Boise State University welcomes the contributions of scholars from all over the world in carrying out its mission. The University depends on scholars from around the world with expertise in a wide range of academic disciplines. Employer-sponsored applications for permanent residency for faculty help assure the on-going involvement of valued scholars in the life of the university. Questions concerning lawful permanent residency sponsorship should be directed to The Office of the General Counsel.
WHO IS SPONSORED
Boise State will consider sponsorship for tenured or tenure-track appointments (Professor, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor). In addition, Boise State will consider sponsorship for permanent research positions (the definition of Permanent is explained in detail below). Post-doctoral positions and other non-permanent positions; e.g. “visiting”, “acting,” “interim”, etc. are not eligible for University-sponsored permanent residency petitions. Under exceptional circumstances, the Provost may make limited exceptions to this policy. Exceptional circumstances are considered to exist when long-term services of an employee are deemed to be mission critical to the University and would serve the University’s best interests.
REALITY OF THE PROCESS
The “green card” process is lengthy, involving up to three government agencies, and the final decision to grant permanent residence must be made by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It is never a certainty that permanent residency will be approved, and therefore should not be promised as an enticement benefit for employment. Regardless of what any person may have heard or read, the process is slow and heavily regulated by the Federal Government. No one should expect a rapid, smooth or easy process to obtain permanent residency. All persons involved should expect a lengthy process with no guarantee of success.
WHAT TO DO
If a faculty member wishes to be considered for university-sponsored permanent residency, he or she must notify the department head and must begin the process no sooner than after the first full semester of instruction is completed by the faculty member. University sponsorship for legal permanent residency is separate and distinct from tenure, and approval of sponsorship for permanent residency by the University is not a guarantee of tenure in the future.
A request that the University support the Permanent Residence petition of a non-US national must be submitted in writing by the department chair to the Provost. If the request for support is for an individual in a position that does not meet the criteria listed above and is thus a request for an exceptional circumstances exception, the letter must document fully the reasons why an exception to University policy is being requested.
If the University agrees to support a petition, the non-US national will be so notified in a letter from the Provost, with a copy to the department chair. Once authorized by the Provost, the petitioner will be instructed to retain the services of one of a number of immigration attorneys who have been authorized to represent Boise State University in immigration matters. This list may be obtained from The Office of General Counsel. Applicants may not use an attorney of their own choice who is not on the authorized list. An applicant may ask that an attorney be added to the list and such a request will be considered if the attorney belongs to AILA. Such approval will be at the sole discretion of the University General Counsel. Boise State University will pay the attorney a reasonable flat amount, as determined by the General Counsel. This amount will cover the costs and fees associated with the filing of a Labor Certification, if such is required, and a portion of the costs and fees associated with the filing of the I-140. The beneficiary faculty member will be responsible for the remainder of the fees and costs. A department may pay the remaining fees if it so wishes.
Individuals receiving this benefit may be required to repay a portion of the benefit depending on their length of employment:
- If the employee voluntarily resigns within one year of the date of the first payment to the outside attorney, he or she will be required to pay back 100% of the benefit received except costs and fees which are paid toward a Labor Certification filing. If no Labor Certification is filed, they will be required to pay back 100% of the total benefit.
- If the employee voluntarily resigns more than one year and less than two years from the date of the first payment to the outside attorney he or she will be required to pay back 75% of the benefit they received except costs and fees which are paid toward a Labor Certification filing. If no Labor Certification is filed, they will be required to pay back 75% of the total benefit.
- If the employee voluntarily resigns more than two years and less than three years from the date of the first payment to the outside attorney he or she will be required to pay back 50% of the benefit they received except costs and fees which are paid toward a Labor Certification filing. If no Labor Certification is filed, they will be required to pay back 50 % of the total benefit.
Any exemptions to this policy require a request from the employee for approval from the Provost.
In no case may an individual faculty member or department chair sign a Permanent Residence petition or Labor Certification as the employer/representative of Boise State University; such authorization signatures must be obtained through the University General Counsel’s Office. Any petitions or Labor Certifications filed without the signature of the President obtained through the University General Counsel’s Office will not be honored by Boise State University and the University will not be responsible for any legal action, fees or damages that may result.
A non-US national is free to retain counsel to obtain his or her own legal advice or representation. However, in order for a private attorney to be able to represent both the foreign national and the University for permanent-residence processing, the attorney must be from the approved list. The University will not reimburse individuals for legal expenses, whether or not the University has permitted the attorney to also represent the University for purposes of permanent residency processing, unless specifically approved as stated in this policy.
Note: Employees are free to file immigrant petitions on their own behalf without approval by Boise State University. These petitions may be filed in the categories of “Family Ties”, “Extraordinary Ability” or “National Interest Waiver,” and the employee him/herself will act as the petitioner. While Boise State department heads, professors, and other employees may write recommendation letters in support of such applications, they may not sign any US Government forms on behalf of the University in relation to these applications.
No Boise State University department or individual shall promise current or prospective employees that the University will obtain permanent residence status on their behalf. The decision to file such an application must be made by the appropriate hiring authority in consultation with the Provost.
Note: “Permanent” is defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a position in which there is no anticipated ending date on the part of both the employer and the employee. In the case of positions that are grant-funded, it is possible to consider them to be permanent provided there is a reasonable expectation that the funding will continue into the foreseeable future. The University defines a “permanent” position, for the purposes of this policy only, as where there is a reasonable expectation that funding is available for at least three years. The term “permanent” should not be construed to suggest future employment rights, and is used in this policy only and without regard to University employment policies and budget considerations.
If you have any questions, please contact Kendra Smith, Senior Paralegal/Director of Foreign Faculty Services, at:
Phone: (208) 426-4407
Mailing Address: 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID 83725-1002