FAQs for Hiring Units | FAQs for Non-Resident Aliens (NRAs)

FAQs for Hiring Units

What is a Non-Resident Alien (NRA)?

For immigration purposes, a non-resident alien is someone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the US. All NRAs must secure US work authorization prior to being eligible to begin working in the US.

What is a U.S. work visa? 

Please visit the USCIS website for more information.

Can I ask a non-resident alien (NRA) about their U.S. work authorization status during the interview process?

Due to the complexity of U.S. immigration rules, as of December 2013, OSU encourages hiring units to refrain from engaging in discussions with NRAs about their U.S. work authorization, I-9 documents, work visas, etc. For additional information, visit the OIS webpage which contains an overview of hiring an international employee.

What do I do if the candidate starts talking about their visa status?

You can refer them to this general website about the visa categories used at OSU.

Who can answer I-9 questions? 

If candidates have questions about documentation for the I-9, refer them to the Office of Human Resources.

Do non-resident aliens need to meet ALL minimum and preferred qualifications before they can be offered a position?

No, they do not. However, if your recruitment was for a tenure-track position with teaching duties and the selected candidate was a non-resident alien requiring U.S. work authorization, the candidate would need to meet all mandatory qualifications and preferred qualifications, as stated in the job posting, at the time of selection before we could proceed with the preferred method of filing for U.S. permanent residence (PR).  This is important, since PR gives NRAs the ability to live and work permanently in the US.  Filing a "special handling labor certification" with the Department of Labor allows OSU to pursue a route to employment-based PR that is unique to teaching positions in higher education that is not overly burdensome for the NRA nor the hiring department. For additional information, refer to these guidelines.

Is it true that there must be NO minimally qualified U.S. workers who applied for the job before I can hire a non-resident alien? 

No. This only applies to a type of labor certification called Standard Handling through the Department of Labor. OSU rarely uses this type of labor certification.

What kinds of work visas can OSU apply for?  

There are a limited number of work visa categories in the U.S. immigration system. Please refer to the USCIS website for detailsVisit this webpage to see a list of commonly used visa categories used by OSU and to learn about timelines and fees. 

Who pays for the fees associated with securing U.S. work authorization? 

All H-1B, E-3 and permanent residence (I-140 form only) fees must be paid by the employer and may not be passed on to the employee.  This Department of Labor requirement does not apply to fees associated with other visa types that allow for work authorization (e.g. TN, F-1 OPT, J-1, J-2 with an EAD). 

Can OSU apply for H-1B status for any candidate? 

No. A variety of factors determine eligibility for H-1B Specialty Occupation visa status, as outlined on the H-1B information page. It can be difficult to secure H-1B status for positions that do not require a specific specialized degree in a particular field, i.e. classified and professional faculty administrative jobs.

Can someone with a valid EAD card work at OSU?

Yes, in most cases. Please consult with the Office of Human Resources for I-9 employment verification questions. 

FAQs for Non-Resident Aliens (NRAs)

What is the definition of a Non-Resident Alien (NRA)?

For immigration purposes, a non-resident alien is someone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the US. All NRAs must secure U.S. work authorization prior to being eligible to begin working in the US.

May I hire an attorney to secure US work authorization for me?

Individual employees may not hire an immigration attorney to represent OSU. All employment-based permanent residence petitions that require a job offer, H-1B and E-3 petitions must be processed by the Office of International Services (OIS).

I have questions about my current visa status. Can you advise me?

No, we cannot advise non-OSU employees, nor can we advise on personal immigration questions. However, we can offer general guidance about the types of work authorization we pursue for OSU employees.  After a signed offer letter is returned to your hiring department, we will contact you with a questionnaire to gather information that will help us determine what type of work authorization we will pursue for you.