Special Handling PERM for University and College Teachers
Special Handling cases are employer sponsored labor certification applications, which are limited to teaching positions at qualified educational institutions. Special Handling provides a great channel for teaching positions at accredited educational institutions that offer two-year associate degrees or higher degrees. This section will briefly address the "Special Handling" procedures. Interested faculty members should feel free their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the key things you need to know before applying for Special Handling?
Special Handling is limited only to teaching positions at institutions of higher education, which means the position must involve some amount of actual classroom teaching. Faculty members are not necessarily teachers, thus, non-teaching positions such as researchers, librarians and other administrative staff must be processed under the regular PERM process.
An important aspect of the Special Handling case is that the application for Special handling must be filed within 18 months from the date that the alien was selected for the position by a nationwide competitive recruitment and selection process. If the application is not filed within 18 months, then the alien will not be eligible for Special Handling. The recruitment procedure must be very extensive and well documented by the university or college, indicating the procedures involved in the selection and recruitment.
Employer requirements to file for Special Handling
The following is a list of requirements that must be fulfilled by the employer in order for the applicant to be eligible for Special Handling.
Minimally Qualified Requirement vs. More Qualified
The minimally qualified vs. more qualified distinction plays an important role depending on the job’s teaching status that the alien has been offered. If the job does not contain a teaching component, then the alien will be subject to the minimally qualified requirement, in which he must prove that there is no qualified U.S. worker available to accept the job offer. A qualified U.S. worker means any U.S. worker who meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of education and experiences as claimed in the PERM process. Unfortunately, this means that if even one interested U.S. worker meets the minimum requirements for the offered position, the labor certification application will be denied even if the alien is the most qualified person for the offered position.
However, if the alien holds a teaching position, then the alien will be subject to the more qualified standard. In this standard, the application for labor certification can be approved if it is shown that there are no U.S. workers who are at least equally qualified when compared to the alien teacher. Therefore, the application can be approved even if several U.S. workers meet the minimum requirements for the offered position but none are equally qualified as the alien. In other words, if the alien teacher is found to be more qualified (i.e. more skilled and experienced) than any of the U.S. workers who apply for the job, the labor certification should be approved by the DOL.
John and Jen are both from India and have received two positions at Ohio State University. John will be an assistant professor in the Business school, while Jen has received a position as a post-doctoral researching in the Psychology Department. John’s position involves teaching classes and research, whereas Jen’s position is simply a research position. John will be subject to the lower standard, more qualified, since his job requires him to teach, while Jen will be subject to the minimally qualified standard. Therefore, if John can show that he is more qualified than the US workers who want the same position, if any, his LC may be approved, while Jen must show that there are no US workers minimally qualified and willing to take the job in order for her Labor Certification to be approved.
1. Employer must conduct prior recruitment efforts. The application must be filed within 18 months from the date that the alien teacher was selected by a competitive recruitment and selection process for the position.
3. A detailed statement describing the recruitment procedure signed by a college or university official who has actual hiring authority must be included with the application. The selection committee that recommended appointment of the foreign worker should submit a signed final report or summary of the recruitment results. A general statement is not acceptable. Documentation must include:
4. A notice must be posted internally at the work site to announce to the employer's employees the filing of the Application for Foreign Worker Employment Certification. The posting must be for ten (10) consecutive business days. If the position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the employer must notify the bargaining representative of the filing of the Application. If it is a unionized position, properly notice of filing must be provided with the bargain representative.
Documents and Information Needed
For detailed documents and information needed to prepare the LC application in Special Handling processing, please click here.
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