Hiring International Employees

Hiring International Employees

To ensure compliance with applicable federal regulations, The University of Texas at San Antonio has delegated authority for filing temporary worker petitions (H-1B status), and for signing labor certifications and immigrant/permanent resident petitions to designated individuals at the International Services Office.  UTSA and The University of Texas System policy precludes an attorney from filing these petitions and representing our institution on behalf of an employee.

A. Employment Petition

Early notification of the staff at the International Services Office is very important in order to plan for the timely arrival of your new hires. Processing backlogs in the U.S. for temporary worker visas have recently increased. Immigration Premium Processing service does allow for expedited processing of H-1B, O-1 and TN petitions. This service costs an additional $2,500 but results in adjudication by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within 15 days. Even with Premium Processing, the application process could take 5-7 weeks because of the complexity of the process and the Department of Labor requirements that must be met.

B. Documentation Supporting Petition

Applications for H-1B temporary worker status require submission of a Labor Condition Application to the Department of Labor and an I-129 form (Petition for Non-immigrant Worker) as part of the required documentation. The departmental representative is responsible for completing the required information and providing it to the International Services Office. For H-1B petitions, the hiring unit must be paying, or be prepared to pay, the prevailing wage for the position, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

C. Visa Applications

Once the employment petition has been approved, the visa application may also present challenges. Appointment arrangements for U.S. embassies and consulates, additional security clearances based on citizenship and gender, plus extra scrutiny of those coming to work in areas listed on the expanded Technology Alert List (a list of sensitive fields of research compiled by the federal government that require clearance before visa issuance), may cause unpredictably long delays in securing the proper visa to enter the U.S.

Department chair approval is required for all invitations to foreign nationals who will be employed at UTSA.

See the Guide to Most-Used Visas for details on the possible visa options for foreign nationals coming to UTSA.

Source: All information in section refers to the Handbook of Operating Procedures Rules


210-458-7202 or international.services@utsa.edu