UTSA colleges, departments, and institutes are increasingly attracting international job applicants and hiring more foreign national faculty and staff members. In some cases, the hiring UTSA organization will decide to sponsor the international employee for permanent employment authorization.
UTSA policy on the hiring of foreign nationals is set forth in the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures, 4.24 Hiring of Foreign Nationals: http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter4/4-24.html.
International Scholar Services has established a contract with UT System Office of General Counsel, that will allow UTSA (on behalf of the sponsoring department) to outsource all permanent residency requests (EB1, EB2, and Special Handling for tenure track teaching faculty positions. In case of Special Handling, the application must be submitted within 18 months of the offer of employment) to highly competent, outside legal immigration counsel.
Special Handling Overview and Procedure
Foreign nationals who have been selected through a competitive recruitment and selection process and who occupy certain teaching positions may be eligible to seek permanent residency through PERM Special Handling Labor Certification.
The preparation and submission of a PERM Special Handling Labor Certification Application to the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL). The application must be filed with DoL within 18 months of job offer. The hiring department must demonstrate to DoL that after a competitive recruitment and selection process, the foreign national was found to be more qualified than any of the U.S. applicants.
The department sponsoring the international scholar for legal permanent residency (LPR) will be responsible for payment of a one-time standard fee of $3,500 per Legal Permanent Residency petition.
This $3,500 fee is for attorney costs and services. It does not include the (additional) federal application processing fees required to be paid to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). A sample of filing fees typically required by the USCIS is attached here.
Please note that the form must be reviewed , approved and signed by the sponsoring department chair and the college dean (or vice president, if applicable). The request form is forwarded to the Executive Vice Provost/Senior International Officer (via the Office of International Programs) for final approval, and subsequent referral to outside counsel by the Office of International Programs.
Once referred, the sponsoring department will be contacted by the outside law firm to immediately begin processing the petitioner's permanent residency petition.
Use the Foreign National Hire Visa Chart to determine if you may be eligible for immigration/Green Card status.
* Effective October 1, 2017, faculty applying for employment-based Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) will be required to have an in-person interview at the local USCIS field office as part of its “extreme-vetting” process. LPR applicants are allowed to hire an attorney to be present at the interview, but it is not required.
For an additional fee of $450, immigration law firm Perez & Malik, PLLC, which currently processes LPR petitions for UTSA faculty, is offering to prepare applicants and be present at the interview. If the applicant chooses to hire the law firm, your department should contact them directly.