed with the Immigration Service
4. COST AND FEES
is within the discretion of the College or School to
provide funding toward attorney and filing fees associated
with the permanent residence process. If the College
or School chooses not to provide the funding, but does
agree to sponsor the employee’s permanent residence
process, it is the responsibility of the employee to
pay all money and filing fees associated with the permanent