The Office of the Provost provides resources related to immigration for the following:
- Securing U.S. work authorization for international employees at UND;
- Providing Information regarding immigration laws and regulations to international employees;
- Assists with employment-based permanent residency.
If you are a student or J-1 scholar, please visit the UND International Center website.
For any questions related to these resources, please contact Heather Wages at heather.wages@UND.edu.
H-1B status is a temporary classification for non-U.S. workers in job positions that requires a least a bachelor’s degree. The H-1B status is employer and position specific, meaning a H-1B employee can only work for the employer who submitted an H-1B petition (form I-129) on their behalf for a certain position. The H-1B employee cannot receive pay from any outside sources, such as consulting projects. For more information see H-1B specialty occupations.
- Tenured and tenure-track faculty
- Post-doctoral researchers
- Permanent lecturers
- Other permanent, specialized positions
- Job position: the job position must qualify as a specialty occupation that requires a specialized bachelor’s degree at a minimum.
- Prevailing Wage: the H-1B employee’s salary must meet the prevailing wage for the occupation in this region as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The UND Special Assistant Attorney General (SAAG) appointed immigration attorney will assist in obtaining a prevailing wage as part of the H-1B process. If the prevailing wage is at a wage that the department is not able to pay, then we will not be able to obtain an H-1B for the employee.
- Length of Stay: the employer can request an H-1B for an employee for up to 3 years at a time. A person can be in H-1B status for a maximum of 6 years (with limited exceptions based on a pending application for permanent residency). Any time spent outside of the United States during these six years can be reclaimed and added to the total, as long as the absences from the U.S. can be documented.
- Changes in employment: the H-1B employee can work only in the position that has been described in the H-1B petition and approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Any changes in the H-1B employee’s employment status, including job title, transfer to another department, change in full-time vs. part-time status, or termination require the prior review of our immigration attorney to ensure compliance with H-1B regulations.
To request an H-1B for an employee, the hiring department completes a form to the Director of Policy and Administration in the Office of the Provost. With the assistance of the Director of Policy and Administration, the department and the employee are responsible for providing the SAAG appointed immigration attorney all requested information for processing the case. Departments and employees may not use other outside counsel for UND employment sponsored cases.
The H-1B application process can take a significant amount of time. The SAAG appointed immigration attorney will need approximately four to six weeks to prepare an H-1B petition for filing. Once finalized, the petition will be submitted to USCIS for adjudication. An H-1B petition filed with regular processing can several months to gain approval from USCIS. USCIS approval can be accelerated by paying an additional $2500 premium processing fee. Filing an H-1B petition with premium processing guarantees a 15 business-day response from USCIS (approval, denial, or request for evidence).
With some exceptions, individuals who are currently outside of the U.S. will also need to apply for an H-1B visa at the consulate or embassy. Visa application timelines depend on a variety of factors, including time of year, nationality or background of the applicant, and they can also vary from consulate to consulate.
The earliest an employer may file for an H-1B petition is six months prior to the requested start date. Considering the processing times involved, it is recommended that an H-1B request is submitted six to seven months (or two or three months in the case of extensions/amendments) prior to the requested start date.
The employing department must pay the following:
- Base attorney’s fees: $2,000
- H-1B petition fee: $460
- Fraud detection and prevention fee: $500
- Case management fee: $30
*There may be additional costs to the department including costs associated with credential certification and FedEx charges.
If filing with premium processing is elected, the additional $2500 filing fee can be paid by either the employing department, the employee, or a combination of both.
The dependents (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) of individuals in H-1B status are eligible for H-4 status. Individuals in H-4 status may study but they may not work, unless they have an EAD. Individuals in H-4 status may qualify for an EAD based on a pending green card application (link to process). To learn more you can also visit Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses.
The employee is responsible for any fees associated with H-4 dependents, including:
- $370 H-4 depending filing fee
Permanent Residence (Green Card)
Permanent Residents (often referred to as green card holders) are authorized to live and work on a permanent basis in the U.S. After five years as an immigrant (green card holder) based on employment, an immigrant may apply for U.S. citizenship.
There are different ways to obtain permanent residency in the U.S., including a petition from an employer. The employment-based green card application system allows for five preference categories commonly abbreviated as EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3. Employees holding temporary or term position such as part-time faculty, non-tenure track faculty, non-exempt staff positions, postdoctoral appointments, lecturers, graduate teacher or researcher position are not eligible for permanent residence sponsorship. Faculty in grant-funded positions will generally not be eligible for sponsorship.
The application procedure and associated costs with a permanent residency application vary. The timeline for completing a green card application heavily depend on the type of application as well as the country of birth of the applicant.
There is a unique route to an employment based green card designed specifically for university teachers. This is the preferred method used by UND for obtaining a green card on behalf of teaching faculty whenever the situation permits use of this option, however, there are very specific time limits and regulations. This process for obtaining this type of green card should be initiated as soon as possible after the employee begins working at UND, but no later than 12-14 months of the date of the offer letter. Other options used by UND when sponsoring employment-based permanent residence status are determined on an individual case basis.
Green Card Process
To request an employment sponsored permanent residency application for an employee, the hiring department completes a request form and sends it to the Director of Policy and Administration. After receiving the completed request form and confirming the employee’s eligibility, the Director of Policy and Administration will schedule a conference call with the SAAG appointed immigration attorney, the employee, and the direct supervisor to discuss available options. Departments and employees may not use other outside counsel for UND employment sponsored cases.
After agreeing to an acceptable process and with the assistance of the Director of Policy and Administration, the department and the employee are responsible for working with the SAAG appointed immigration attorney for processing the case.
The UND department is responsible for costs and fees associated with the Labor Certification. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, the remaining costs are the responsibility of the employee.