Tufts University sponsorship of international employees for US permanent residence is governed by several factors, including US federal regulations, University policy, and individual school policies and hiring decisions. Please read below for major policy factors.
Sponsorship Eligibility and Required Approvals
Any Tufts-sponsored permanent residence process must be approved under either a general school sponsorship policy covering the employee's position (e.g., a tenure-track sponsorshp policy), or if a general policy does not exist, on a case-by-case basis by the individual employee's school Dean (or VP). Tufts will not offer sponsorship to any employee in the absence of a school policy or without the approval of the employee's school dean (or VP).
Tufts University offers employment-based sponsorship for permanent residence in the EB-1B Outstanding Professor / Researcher and the EB-2A Advanced Degree categories. Due to federal regulatory requirements attached to these categories, only employees offered, full-time and permanent employment are eligible for Tufts sponsorship. See the discussion below for more details regarding positions eligible for sponsorship.
Employees eligible for permanent residence under another eligibility category that does not require Tufts approval or is otherwise unrelated to their Tufts position may pursue those options on their own, without University approval. Examples include family-based sponsorship or sponsorship under the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability or EB-2 National Interest Waiver categories. Employees may engage the services of any immigration attorney of their choosing. However, in most cases employees are responsible for all costs related to these separate options. If Tufts provides any financial support for these non-University related options on an extraordinary basis (subject to approval by a school Dean), use of a University-approved attorney is required. Availability and pursuit of non-Tufts options does not preclude the possibility of Tufts offering employment-based sponsorship for permanent residence under the EB-1B Outstanding Professor / Researcher or EB-2A Advanced Degree categories.
Budgeting and Cost Share
Responsibility for costs associated with the permanent residence process should be determined in advance, in accordance with a school-based policy or on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, cost share responsibility should be communicated in advance to the sponsored employee, and any cost share arrangement must have the approval of the employee's Dean or Vice President. Sponsoring units are recommended to consult with the International Center prior to initiating a sponsorship cases to determine an estimate of total sponsorship costs.
For sponsorship cases proceeding under the EB-2A Advanced Degree category, a PERM Labor Certification is required. All costs associated with the PERM Labor Certification must be assumed by the sponsoring school or department.
In most cases, the sponsored employee is required to file Form I-485, which is the employee's personal application to adjust to permanent resident status. (Separate Form I-485 filings are also also required for any accompanying dependents seeking to adjust to permanent resident status at the same time). Any contribution to the costs associated with the preparation of Form I-485 may be considered a taxable benefit. The employee should consult with an appropriate tax specialist for further advice.
Costs related to the permanent residence sponsorship of dependent family members are the responsibility of the individual employee.
The International Center is responsible for coordinating approval processes and outsourcing sponsorship requests to an approved immigration attorney. The International Center does not have any role in determining who can or should be sponsored for permanent residence beyond ensuring that any sponsorship offers are in conformity with federal regulations and University or school-based policies. In addition, the International Center may provide guidance regarding optimal timing and other matters relating to the sponsorship process.
The employee's department or unit is responsible for designating a department manager responsible for collecting materials (e.g., recruitment files) and processing any immigration related invoices.
Schools and divisions are responsible for ensuring that any University-covered costs are supported and paid. They are also responsible for notifying the International Center in the event they intend to terminate or discontinue sponsorship for employees due to employee termination, departure, or resignation, or any other reason that removes the need to continue sponsorship processes.