Hiring a foreign national employee differs significantly from hiring a U.S. citizen, and may require the hiring unit to obtain employment authorization before the individual can work in the U.S. In some instances, the foreign national may already have employment authorization that can be used for a position at the University of Michigan, such as OPT (for foreign students who recently graduated) or a green card. Many others, however, will need to be sponsored for a given immigration status in order to start a position at U-M.
The process of obtaining employment authorization takes time and may involve many different organizations:
- Hiring unit
- Faculty and Staff Immigration Services (FSIS) at the International Center (IC)
- Human Resources
- U.S. Department of Labor
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- U.S. Department of State
Depending on the immigration status being sought, hiring departments may need to start the request process seven or eight months in advance. Green card applications may take many years, depending on someone’s national origin.
The hiring and employment of foreign nationals at the University of Michigan, as well as the role of FSIS and the IC are controlled by two key Standard Practice Guide (SPG) Policies:
- Employment of Non-U.S. Citizens (201.18)
- International Services, Programs and Responsibilities (402.01)
The rules and regulations pertaining to immigration in general and obtaining employment authorization in particular are very strict. Especially if there is a reasonable chance that a foreign national may be selected for a given position and to avoid unnecessary complications and delays, the processes described on the FSIS website should be followed closely.
Should you have any questions, please be sure to contact FSIS.