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Immigration Sponsorship Policy for Employees

This policy applies to permanent or long-term faculty and staff employees. Students and short-term international scholars (ex. J-1, F-1, B-1/2) should contact the Center for International Students and Scholars for immigration sponsorship policies.

Permanent Residency

Permanent Residency sponsorship is offered to eligible employees. It is generally a three-part process comprised of a labor certification filed with the Department of Labor, a Form I-140 employer petition filed with the Department of Homeland Security, and finally, the Form I-485 application for permanent residency, also filed with the Department of Homeland Security. The labor certification requires detailed information about the search and applicants; therefore, departments are asked to work closely with Human Resources to facilitate preparation of these cases.

Outside immigration counsel appointed by Bentley will prepare the first two filings and advise both the institution and employee on issues throughout the case. An individual may seek independent legal advice at his or her own expense at any time. During the final phase of the case, an individual may choose to file the I-485 application for permanent residency with the assistance of personally-appointed counsel, or may choose to proceed with the University's appointed counsel.

Bentley University will pay the filing fees, legal fees, and expenses for labor certifications and employer petitions. Legal fees, filing fees, and expenses relating to an application for permanent residency (Forms I-485, I-765, and I-131) or consular processing for applicant employees or their family members will be paid by the individual unless otherwise indicated in the written offer of employment.

Tenured or Tenure Track Faculty Members, and Faculty on Long-Term Contracts:

University sponsorship is offered if eligible, and coordinated concurrently with any nonimmigrant needs.

In order to gain the advantage of the "special handling" immigration process, forms must be filed to the government within 18 months of the faculty member's selection for the position. The clock starts upon offer, not appointment. This process should commence as soon after hire as possible to avoid losing the benefit of special handling.

Non Tenure Track Faculty, Researchers, Staff Members:

University sponsorship is offered if the employee:

  1. Is eligible per evaluation by Bentley's Director of Workforce Planning & Recruitment in coordination with Bentley's outside Immigration Counsel;
  2. Has been employed by Bentley for a period of at least two years;
  3. Has been offered indefinite employment.
  4. Is supported by his/her manager based on individual performance and detrimental consequences to the department or institution if the individual is not sponsored;
  5. Obtains VP or Dean approval (see Request for Permanent Residency).

The process should commence no earlier than the second anniversary of employment; and, for an applicant in H-1B visa status, no later than the fourth year in H-1B status in the U.S. (regardless of place of employment). Exceptions to timing are available based upon individual circumstances and department needs.

Nonimmigrant Visa Assistance

Faculty and staff employees are generally issued H-1B, TN, O-1, or L-1/2 visas. Preparation of these visas will require the hiring department to work in concert with HR.

International scholars are generally issued J-1, F-1, or B-1/2 visas with assistance by the Center for International Students and Scholars, and are not governed by this policy.

Due to the variability in needs and eligibility, nonimmigrant assistance and/or sponsorship must be assessed on a case by case basis by the Director of Workforce Planning and Recruitment in Human Resources. If a candidate is a recent graduate eligible for OPT, H-1B sponsorship will occur upon the candidate's arrival at Bentley, after s/he has already obtained individual work authorization under OPT.

Bentley University will pay the filing fees for all university-sponsored employment-based non-immigrant visas. Bentley University will pay the legal fees for the H-1B petition if legal counsel is appointed. Bentley will not pay the legal expenses or filing fees for visa applications or petitions by family members.

Last revised 2/4/2010