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Vanderbilt University Employment-Based Visas and Permanent Residency Guidelines

General Recommendation: Non-immigrant (temporary) foreign national work authorization is term-limited.  We recommend that departments consider long-term options for foreign national hires.  As sponsorship is time-sensitive, please reach out to OIS once hiring is confirmed to discuss options to continue employment beyond the initial term.

H-1B Guidelines

  1. Employees should utilize all work authorization (ex: OPT, STEM-OPT) prior to changing status.
  2. Requests should be submitted at least 3 months in advance of the requested start date.
  3. OIS will determine if premium processing is needed based on the information in the request. If the department chooses not to pay for premium processing the start date may need to be amended. The department or foreign national may choose to pay for premium processing at any time even if it is not necessary. The department is responsible for all the H-1B fees.
  4. The department will be charged for the full cost of the H-1B.
  5. The employee must send payment for fees and any necessary documentation for dependents to VU's immigration law firm prior to submission of the H-1B.
  6. All fees except premium processing are non-refundable after submission of the employee questionnaire to VU's law firm.
  7. Only full-time staff and faculty are eligible for sponsorship.

Permanent Residency Guidelines

  1. The department must complete the online form, meet with the OIS Program Manager, and sign the Acknowledgement Form accepting financial responsibility for the petition before a case is initiated.
  2. Department should reserve permanent residency sponsorship for positions requiring an advanced degree and highly specialized skills/knowledge.
  3. All fees, except premium processing, are non-refundable after 30 days from initiation.
  4. The employee must cover all dependent costs.
  5. The employee may not be on a performance accountability and commitment plan.
  6. The request for permanent residency should be submitted within 24-30 months before the final expiration of status.
  7. OIS, in consultation with legal counsel, will determine the appropriate filling type based on the information provided by the department and employee.

Note: All processing times depend on timely responses from all parties.