Immigration Services for Tenure-Track Appointments

Immigration Services for Tenure-Track Appointments

International Tenure-Track Faculty 

California State University, Dominguez Hills and the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development is pleased to support international tenure-track faculty members on your path to Permanent Residency in the U.S. Our office works with outside counsel to file H-1B petitions and Permanent Labor Certifications (PERM). This page is intended to help you understand what the University’s role is, what your role is, and timelines and expectations; as well as provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Please note that this guidance is general in nature and should not substitute for specific advice from competent legal counsel regarding your individual situation. 

If you should need any assistance, please direct questions to Ms. Annie Chen, Academic Personnel Analyst at anchen@csudh.edu.

The University’s Responsibility

H-1B Petition

Once you have accepted a tenure-track offer to work at CSUDH, the University will determine if you require H-1B work authorization. In most cases, we will begin the process to file the H-1B petition immediately. The University pays for filing fees and attorney’s fees associated with your H-1B petition. *When approved, the H-1B petition is valid for three years from the start of your appointment. Six months before your H-1B expires, we will file for an extension, which is valid for another three years. In most cases, this six-year period allows for you to successfully apply for and receive Permanent Residency (also known as the Green Card). 

If you are newly hired and currently outside of the U.S., we will work with you to provide you the necessary documentation to enter the country. You will need to apply for an H-1B visa stamp at a U.S. consulate in order to enter the U.S. We strongly encourage you to retain an immigration attorney to assist you with the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application and other required forms and filings. 

*Premium processing is only used if determined to be a business necessity. 

Permanent Labor Certification (PERM)

While the H-1B visa is a form of employer-specific work authorization that allows you to be legally employed by CSUDH, the path to Permanent Residency entails a separate process. The University initiates the filing of, and pays for attorney’s fees for, your Permanent Labor Certification Application (PERM), which is used in the EB-2, or Employment-Based Second Preference immigrant petition option for Permanent Residency. This option relies on the applicant’s advanced degree. Once approved, you will take the certified PERM application (Form ETA 9089) to an attorney of your choice to assist you with the final stage of the permanent residency process. 

Note:

  • Some international faculty may choose to file an EB-1(B), Employment-Based First Preference visa, for Outstanding Professors and Researchers; or EB-2 National Interest Waiver visa. These visas rely on higher and specific standards of achievement and/or recognition. If you are interested in these options, please consult an attorney to determine if they are appropriate for your case. As is discussed below, the faculty member is responsible for the filing and costs associated with such immigrant petitions. 
  • Some international faculty have the option and choose to pursue immigration through a family member. This is your prerogative. We strongly advise you to contact an attorney to guide you in this process. Please notify our office if you choose this option. 

The Faculty Member's Responsibility

I-140/I-485

The I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker and the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status represent the final stage in your path to Permanent Residency. As the faculty member, you are responsible for the filing and the costs associated with this step. The University strongly recommends you retain an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with this process. We can provide attorney referrals upon request. Our office will work with your attorney to provide required materials and signatures to file your petition. 

What you can expect

Upon hire

Our office will initiate the H-1B petition process and contact you for required documents to file the H-1B petition.

When the H-1B expires

Our office monitors visa expiration dates for faculty and will work with our immigration attorney to file an extension six months before your visa expires. We may contact you if information or documentation is needed. 

When ready to file the PERM (Foreign Labor Certification Application)

Our office will initiate the PERM process and contact you for required documents to file the PERM Labor Certification.

When the PERM is approved

Our office will notify you and provide you with a copy of the approved Form ETA 9089 and cover sheet. You will take this to an attorney of your choice to file Forms I-140 and I-485.

Timelines and Deadlines

Please note: these timelines are subject to change at any time. 

PERM Process – U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

  • The Prevailing Wage Determination currently takes 7-9 months.
  • The PERM Labor Certification takes about 6 months.
  • The PERM Labor Certification deadline is 18 months from the date of your original offer letter.
  • Once the PERM is approved, you must file Form I-140 within 6 months otherwise it will expire.

Immigrant Petition Process – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

If the I-140 is filed with premium processing, you can expect a response within 15 calendar days. Without premium processing, current processing takes upwards of 8 months.

For those not born in mainland China or India (or those with an immigrating accompanying spouse not born in mainland China or India, the Form I-485 can be filed concurrently with the I-140 or after the I-140 is approved based on the advice of the attorney you retained to handle your case. The I-485 takes 6-8 months to be approved.

Mainland China and India are oversubscribed, so for those (and spouse, if any) born in mainland China or India, consult your attorney to understand the timeframe for when you can file the Form I-485 and when you can expect approval of your Permanent Residency. 

 

What to watch out for

Visa stamp validity

When traveling internationally while on H-1B status, you must be aware of your status expiration. While your H-1B petition will generally show validity for three years from your appointment start date, once you travel abroad, you must have a valid visa stamp in order to enter the U.S. If your visa stamp has expired, or you do not have one, you must make sure to apply for one at a U.S. consulate abroad in order to re-enter the U.S. We will work with you to provide you the necessary documentation to re-enter the country.  We strongly encourage you to retain an immigration attorney to assist you with the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application and other required forms and filings if you choose to apply for the H-1B visa stamp.

While the University does not encourage traveling internationally while on H-1B, we recognize travel is a personal decision. We encourage those faculty considering travel to fully understand their status and to be aware of the risk involved in traveling abroad, including any existing or future government-imposed travel restrictions that may apply to you. Once again, we strongly encourage you to retain competent legal counsel to advise you on such matters.

I-94 expiration

Be aware of your I-94 expiration date after each entry into the U.S. after travel abroad. The I-94 expiration date governs your authorized stay in the U.S. Staying in the U.S. beyond the I-94 expiration date without a timely filed extension with USCIS can result in your violating your H-1B status. We strongly advise you to check your I-94 expiration on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website after returning from travel abroad, and comparing such information to the entry stamp the CBP officer puts in your passport upon entry into the U.S. Why?

  1. The H-1B authorized period of stay normally coincides with the expiration of the H-1B petition (sometimes granted with 10 additional days). Check to see if this is the case.
  2. If your passport expires before the expiration of your H-1B petition, CBP may limit your H-1B authorized period in the U.S. to the expiry date of your passport. For this reason, we advise you to travel with a passport valid for at least six months past your H-1B petition expiration date. Please note that some countries have further passport limitations and that CBP may limit the H-1B authorized period to 6 months before the passport expiration date.  Being cognizant of this will help you avoid falling out of status and will give our office sufficient time to file an H-1B extension for you.
  3. If an error was made by CBP in entering your status expiration upon returning from travel (the given H-1B authorized period does not match one of the scenarios above), you will want to rectify the error immediately. It is best to address any questions immediately with the CBP officer at the time of entry. However, if only discovered later, please contact our office for assistance. 

If you move

USCIS requires you to update your home address within 10 days of any move. This is done either through your existing USCIS online account if you have one, or by filing Form AR-11. Please see: USCIS How to Change Your Address.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S)

Does CSUDH sponsor the H-1B petition for international tenure-track faculty members?

Yes. The University pays for the attorney’s fees and filing fees for your H-1B petition. We initiate the process upon your hire, and when complete, you will be provided with the I-797 approval notice for your records. The H-1B petition is normally valid for three years from the start of your appointment. Six months before your H-1B expires, we will file for an extension, which is valid for another three years. 

Does CSUDH pay for the H-4 visa for my dependents?

CSUDH does not pay for filing fees or attorney’s fees to file the H-4 for the H-1B holder’s dependents. 

Does CSUDH sponsor the H-1B petition for temporary faculty, e.g. full-time lecturers?

CSUDH does not sponsor or assist with obtaining H-1B status for temporary faculty. Hiring departments must know that non-tenure-track hires must provide their own work authorization. 

Does CSUDH pay for the green card costs for tenure-track faculty members?

CSUDH does not pay for filing fees or attorney’s fees for the I-140, I-485, or related forms for Permanent Residency. As the faculty member, you are responsible for the fees and costs associated with this stage (regardless of which immigrant petition option you choose), as well as for retaining your own immigration attorney. Our office can provide referrals if needed. Our office will also work with your attorney to supply needed documentation for a successful application. CSUDH will only be responsible for the costs associated with the preparation and filing of the PERM Foreign Labor Certification Application, which is the first step in the EB-2 advanced degree immigrant petition process. If you are pursuing a different immigrant petition option, the PERM is not needed. You must consult with an attorney of your choice to advise you on any other immigrant options that are available to you. 

Disclaimer: While the University and the Office of Faculty Affairs & Development makes every effort to ensure the information displayed on this page is accurate, the changing nature of immigration regulations and timelines means we cannot guarantee such. We strongly encourage you to retain your own counsel to ensure your case is managed in a timely and professional manner.