Employment Options for Non-Resident Alien Permanent Faculty

Tenure/Tenure Track Faculty And Professor Of Practice

  

OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT):  Optional Practical Training is an immigration benefit for a student in F-1 status who has completed their program of study or in the case of a graduate student has completed all coursework and has only thesis or dissertation work to complete.  OPT is valid for 12 months and the student must work in a position related to their major and must be employed full-time (immigration definition of full-time is more than 20 hours per week).  A request for OPT is processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH (OPT STEM) EXTENSION:  An extension of OPT is available to students in the F-1 immigration status who completed programs as listed on the STEM Designated Degree Program List at https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/stem-list.pdf.  Students and employers are required to complete a training plan (Form I-983).  The student must continue to work in a position related to their major and be full-time (more than 20 hours per week).  A request for OPT STEM is processed by USCIS.

H-1B SPECIALTY OCCUPATIONS:  The H-1B immigration classification is a status that allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant basis in specialty occupations.  A specialty occupation means that the position requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specialized field of knowledge.  The employer (in this case UNL) must petition for the H-1B on the employee’s behalf.  The H-1B is an employer specific classification that is processed by USCIS and the employee can work only in the position that was approved by USCIS.  

PERMANENT RESIDENCY:  The current university Policy on Sponsorship for Permanent Residency, which was distributed to all deans and directors in November 2013, includes specific information regarding the types of employees that may be sponsored for permanent residency. For the complete text of this policy, refer to https://globalnebraska.unl.edu/isso/policy-sponsorship-permanent-residency.

The university is able to assist with employment-based sponsorship for permanent residency for the following categories that are specific to institutions of higher learning:

EB-1 OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR OR RESEARCHER:  The department must demonstrate through submission of a petition to USCIS that the employee qualifies as outstanding when compared to other persons in the same field. This type of case is appropriate for a teacher, a researcher or a person whose duties are a combination of both.  Once an employee has a permanent resident card from USCIS they are not required to remain in the position that was used as the basis for their permanent residency.

EB-2 WITH OPTIONAL SPECIAL RECRUITMENT:  The department must demonstrate that the position the employee is in has teaching responsibilities, even if the majority of time is spent in research. Teaching typically means classroom teaching, but teaching in another setting can qualify if the students are enrolled for and receiving university level academic credit(s) for the course that is being taught.  Once an employee has a permanent resident card from USCIS they are not required to remain in the position that was used as the basis for their permanent residency.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  For more details on each of these categories please refer to the https://globalnebraska.unl.edu/isso/docs/ISSO-Handbook.pdf or the ISSO website at https://globalnebraska.unl.edu/isso/faculty-staff-information