Visa Status of Potential Academic Employees

Immigration concerns often arise in the search process.

Applicants who are authorized to work permanently in the United States, that is, U.S. Citizens or permanent residents, may be employed without restriction under the immigration laws and regulations. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate to ask all applicants whether they are eligible to work permanently in the U.S. (but not to ask an applicant's visa classification or immigration status). If an applicant does not know, he or she should be advised to seek a definite answer from a competent immigration attorney or international officer at his or her education institution. An applicant is also welcome to request an opinion from Peter Levitov, Associate Dean of International Affairs and Special Assistant General Counsel (Immigration).

In most instances, the University is able to obtain for the applicant a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa classification that will enable him or her to accept the offer and, after that visa classification is obtained, commence employment at UNL. For example, the applicant may not be physically in the U.S. and may need a visa to enter the country and commence employment; or may be lawfully in the U.S. but will need a change of nonimmigrant visa classification that will permit lawful employment in the offered position at UNL.

In the case of tenure-leading faculty positions or other long term faculty positions in which there is an expectation of a period of employment of indefinite duration exceeding three years, it is important to know whether it is likely that the applicant will be able to become a permanent resident of the U.S. (alternatively, get a green card or become an immigrant) and, as such, be able to hold a permanent position under the immigration laws and regulations.

Therefore, before making an offer to any faculty candidate who is not authorized to work permanently in the U.S., please contact Peter Levitov. He will be able to advise you on the candidate's eligibility for employment at UNL (both temporarily and on a permanent basis) and assist you in obtaining the appropriate visa classification for the candidate. Time, of course is of the essence because an individual may not commence employment (and an employer legally may not employ an individual) unless he or she has obtained the appropriate visa classification. After a tenure-leading faculty member joins the University, Peter Levitov will also lend assistance in obtaining the permanent resident classification for the individual. In the infrequent siutation in which the University is considering making an offer of a tenured position to a candidate not eligible for permanent employment in the U.S., it is also critical to contact Peter Levitov.

Letters of Offer

Please include the following statement in letters of offer to individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents:

This offer is contingent upon your having employment authorization from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to assume this position. We will assist you in obtaining the appropriate visa classification.