High Tech with a Human Touch
Hiring Foreign Nationals at Florida Tech
International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS) is the University's representative for all immigration matters to the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), as well as to any other government agencies involved in bringing foreign nationals to Florida Tech (e.g Departments of State and Labor.) Any immigration document issued by, or on behalf of the University, must be signed by the Director of the office or his or her designee. An application submitted to any of these agencies that bears another signature will be returned.
The Role of ISSS
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services should be consulted before making a commitment to hire a foreign national for any position. All hiring departments should complete and submit ISSS's Assessment Form for Prospective Foreign Nationals as soon as they have begun the hiring process for a foreign national. ISSS will work with the hiring department and the individual to make certain that Florida Tech and the individual are compliant with all federal laws and regulations prior to the individual commencing employment. ISSS's staff is available to discuss the details of a particular case, make recommendations, and then to follow through with the preparation and submission of the immigration application. In most instances, particularly where the individual's situation is fairly straightforward, the office can handle the application expeditiously and without expense, except for government filing fees.
A person accepting an offer of employment with the University must have valid immigration status prior to beginning employment, and must maintain valid immigration status (with continual authorization for employment) throughout the duration of the appointment at the University. Appointing departments are responsible for informing the foreign national of this proviso, and all offer letters should include a phrase such as "offer is contingent upon obtaining and retaining valid immigration status." Appointing departments are also responsible for making sure they are in compliance with all I-9 requirements.
If a hiring unit brings a candidate to campus for an interview and that candidate does not have U.S. permanent resident status, it is advisable to arrange an appointment for the candidate and a staff member from the hiring unit with ISSS. The candidate should bring his or her passport and all immigration documents. A member of the ISSS staff will explore with the department and the candidate whether the candidate's present status is satisfactory for employment at Florida Tech, and, if not, what options exist to cover the proposed period of employment. The following six considerations help determine the non-immigrant status for which the individual should apply:
- nature and duration of the initial appointment
- amount of time available before the candidate is to take up the position
- candidate's immigration history
- long-terms plans of the University and the candidate (Is the nature of the employment likely to change? Will the candidate wish to remain in the country?)
- possibilities of employment for the spouse
- tax implications
- international travel plans