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Vanderbilt University Employment Based Visas and Permanent Residency Guidelines

General Recommendation: For talent retention and fiscal responsibility it is strongly recommended that the department utilize ALL work authorization available to the foreign national before sponsorship of an H1B visa and all H1B visa availability before permanent residency sponsorship.

H1B 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. GSS/VUMC 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 H1B fees.
4. The department will be charged for the full cost of the H1B and may receive reimbursement for premium processing and/or dependent fees from the foreign national.
5. The employee must pay the fees and submit the documentation for any dependents prior to submission of the H1B; within 30 days of submission is strongly encouraged.
6. All fees except premium processing are non-refundable after submission of the employee questionnaire to Vanderbilt’s immigration attorney.
7. Only full-time, exempt staff and faculty are eligible for sponsorship.

Permanent Residency Guidelines

1. The department must complete the online form, meet with the GSS Program Coordinator and sign the Acknowledgement Form including financial responsibility before a case is processed.
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 cost unless the dependent is an employee of Vanderbilt.
5. The employee may not be on a performance accountability and commitment plan.
6. The request for permanent residency should be submitted within 18-24 months before the final expiration of status.
7. GSS/VUMC Immigration, 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.