Office of Academic Personnel

International Faculty

Visa (H 1-B) Sponsorship

California State University, Chico has a long tradition of hosting faculty and other academic personnel from around the world.  Chico State sponsors certain faculty for H-1B visa status, which is used for employment in specialty occupations.  A specialty occupation is defined as a position that requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field and theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in order to perform the job duties.

The H-1B visa is employer and job-specific and requires an employer to file applications with the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to sponsor an employee. This visa provides authorization to work for up to six years. 

Chico State’s employment sponsorship of H-1B visas is strictly limited to certain appointment titles only.  At CSU, Chico, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor appointments are the only faculty employee positions sponsored by departments for H-1B status.  Eligible jobs must be full-time and paid a CSU, Chico salary that meets the Department of Labor’s wage requirements, which for all CSUs are the salaries required by the CBA between CSU and California Faculty Association. The foreign beneficiary must be fully qualified for the job at the time the petition is filed with USCIS.

It is Chico State’s responsibility to pay the USCIS fees on behalf of the beneficiary of the H-1B petition.  CSU, Chico may not be reimbursed by the beneficiary.  An exception is if a request for premium processing is for the employee’s personal reasons, then the premium processing fee can be paid by the employee. 

Chico State retains an attorney to prepare and file its H-1B petitions on behalf of the campus.  Chico State will pay all attorney fees and costs incurred for those services.  As a professional courtesy, CSU Chico will petition for the dependents of H-1B employees for H-4 status in conjunction with the faculty member’s petition.  However, the faculty member family is responsible to pay the accompanying attorney fees and costs as well as the USCIS filing fees/costs for dependents.  Qualifying H-4 members are the spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years of age of the principal H-1 visa holder.

U.S. Permanent Residency Process

Chico State is committed to providing assistance to international faculty in order to facilitate transition from their current visa type to a green card, within the boundaries of the law and our resources.  A permanent residency (green card) petition has the following three steps:

  1. Permanent (PERM) Labor Certification (Special Handling Faculty)

The labor certification outlines Chico State’s recruitment efforts regarding the foreign national’s position and why the foreign national faculty member is more qualified than each U.S. worker who applied for the position and provides other important information regarding the position and the foreign national faculty member’s qualifications.  The Department of Labor must approve this application before the foreign national faculty member can advance to the next step in the process.

It is Chico State’s policy to file PERM cases with the Department of Labor for all eligible tenure-track faculty.  Because of the technical nuances within the law, and the time commitment involved with PERM cases, Chico State is unable to devote the resources to filing PERMs for anything other than tenure-track teaching positions.  The PERM application must be filed with the Department of Labor within 18 months of the offer of employment.  Due to certain Department of Labor requirements, there is a minimum lead time of five months before the PERM application can be filed.  As such, the PERM application process should be started soon after the foreign national has been selected for a tenure-track position.

It is Chico State’s responsibility to pay all fees and costs associated with the PERM labor certification process.  Chico State retains an attorney to prepare and submit applications for PERM labor certifications on its behalf and is responsible for and pays all legal fees and costs incurred for those services.  Chico State’s retained attorney represents Chico State.  Therefore, it is strongly recommended that faculty members secure their own immigration attorney for advice and guidance from the beginning through the entire immigration process including for issues such as

  • how travel may impact you,
  • expiration of passport(s) dates and
  • requirements following the PERM application process and preparation and filing of the I-140 and I-485 petitions. 

It is the faculty member’s responsibility to be aware of the expiration dates of documents, including passports and visa dates, and to keep their I-9 updated when their employment authorization documents change or dates expire.   

  1. Filing an I-140 Immigrant Worker Petition

Once a PERM application is certified (approved) by the Department of Labor, the I-140 Immigrant Worker Petition must be filed within six (6) months of the approval date of the PERM application, by the faculty member. The I-140 form is an immigrant petition filed with USCIS indicating that Chico State is the employer sponsoring an alien worker as an immigrant in a permanent, full-time position with Chico State.

Unlike the PERM application, there are no restrictions on who may pay for the fees and expenses associated with the I-140 petition.  Therefore, it is Chico State’s policy to not pay any fees or costs that are unrelated to the PERM labor certification process.  The sponsored foreign national faculty is therefore responsible for all fees or costs that fall outside of the PERM labor certification process.  This includes, but is not limited to, any legal fees or costs associated with the I-140 petition and the I-140 filing fee. 

  1. The I-485 Adjustment of Status

The last and final step in the permanent resident process is the filing of the I-485 Application to Adjust Status.  An I-485 is an application filed by the foreign national faculty member to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident.  As stated above, it is Chico State’s policy to not pay any fees or costs that are unrelated to the PERM labor certification process.  This includes, but is not limited to, any legal fees or costs associated with the I-485 application and the I-485 filing fee.

Finally, be aware that regulations, laws, policies, and processes regarding immigration law and its requirements change frequently and such changes are subject to change without notice.  Therefore, this website may not reflect changes occurring after its publication.  Please consult with your own counsel to stay current with this ever changing environment.