Employment of Foreign Nationals

Policy No: 
8.3
Last Revised: 
April 2016
Review Date: 
April 2019
Policy Owner: 
Human Resources
Contact Name: 
Lori Jones
Contact Title: 
Global HR Supervisor
Contact Email: 
lori.jones@gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

This policy provides departments with general guidelines for inviting Exchange Visitors, processing petitions for the most common non-immigrant employment classifications, and for permanent residence for foreign nationals employed at the Institute.

Policy Statement: 

This policy addresses the hiring of foreign nationals in academic and research positions, not the employment of enrolled students.

In accordance with federal regulations defining the employment of foreign nationals, the Institute has delegated to the Office of International Education (OIE) sole authority to administer the Department of State's J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The Institute has delegated to Human Resources (Global HR) sole authority to work with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Labor to petition for the B-1, E-3, H-1B, O-1, TN and U.S. permanent residency based on Institute employment in support of the teaching and research mission of Georgia Tech. Per Georgia state law, these petitions cannot be filed by private attorneys on behalf of Georgia Tech. Therefore no Institute representative may sign a G-28 (Notice of Appearance) allowing an attorney to represent Georgia Tech.

Procedures: 

Overview

Immigration regulations, legislation, and interpretations are constantly changing. More detailed, up-to-date information on immigration matters can be obtained from Global Human Resources (Global HR) and the Office of International Education (OIE). Hiring foreign nationals and bringing them to Georgia Tech in a timely manner requires specialized attention and advice. Department of Labor regulations prevent employers from allowing foreign nationals to volunteer in positions that are usually compensated. Foreign nationals who are awaiting the necessary employment authorization or whose work authorization has expired are not allowed to serve as volunteers. Note: Foreign nationals who are financially supported by a source other than the Institute are not considered volunteers.

Federal law restricts the export of goods and technology pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). An export includes the release or disclosure, including verbal disclosures or visual inspections, of covered technology, software or technical data to any foreign national whether in the U.S. or abroad.

Thus, when research or educational activities involve providing information or a transfer of technology to foreign nationals, it is important to know whether the goods, services, data, or technology are covered by the export control laws and regulations.

Non-Academic, Non-Research Staff and Others
Georgia Tech does not sponsor the following individuals for employment based visas nor for exchange visitor visas: technical, administrative, library, or support staff members; individuals with inadequate funding, insurance, or credentials; those whose particular visa history precludes sponsorship. Additionally, Georgia Tech does not provide visa sponsorship to recent graduates and practicing professionals for internship training, practical experiences, or other non-teaching, non-research affiliations.

Orientation/Registration
The arrival and departure of scholars must be reported to either Global HR or OIE in order to comply with federal regulations and maintain accurate records. All new scholars in the J-1 status should "check in" at OIE upon their arrival at Georgia Tech. Scholars should bring their passports and other visa documents to complete the required registration process. Additionally, OIE offers regularly scheduled orientation sessions for international scholars in the J-1 status and their family members. Information about the next orientation session will be given to the scholar when checking in. The orientation includes information helpful in the "settling-in" process and important information on visa requirements and Georgia Tech resources. If a scholar cannot attend orientation, OIE should be notified immediately.

New scholars in the other nonimmigrant or immigrant categories must check in with Global HR upon arrival at Georgia Tech.

Visiting Scholars who are not employees of Georgia Tech, i.e. all B-1 business visitors and some J-1 Exchange Visitors, must sign a "Visiting Scholars Agreement" with the Office of Legal Affairs.

OIE or Global HR notify Departments, Laboratories, and Center headquarters four to six months in advance of the scholar's appointment or visa status end date, whichever comes first. If a sponsoring department indicates that a scholar's stay will be extended, OIE or Global HR provides relevant instructions for extension of immigration status.

Program Completion
Departments, Laboratories, and Centers are required to notify OIE or Global HR when a scholar completes his/her appointment earlier than expected, in order for OIE or Global HR to notify the appropriate government agency.

Nonimmigrant Visa Categories
Per Chapter 8 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, individuals in the following nonimmigrant categories, among others, are not eligible for Georgia Tech appointment, employment, or payment under any circumstances. Georgia Tech appointment, employment, or payment is not permitted unless/until the individual obtains an immigration status permitting such affiliation under the law. There may also be restrictions on access to some areas or facilities. Please see the Visitor's Policy for these restrictions.

  • B-2 (or VWT) Visitor for Pleasure (Tourist)
  • F-2 Spouse or Children of F-1 students
  • H-4 Spouse or Children of H-1B, H-2, or H-3
  • TD Spouse or Children of TN
  • O-3 Spouse or Children of O-1

The nonimmigrant visa categories most commonly used for GT research and teaching activities are discussed briefly below:

Immigrant Visas (Permanent Residence)
In order to be sponsored, faculty members must meet the criteria for the first preference classification, "Outstanding Professor/Researcher;" or for the second preference classification under the "special handling" provisions for college teachers. Researchers must meet criteria for a first preference classification, "Outstanding Professor/Researcher." Labor certification will not be pursued for research positions.

Information about these categories, including qualifications, application procedures, limitations, and payment options for scholars, is available at the Global HR website.

Responsibilities: 

The responsibilities each party has in connection with Employment of Foreign Nationals are:

Party Responsibility
Office of International Education (J Exchange Visitor Program) Offer assistance with policy interpretation and administer policy
Office of Human Resources (Global HR) (B-1, E-3, H-1B, O-1, TN, & U.S. Permanent Residence)  Offer assistance with policy interpretation and administer policy
Map of Georgia Tech

Compliance and Policy Management
760 Spring Street N.W. Suite 324
Phone: 404-385-0731