Key things to know before applying for Special Handling

The position must involve teaching

Special Handling is limited to tenure tracked teaching positions at institutions of higher education. This 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 through the regular PERM process. In practice, a tenure-tracked faculty position with a combination of teaching duties and administrative/research duties may qualify for Special Handling. Also, the hours dedicated to teaching duties need not be more than 50% of total hours.

Filing within 18 Months of Formal Selection Decision

An important aspect of the Special Handling case is that the application must be filed within 18 months after the date the formal selection decision is made. If the application is not filed within 18 months, then the employer will not be eligible to file PERM for the alien under the Special Handling procedure. In practice, if the date of selection is not clear, the date the job offer is made may be considered as the starting date for calculating the 18 month period. The recruitment procedure must be very extensive and well documented by the university or college, indicating the procedures involved in the selection and recruitment. It is important for employer and potential employee to be aware of this deadline. In the event that the employer missed the filing deadline, the employer has the option to reopen the nationwide recruitment process or go through regular PERM processing. However, either of these makeup procedures is very complicated, and involves risk.

One Hard Copy or 30 Days Online Posting in a Professional Journal

The position that the alien has received must have been advertised during the recruitment process in a national professional journal (such as Chronicle of Higher Education), before selection. The advertisement must have been posted at least once in the hard copy version of the journal, or for 30 calendar days in the journal’s electronic version. This advertisement must contain the job title, duties, and requirements, but the wage offered is not necessary. A copy of at least one print version of the advertisement or proof of the online posting (printed copies of the online advertisement from the first and last days of advertising) with the name and date of publication must be provided.

PERM labor certification is an extremely complicated procedure and time-sensitive. We recommend that you consult with an experienced and responsible immigration attorney. We have successfully represented many PERM cases. If you would like to contact us, please telephone us at (713) 771-8433 or visit us at one of our six locations. You can also contact us by email at Our attorneys will use their experience, expertise, and teamwork to ensure the highest quality of service.

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