Please find below “general” advice for those considering offering a position to international scholars. Georgia College legal counsel is available to discuss and/or elaborate on any of the following details.
If departments/programs wish to hire an international scholar/professor approval must be received by a department’s Dean who will then obtain approval from the Provost’s Office to sponsor the applicant’s visa. If approved, a petition will have to be filed.
If the international professor (hereinafter “professor”) has an existing H-1B visa, once the petition is filed, the visa “transfer” is complete and the professor can work. This takes about 3-4 weeks to get the petition filed.If the professor is currently in F-1 status without OPT employment authorization, the application for H-1B must be filed AND approved before work can begin at GC. If the professor has OPT employment authorization, the professor can work up to the end of that time on the EAD card - usually granted for one year. An H-1B petition will have to be filed prior to the expiration of the OPT card.
If the professor is hired, he/she must contact the General Counsel’s office at that time – prior to his/her start date. The professor cannot work at Georgia College until the appropriate application is filed (and approved if he/she has something other than an H-1B visa).
Under GC policy, GC pays for the filing fee for the H-1B application (and may pay for the expedited fee if appropriate and approved by the Provost) and the professor is responsible for all attorney fees related to the visa transfer. The attorney fees charged by GC outside counsel is $1,450.00 for the new H-1B or $850.00 for a renewed H-1B visa however it must be noted that attorney fees are out of our control and subject to change. The professor must use the GC’s designated outside counsel since the Georgia Attorney General’s Office approves that counsel and the visa petition is filed on behalf of GC as the sponsor. A PERM application has different fees and costs that are individual and unique to each situation. Please consult with General Counsel’s Office for that information.
If the professor is now holding an H-1B visa, the time spent under that visa will be added to the amount of time the professor can have an H-1B visa. The first H-1B visa is for three (3) years and may be renewed once for three (3) more years. If on a “renewed” H-1B, then that time also is counted toward the total of six (6) years. The professor must seek a PERM residency prior to the expiration of the six (6) year period after review and approval by the Provost.
As a rule, a PERM application is not filed immediately upon hire of an international scholar. However, such a decision is up to the Provost and must be routed up the chain of command through the department chair to Dean to Provost.
Under GC policy, GC will not sponsor nor pay for any spouse and/or dependent(s) visas or spouse/dependent PERM applications. That is the responsibility of the employee.
If the professor has a PERM status, then no visa is necessary and the professor may start working when GC designates. If from Canada, there is special TN-1 visa rules that apply and are much easier to obtain.