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International Employees Overview

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The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) manages nonimmigrant and immigrant employment visa processing on behalf of UConn for our international faculty and staff.   We provide advice, information and assistance on matters such as immigration, employment, overseas travel and compliance with immigration laws and regulations.  We work closely with UConn’s hiring departments to facilitate the hiring of UConn’s international employees and to assist in determining the visa and employment options that grant the greatest benefit to UConn, the hiring department and our international employees. For international student and exchange visitor information, please see UConn’s Immigration Services at http://isss.uconn.edu/about/overview/.

All employment-based visa sponsorship by UConn must be prepared and reviewed by OGC, including H-1B, TN, O-1 and E-3 nonimmigrant visa sponsorship and permanent resident immigrant visa sponsorship. UConn only pursues permanent resident immigrant visa sponsorship for tenure-track faculty.

For questions or concerns regarding the hiring of an international employee, please contact Lesley Salafia Esq., Office of the General Counsel, at lesley.salafia@uconn.edu.

UConn will not employ a foreign national unless he or she can produce documentation of employment authorization sufficient to complete a valid Form I-9.  http://www.uscis.gov/i-9

Foreign nationals are warned NOT to accept unauthorized employment from UConn or any other employer.  Unauthorized employment is a violation of federal law and subjects the employer as well as the foreign national worker to criminal and civil penalties.   Unauthorized employment will cause the foreign national to fall out of lawful immigration status and potentially bar an extension of status or change to another nonimmigrant status, prevent an adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident, or significantly impede other future immigration benefits.

Hiring departments are encouraged to contact OGC in the event that they have questions concerning the documentation produced by an employee when completing a Form I-9 or the general employment eligibility of an international worker.   While OGC does not complete Forms I-9 on behalf of UConn, we can provide guidance on employment eligibility and documentation to assist in accurate completion of the Forms I-9 by the hiring department.

OGC will set administrative fees annually for processing immigration employment paperwork.  Fees are posted on the applicable visa pages on the OGC website.  Administrative fees include overnight express certified mailing expenses, photocopies of paperwork, immigration software maintenance, supply costs to maintain public inspection files, etc.

Hiring departments and international employees seeking visa sponsorship or extensions are required to adhere to the posted deadlines for their visa type.

Policy on Outside Attorneys

The Provost has designated the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) as the exclusive signatory authority to sign off on official immigration documents related to UConn appointment and employment, including the PERM Form 9089, the USCIS Form I-140 and the USCIS Form I-129.  Individual faculty and/or department representatives should not engage outside attorneys for any University action, nor pay attorneys for services on behalf of the University, nor sign off on immigration documentation related to UConn sponsorship.  Failure to comply with these provisions will result in notification to USCIS and/or DOL that the petition or application was unauthorized and should be withdrawn or revoked.

In addition, the State of Connecticut has selected two law firms to represent the State’s higher education institutions for immigration issues requiring outside immigration legal counsel. OGC will consult with these law firms in cases where a second opinion is warranted and refer work to them as appropriate.  Hiring departments must consult with OGC first before seeking any outside immigration attorney’s legal services relating to UConn employment.  Communication with the two immigration law firms representing the State of Connecticut must be initiated through OGC.

Change of Address Notification

Remember that all non-U.S. citizens must file an AR-11 Change of Address notification with USCIS within 10 days of changing their personal address or residence.  The AR-11 Change of Address form may be completed on-line at www.uscis.gov. To access the AR-11 Change of Address form online, click on “Online Change of Address” under the heading “After I File“.

For New Green Card Holders

Foreign nationals working at UConn are requested to revalidate their Form I-9 with their hiring department and Payroll Services upon receipt of a Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card, commonly referred to as a “green card.”

Abbreviations and Acronyms

OGC – Office of the General Counsel at the University of Connecticut

DOL – United States Department of Labor

EAD – Employment Authorization Document

I-140 – Immigrant petition for alien worker

I-485 – Application to register permanent residence or to adjust status

LPR – Lawful Permanent Residency or Lawful Permanent Resident

ODE – Office of Diversity and Equity at the University of Connecticut

PERM – Application for Permanent Employment Certification, “Program Electronic Review Management”

RFE – Request for Evidence

UConn – University of Connecticut

USCIS – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services