General Immigration Information
- The Form I-94 and Duration of Status (D/S)
- The Visa Expiration Date and the Authorized Stay
- Non-Immigrant Visas at UA
- H-1B Flowcharts
- Permanent Resident Application Process
- Permanent Residency Flowchart
Hiring international employees to work at The University of Akron is a multi-step process which requires both internal review and external filings with the Department of Labor (DOL) and the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). Employee Immigration Services will assist departments in these sometimes complex visa approval and hiring processes and will provide ongoing support during the tenure of our international employees. For more detailed information, please click here to view a Tutorial of non-immigrant and immigrant visas at UA.
Before a department initiates a visa request with Employee Immigration Services, all the usual and required steps for hiring at UA must be completed, such as SPRC approval, search or search waiver, etc. Further, the threshold requirements must be met for University sponsorship of international employees, as stated in University Rule 3359-11-23. Please click here for University Rule 3359-11-23 Petitions for employment-based non-immigrant or immigrant (Permanent Residency) Status
While Employee Immigration Services and hiring departments will provide ongoing support, international employees in the U.S. must be aware of the immigration regulations applicable to their stay here and must keep appropriate documents updated and valid.
A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer. The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the time of your authorized stay in the United States. If your passport expires while you are in the United States, it is usually possible to renew it by sending materials or visiting your home country's embassy/consulate here in the U.S. Contact your country's embassy or consulate for instructions and guidelines. You can find the nearest embassy or consulate at www.embassy.org. If you need to mail your passport and other documents required by your embassy, it is advisable to use certified return-receipt mail.
The FORM I-94
The immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry makes a decision on your admission, the length and conditions of your stay, and will record the terms of your admission on the form "Arrival/Departure Record" (I-94 Form) as well as in your passport.
The I-94 Form is a small white card. The immigration officer usually staples this form into your passport.
The I-94 form also has a number that the immigration officer will use to keep track of your entry/exits. Make sure that you do not lose this card! Every time you leave the U.S., you must return the I-94 form to the immigration officer. Upon your re-entry, you will receive a new one. As an exception, you can keep your current I-94 form when you travel to Canada, Mexico, or certain adjacent islands for 30 days or less. However, it is always advisable to verify this at the border.
The Visa Expiration Date and the Authorized Stay
The visa expiration date should not be confused with the authorized length of your stay in the U.S. The authorized period of your stay is indicated on the Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 (e.g. D/S for duration of status).
Non-Immigrant Visas at UA
Most citizens of foreign countries need visas to enter the United States. A visa is a permit for a person to apply to enter the United States. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) is responsible for visa adjudication at U.S. Embassies and Consulates outside of the U.S. A consular officer decides whether you are qualified for a visa.
A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification. Most non-immigrants at The University of Akron are holders of J and H-1B visas.
H-1B visas are granted to an alien admitted to the United States on the basis of professional education, skills, and/or equivalent experience to work temporarily in "specialty occupations."
Employee Immigration Services will provide assistance to departments and prepare the H-1B filings with the Department of Labor and the USCIS. As the hiring department prepares the supporting documentation, and throughout the foreign national's employment, the department must ensure compliance with the regulations for the non-immigration category "H-1B Temporary Worker". The department must also sign the H-1B Department Agreement Form prior to the first day of employment for an individual in H-1B status.
The steps required for H-1B filings and employment are outlined in the following flowchart for faculty and staff hires:
Please click here for H-1B for Faculty and Staff Flowchart
In order to complete the steps required for H-1B filings and employment, both the department and the international employee are required to complete forms and submit supporting materials as outlined in the following H-1B Visa Request Procedures linked below:
Please click here for H1B Visa Request Procedures
A visa does not authorize entry to the U.S. A visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed by a U.S. consular officer at an American embassy or consulate, and that the officer has determined you are eligible to travel to the port-of-entry for a specific purpose.
Visa Expiration Date is shown on the visa. The visa can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires for travel for the same purpose. The period from the visa issuance date to the visa expiration date is called visa validity. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in the United States to request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to enter the U.S. Although your visa may still be valid, it is the decision of the border official whether or not to admit you to the U.S. and in what visa status.
Depending on the alien's nationality, visas can be issued for any number of entries, from as little as one entry to as many as multiple (unlimited) entries, for the same purpose of travel.
Travel Checklist for H-1B
Employees with H-1B status traveling out of the U.S. please refer to the H-1B Travel Checklist
Permanent Resident Application
Types of Immigrant Visas
The majority of immigrant visas used at UA fall into 2 categories:
- Aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
- Outstanding professors or researchers
- Certain managers and executives transferred to the United States to work for their foreign employer or a U.S. affiliate or subsidiary firm
- Aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business
- Members of the professions, if they hold an advanced degree (or the equivalent)
The steps required for Permanent Residency filings and employment are outlined in the following flowchart for faculty and staff hires:
Please click here for Permanent Residency for Faculty and Staff Flowchart
Instructions for Applying for Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR) in the U.S.
The First Step
Department administrators who wish to sponsor an international employee for permanent residency must be familiar with the complex, multi-step process required, the costs that must be borne by UA, and submit a signed Employee-Sponsored Permanent Residency Request Form to Employee Immigration Services. Please see, below, links to Employee Immigration/General information and the Employer-Sponsored Permanent Residency Request Form:
The Second Step
Once the signed Employer-Sponsored Permanent Residency Request form has been signed and delivered to Employee Immigration Services, the beneficiary will meet with Employee Immigration Services and a University-appointed attorney to determine the appropriate manner to pursue the LPR status.
If it is determined that outstanding professor/researcher category is appropriate, the beneficiary will begin collecting the following items: Checklist for Outstanding Professor/Researcher.
If it is determined that the Advanced Degree Professional category is appropriate, the beneficiary will work with their department, Employee Immigration Services, and University-appointed legal counsel to complete the labor certification and immigration petition.