Hiring a Foreign National

H1B Temporary Worker Classification
TN for Temporary Workers from Canada or Mexico
Filing for Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card)

 Departments may request H-1b processing for a new or continuing employee at the link below.

If this is the first request for H-1b processing it is strongly recommended that you read ALL of the information below before making your requests.

Request H-1b processing here.

H-1B Temporary Worker Classification

The H-1B classification is an employment-based immigration status established by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to employ international employees with specialized training. The application process requires attestations and approvals from the US Department of Labor (DOL) as well as US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Because of the complicated and time consuming nature of an H-1B application, the H-1B classification is generally only considered a viable category for long-term, full-time employment if the J-1 classification is not an option.

To qualify for the H-1B classification, the prospective position must require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a specialized area and the prospective employee must have attained a minimum of Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in a directly related field. The University of Maine submits an application on behalf of the employee and can request a maximum authorization of three years depending on the length of the academic appointment. In addition, DOL regulations require that the institution meet or exceed a determined minimum prevailing wage and that the employee be compensated with employment benefits equivalent to that of any other employee in the same position and level.

To initiate processing, the host department must obtain an official academic appointment on behalf of the international scholar through the standard appointment channels at the school or college and follow the instructions outlined below.  The department must supervise the completion of the necessary request forms.  We recommend the forms  be submitted to the OIP with all supporting documentation at least six months prior to the anticipated start of employment.

 
H-1b Processing Times & Fees
OIP Processing  2 weeks from receipt of ALL requested materials $1,200
Department of Labor 1 week No Fee
US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) Processing 6-9 months $460
USCIS Anti-fraud Fee    (not required for H1b extensions) $500
USCIS Premium Processing Fee (optional) Guarantees a response from USCIS in 15 business days $1225 (optional but usually necessary)

The department can choose to pay a $1,225 fee to USCIS to expedite the application. However, this service, known as Premium Processing, does not affect the time OIP needs to process the initial steps of the application. Regardless of the type of service requested, once USCIS approves the application, the OIP will forward the approval notice to the prospective employee. He/she must apply for an H-1B visa at a US Embassy or Consulate that will enable the scholar to enter the US and commence employment.

Please note that OIP will request make all check requests.  The funds will be charged to the account you provide in the H1b request form.

Once the H-1Bemployee arrives in the US, he/she must report to the OIP within three days from the start of employment. The University of Maine is required to monitor the employment of the H-1B employee as well as the activities of their H-4 dependent family members throughout their stay in the US. The H-1B authorization only allows for employment in the position specified on the original H-1B application submitted to USCIS. In addition, the international H-1B employee must agree to adhere to all H-1 immigration regulations, notify the OIP and USCIS with any changes in residential address, inform the OIP of any changes to the activity and location of H-4 dependent family members and consult with an OIP staff member prior to departing the US.

The H-1B classification is salary, location, job description, title and employer specific. Therefore, the department member supervising the international scholar must contact the OIP to initiate an amended petition prior to any changes to the employee’s activities including, but not limited to, changes in employment, remuneration, location of employment, duration of appointment, change in immigration status and termination of activity. Failure to comply with these regulations may jeopardize the lawful immigration status of the visitor, his/her family as well as University of Maine’s ability to sponsor international scholars in the future.

 

TN- This visa is available for citizens of Canada and Mexico for certain job categories.  This visa can be a short term, low-cost option with quick processing time for departments hiring citizens from these countries.  Please contact Sarah Joughin at joughin@maine.edu for further information.

Filing for Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card)

Foreign nationals hired by the University of Maine in a regular on-going position require institutional sponsorship for an employment visa.  Typically the employee enters on a temporary work visa but a transition to legal permanent residency will be necessary for on-going employees.  Please visit the following links to learn more about the filing process and an outline of estimated costs associated with visa sponsorship.

Summary of Immigration-related Costs for Foreign National Employees-TEACHING POSITIONS

Summary of Immigration-related Costs for Foreign National Employees-NON-TEACHING POSITIONS

UMaine policy on filing EB-2 petitions vs. EB-2 petitions for tenure track faculty

Employees in Post-doctoral and fixed length positions are typically not eligible for sponsorship for legal permanent residence through the University.   For information on alternate paths to US permanent  residence please visit the USCIS Website.  If you are considering filing in the EB-2 category, please be sure to read the policy listed above regarding UMaine sponsorship in this category.