Winthrop University: Immigration Assistance
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International Center
701 Oakland Avenue
218 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-2133
803/323-2340 (fax)
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Faculty & Staff Resources

Immigration Assistance

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.

Keep in mind that some of these processes involve working with federal agencies to include, but not limited to, the US Department of Labor (USDOL) and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Department chairs, deans, and hiring officers should contact the International Center for immigration assistance throughout the process of sponsoring international faculty and staff at Winthrop University. 

All employment-based petitions are managed by the International Center as follows:

  • H-1B petitions are coordinated through the International Center and filed using pre-approved outside legal counsel
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (BridgeUSA) petitions are managed internally by the International Center and coordinated in collaboration with the sponsoring department/division
  • TN petitions are managed internally through a collaborative process between the International Center and the hiring department
  • Employment-Based Permanent Residency petitions are coordinated through the International Center and filed using pre-approved outside legal counsel

    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 statuses:

    • H-1B "Temporary Worker" Non-Immigrant Status
    • TN Non-Immigrant Status
    • Employment-based Permanent Residency

    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 Form.

    The 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 connect the employee with Winthrop's approved immigration attorney in order to file a petition 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 the Department Chair/Dean elects to sponsor an individual 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 the H-1B process in conjunction with Winthrop's immigration attorney. 

    Fee Schedule and required forms:

    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.

    TN status is a temporary appointment that 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 conjunction with Winthrop's immigration attorney. 

    Fee Schedule and required forms:

    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 the PR process in conjunction with Winthrop's immigration attorney.

    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 completed 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 (not the employment start date).  

    Fee Schedule and required forms:

 

 

 

Last Updated: 1/19/21