Hiring Non-GSU Sponsored International Employees
In many instances, a GSU department will hire an international faculty, researcher, or staff member who already has work authorization from the U.S. government. In these cases, they may even be hiring tenure-track faculty members who the department will later sponsor for an employment-based visa (such as an H-1B) and permanent residency. Due to the federal requirement of export control screening, it is imperative that ISSS be notified PRIOR TO THE START DATE of any foreign nationals hired in a faculty or researcher position. This prior notification also aids in future immigration applications or petitions which the department may wish to pursue for the individual, especially the permanent residency (green card) process, which have tight filing windows that we would otherwise miss if not notified of a new foreign hire.
Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card)
The non-GSU work authorization can take a few forms but the most common one is an Employment Authorization Document (known as an “EAD” card). These cards appear like the image below and should not be confused with the “green card”. These cards allow someone to work for the time allotted on the card itself. They are generally applied for by the foreign national themselves via U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Typical processing times are around 3 months from when they file.
See below for the various stipulations associated with the EAD card. Each EAD card “type” is determined by the category code listed on the card.
F-1 OPT (either GSU graduates or graduates from other institutions, category: C3B or C3C)
- The F-1 status allows for students to work for at least one year after finishing their degree program. Unlike other EAD cards, these come with a stipulation that the student work in their field of study.
- Some students are eligible for a two-year extension of their work authorization if they have graduated from a STEM program. They will need to discuss this with their student advisor at their home institution.
- As part of this extension process, the department will be responsible for filling out the Form I-983, instructions for which can be found on this website.
- Extensions using the STEM Extension will receive an automatic 180 day extension of their employment authorization while waiting for the full approval. You may use the receipt notice to extend their I-9 with HR.
All Other Non-F-1 OPT EAD Cards
EAD cards can be issued for any number of reasons. The most common statuses that we see are below but they are most certainly not the only types:
- J-2 Dependent (code: C05)
- E-3 Dependent (code: A17)
- L-2 Dependent (code: A18)
- Applicant for Permanent Residency (code: C09)
- H-4 Dependent (only in certain situations, code: C26)
There are no restrictions on these work authorization cards in terms of type or hours of work.
J-1 Academic Training
Some J-1 Student Categories (Student Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate or even Non-Degree on occasion) allow for a period of employment known as Academic Training. In these instances, there will be no EAD card. The work authorization will be found on their Form DS-2019, under section 5 on the right-hand side.
A person on Academic Training can have a maximum of 18 months of work if they graduated with a Bachelors or Masters. If they graduated with a Doctorate, they can request a maximum of two 18 month periods of work authorization.
Export Control Form
It is vital that every foreign hire doing research or working as a faculty member go through the Export Control Process. This process ensures that all foreign nationals working at GSU with sensitive information have been vetted based on their name and their country and given a preliminary screening through the U.S. government. Per Legal Affairs, this process is a requirement. Please log-in to the iStart system to fill out the “Non-GSU Sponsored Employees Intake” e-form, which includes export control sections, found under “Departmental Services”.