2012 Annual Conference: Institutional Roles

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Transcript 2012 Annual Conference: Institutional Roles

Institutional Roles, Responsibilities and Risk
Assessment in Immigration Compliance
Helen Konrad, McCandlish Holton
Carrie O’Neill, George Washington University
Virginia Underwood, Eastern Kentucky University
Session Roadmap
• Review the relationship between university offices in
immigration compliance.
• Assess risks – perceived and actual - in immigration
compliance: Examples from the trenches.
• Recommend practices for educating core constituencies.
• See handout for additional practical guidance.
Competing Needs and Goals
University offices with a role in immigration compliance:
• Admissions: Direct the admitted international students to the
International Services Office for issuance of I-20.
• International Services Offices: Track and monitor the status of
international students in SEVIS while complying with DOL, State, and
DHS regulations.
• Provost/Academic Affairs: Manage the hiring and retention of foreign
• HR: Oversee I-9 compliance of students and faculty employed on
• Export Control Office: Complete H-1B deemed export certifications.
• Career Services: Place students in internships during school and
employment after graduation.
Identifying and Assessing the Institutional Risks
• Related to students:
• Unauthorized employment → I-9 violations.
• Reduced course load → ICE/SEVIS violations.
• Volunteer internships → Wage and Hour
Identifying and Assessing the Institutional Risks
Related to Faculty:
• Was search compliant?
• Print v. online.
• Did selected applicant qualify for position
• If not compliant:
• Cost of new search.
• Potential that applicant is not most qualified.
• Risk of losing/not retaining selected faculty.
Identifying and Assessing the Institutional Risks
Related to Staff:
• Basic Labor Certification
• Expanded advertising requirements.
• “Minimally Qualified” standard.
• Cost of new search.
• “Some teaching duties” to get to “most
Hypothetical Scenario #1: Permanent
Residence Promised
• Position Offered: Director of Housing Information Systems.
• Job Requirements: MS Computer Science or related field plus
five years of experience.
• Search: Committee recommends former student from India,
who holds Ph.D. plus three years experience at XYZ plus two
years experience as interim Director of Housing Information
• Offer: V.P. Student Affairs sends email offering the permanent
position and agrees to proceed to pursue permanent
residence “through the fastest option possible.”
• University Policy: Will not sponsor staff for permanent
residence or pay for any portion of self-sponsored filings.
Perceived vs. Actual Risks – Roles to Resolve
• Is University bound by promise to pursue PR?
• If University agrees to make an exception to sponsor,
is it obligated to pursue “fastest option possible”?
• How does difficulty recruiting a position impact
• How should exception be viewed in terms of other
Departments’ hiring practices?
Hypothetical Scenario #2:
On-line Wages vs. PWD “Safe Harbor”
• Department recommends international faculty hire at $80,000.
• International Services Office processes H-1B:
• 60-90 days to get PW determination;
• University policy has always been to obtain PWD;
• Likely PW based on job requirements is $65,000;
• Start date not likely to be met if wait for PWD;
• Will have to pay $1,225 additional fee for premium
Perceived and Actual Risks – Roles to Resolve
• If file H-1B before PW comes back, risk a potential for back
• If wait to file until PW comes back to eliminate risk of backpay,
virtually guarantee additional cost to university through
premium processing and alternate faculty arrangements.
• How should these risks be balanced?
• Does it matter that institutions have always done the PWD in
the past (can you mix-n-match)?
Hypothetical Scenario #3:
Curricular Practical Training – “Integral to Curriculum”
• ABD Ph.D. Student in Statistics comes to
International Student Office with offer letter from
NIH to “perform research” at no pay;
• Department submits a letter in support explaining
how research is related to curriculum;
• Student wants CPT authorization.
Perceived and Actual Risks – Roles to Resolve
• What facts should be considered in assessing CPT
• How much deference should International Office give
to Department’s letter of support?
• Does it matter that it is not for pay?
• Who should decide whether to proceed?
Summary from Hypos:
• Immigration compliance is rarely black and
• University has much discretion in defining
institutional practices.
Recommended Practices for Effective DecisionMaking
• Communication:
• Evaluate areas where University has discretion
within Immigration Compliance.
• Define institutional practices for these areas.
• Structure
• Internal advisory committee.
• Designation of key individuals in Academic Affairs,
HR, Deans’ offices, and in GC.