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Faculty & Staff Resources

Immigration Assistance

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (EVP)

The U.S. Department of State has designated Winthrop University as a J-1 Program Sponsor. As such, Winthrop can invite J-1 Exchange Visitors to our campus as Research Scholars, Professors, Short-Term Research Scholars, and Specialists. Exchange Visitors’ primary activities must consist of teaching, lecturing, observing, or conducting research, and their program must include components of cultural and educational exchange. The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.”  [Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright - Hayes Act) of 1961]

If a department or office is interested in inviting a J-1 Exchange Visitor to Winthrop, the forms below need to be completed and returned to the International Center.

There are very specific regulations pertaining to both the incoming scholar and the Exchange Visitor Program. Please contact the International Center for more information on the Exchange Visitor Program.  

Employment-Based Immigration Opportunities

Winthrop University is committed to attracting and retaining high quality and diverse faculty, staff, and administrators. Toward that end, the University strives to support a community of faculty, staff, and administrators who are also globally engaged and globally minded. In support of the University's commitment to diversity and global learning, the following information will assist in the hiring and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and administrators who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

Winthrop University (via the International Center) will facilitate the administrative processes of obtaining authorization to work in the U.S. for those faculty and staff joining the University from other countries in the following immigration status:

Winthrop University will consider sponsorship requests for employment-based permanent residency (PR) for faculty members whose positions are full-time, permanent in nature, and tenure-track (special circumstances may be considered).

For information on the fees associated with the H-1B, TN, or PR status, please review the Fee Schedule.

If a Department Chair or hiring department is interested in sponsoring an individual for one of the immigration classifications listed below, please download and complete the Notification of Intent to Sponsor Employee for Employment-Based Visa/Permanent Resident Status.

H-1B Temporary Worker Status

H-1B temporary worker visa status is used for employment in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation is defined as a position that requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field and theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in order to perform the job duties. Jobs that require any Bachelor’s degree do not qualify.

The H-1B visa is employer and job-specific. Once the University approves the H-1B sponsorship, the International Center will file a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the prospective employee for H-1B status. Typically, H-1B status is requested for three years with a three year request for extension filed at a later date, totaling six years of H-1B status.

Since H-1B sponsorship requires approval from various constituencies on campus, as well as, filing petitions with both the USDOL and USCIS, the entire process can be timely. Therefore, please contact the International Center as soon as it is decided to sponsor someone for the H-1B.  

Winthrop University's H-1B sponsorship policy can be found in Winthrop's Policy Repository. The International Center can provide assistance and guidance on H-1B status in our information packet, including qualifying requirements, application process, and dependents.

Forms Department Chair/Hiring Department must read and complete prior to beginning the H-1B sponsorship process:

Forms for H-1B Beneficiary:

TN Status

TN status is available only to citizens of Canada and Mexico for approved professions on the NAFTA list, which includes "college or university teachers."  For staff positions it depends on the particular job.  Both Canadian and Mexican citizens can be admitted to the U.S. in TN status in increments of up to 3 years. Extensions of stay may also be granted in increments of up to 3 years. Once hired, the TN status is applied for by the "college or university teacher" at the U.S./Canadian border or U.S. Embassy in Mexico.

Winthrop University's TN sponsorship policy can be found in Winthrop's Policy Repository. The International Center can provide assistance and guidance on TN status in our information packet, including qualifying requirements, application process, and dependents. 

Forms Department Chair/Hiring Department must read and complete prior to beginning the TN sponsorship process:

Employment-Based Permanent Resident

Permanent residents (PR) are non-citizens who are lawfully authorized to live permanently within the United States. PRs are immigrants who may accept an offer of employment without special restrictions, own property, receive financial assistance at public colleges and universities, and join the Armed Forces.

Winthrop will consider sponsorship requests for employment-based PR for faculty members whose positions are full-time, permanent in nature, and tenure-track. Special circumstances may be considered with the prior approval of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs/Office of the President.

Winthrop University's PR sponsorship policy can be found in Winthrop's Policy Repository. The International Center can provide assistance and guidance on PR status in our information packet, including qualifying requirements, application process, dependents, etc.

Please note: to make the PR sponsorship process far less arduous, sponsorship through filing a Special Handling Labor Certification is preferred. This requires that the hiring department went through a competitive recruitment and selection process, the foreign national was the most qualified applicant, and the application is filed within 18 months of the date of the offer letter.  

Forms Department Chair/Hiring Department must read and complete prior to beginning the Permanent Resident sponsorship process:

All employment-based visa sponsorship petitions are filed through the International Center. The H-1B and TN petitions are processed internally through the International Center while the petitions for permanent residency are filed using outside legal counsel. The International Center is happy to work with Department Chairs or hiring departments to provide immigration assistance throughout the process of sponsoring international faculty and staff at Winthrop University. 

 


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