Friday, July 26, 2013

New International Graduate Student Employees

How to Prepare for Graduate Student Employee Processing

Before coming to the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons (CULC) on August 14th or 15th, you will need to complete several forms and make copies of your immigration documents. 

You must bring the following documents with you:
 ~ Current Passport plus two (2) photocopies of biopage and visa stamp
 ~ Original I-20 or DS-2019 plus two (2) photocopies
 ~ Original I-94 plus two (2) photocopies

The information below will guide you through the steps you must take before arriving.

Completing these forms and making copies in advance will greatly reduce the amount of time you will have to spend at the office.

Read the following instructions carefully.  Complete as much as you can.  Leave items blank if you do not know the answers.  Please do not staple your paperwork; if you need to keep your documents together, use paperclips instead.

Step 1: Complete and Print the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9

  • Please complete only section 1 of the form, print and bring it with you.
  • In addition to the I-9 form, original identification documents will be required.
  • Sections 2 & 3 will be completed at OHR by the employer after viewing your immigration documents.

Step 2: Complete the New Hire Employment Package

All new graduate student employees will need to complete the following forms before arriving:
  • Personal Data Form (page 1)
  • Federal Form W-4 (page 3)
  • State of Georgia Form G-4 (page 5)
  • Worker's Compensation Memorandum (page 7)
  • Security Questionnaire (page 8) - Do not sign the loyalty oath on this form until you are in the CULC and in the presence of a notary.
  • Authorization Agreement for Automatic Deposits (page 10)*
  • Intellectual Property Agreement (page 11)

Step 3: International Tax Compliance - GLACIER

You will receive an email from around August 10th.  This message is from the Georgia Tech tax compliance software known as GLACIER.  All foreign nationals working at Georgia Tech must utilize GLACIER.  Once you have arrived in the U.S., please log in as instructed in the email and follow the directions.  Print the PDF forms available at the end of the data collection process and bring them with you to GSEP.  The Georgia Tech Global HR office will keep one set of copies of your immigration documents. 

Step 4: Social Security Card

If you are new to the United States and do not have a Social Security Card, please complete the Social Security Card Application and bring it with you.
In addition to the completed SS-5 Form, you must have one of two items:
  • the formal offer letter from your department at Georgia Tech, OR
  • a social security letter from your department. Ask at your department for this letter. They may tell you that they have already submitted it to Global HR, in which case you can pick it up at OHR.

Step 5: Print and bring all completed forms to the CULC

When you arrive, you should have the following forms with you and completed to the best of your ability:
  • Form I-9
  • New Hire Employment Package:
    • Includes Personal Data Form, Worker's Compensation Memorandum, Security Questionnaire, Intellectual Property Agreement, and Authorization Agreement for Automatic Deposits.
  • Completed GLACIER forms
  • SS-5 Form, and the offer letter from your department (for those without Social Security numbers)

Monday, July 15, 2013

House GOP Conference Meets as Immigration Reform Reaches a Crossroads

From, 07/15/2013

The House GOP Conference met last week to discuss possible approaches to immigration reform in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Republican leaders endorsed continuing along the current path of approaching immigration on an issue-by-issue basis, which some have referred to as a “piecemeal” approach. In a statement released shortly after the meeting, House leaders stated that they would not take up the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill passed last month by the Senate, but rather would “continue their work on a step-by-step, commonsense approach to fix what has long been a broken system.” The caucus as a whole reportedly remains deeply divided, particularly on the issue of a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. 

Following the Senate’s passage of S. 744, questions abounded about the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in the House. While the House “Group of Seven” is reportedly still working at crafting a comprehensive solution, the piecemeal approach favored by House Republican leaders continues to hold sway. 

While analysts agree that there would likely be enough combined Democratic and Republican votes to pass S. 744 or some similar comprehensive bill, Speaker John Boehner indicated even prior to the House GOP meeting last week that he would not allow a comprehensive immigration bill to reach the House floor without the support of a majority of Republicans. The July 11th meeting itself – in which some conservatives reportedly urged Boehner to “kill the bill,” and referred to S. 744 as an “Obamacare-like bill” – seemed to validate the view that a majority of Republicans in the House are not prepared, at least at this juncture, to support any approach resembling the Senate bill. 

It remains to be seen whether the collection of House bills that have moved forward to date, or some subset of them, might be successfully patched together and conferenced with S. 744, particularly with the very thorny issue of a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented yet to be addressed in the House. 

Among the bills reported out by the House Judiciary Committee are the SKILLS Visa Act (H.R. 2131), the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772), the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (H.R. 2278), also known as the SAFE Act, and the Agricultural Guestworker “AG” Act (H.R. 1773). Earlier this year, the House border security subcommittee passed the Border Security Results Act of 2013 (H.R. 1417), a bill that would compel DHS to produce a strategy and implementation plan for achieving measurable border security. The timing of floor votes on these bills is not certain, but may begin this month. 

Provisions for High Skilled Workers 

The House Judiciary Committee in late June cleared the SKILLS Visa Act, which would expand green card and nonimmigrant opportunities for skilled workers. The bill would allocate additional immigrant visas to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields; increase the standard H-1B cap to 155,000 (with 40,000 more numbers for advanced-degree STEM graduates); and repeal employment-based per-country limits. The bill would also make major changes to the way required wages are calculated, and impose new wage requirements on longer-term L-1s, F-1s on OPT, and TNs. (Click here for a summary of the bill.) 

The SKILLS Visa Act would not provide as great an infusion of green card numbers as S. 744, though it lifts the H-1B cap considerably and without the new employer requirements that the Senate bill would impose. Though the bill would establish new wage requirements as described above, it does not include S.744-type provisions on recruitment or non-displacement. See this chart for a comparison of the SKILLS Visa Act to provisions of S. 744 affecting employers of skilled professionals. (An updated chart on S. 744 is available here.)

Other Bills Cleared by the House Judiciary Committee 

The Legal Workforce Act would make E-Verify mandatory for all employers at a quick pace – within two years after enactment. The bill would pre-empt state laws mandating E-Verify use, but states could withhold licenses and impose fines on businesses failing to comply with electronic verification requirements. The SAFE Act is a border and interior enforcement bill that, among other things, would increase the ability of local police to enforce immigration laws, accelerate and expand the government’s expedited removal and detention power, and augment visa security measures at consular posts. The AG Act would create a new agricultural guestworker program to replace the H-2A program. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New E-Verify Function Notifies Employees of a Record Mismatch

From, 07/11/2013

USCIS is enhancing E-Verify to allow for direct notification to employees when their employment verification information cannot be confirmed against government databases. Notice of the mismatch – known as a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) – will be provided as long as the employee has provided an email address on Form I-9. Notwithstanding the new functionality, employers are still required to notify the affected employee when a TNC is received. 

In the E-Verify system, if there is a mismatch between information provided by an employee and government databases, a TNC is issued to the employer, who must then contact the affected employee. With the new enhancement, E-Verify will notify both the employer and the affected employee. If the employee decides to take action to resolve the discrepancy, he or she must notify the employer, who will notify the relevant government agency, either the Social Security Administration for U.S. Citizens or the Department of Homeland Security for foreign nationals. 

In addition to providing the initial notice of a TNC, E-Verify will send reminder emails to the employee if no action to resolve the mismatch has occurred within four days of his or her decision to take action on the TNC. 

This latest enhancement to E-Verify comes in the wake of the recent revision to Form I-9, which gives new hires the option to include an email address on the form.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

August 2013 Visa Bulletin

August 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB-2 India Will Advance Significantly

According to the State Department’s August Visa Bulletin, the priority date cut-off for EB-2 India will advance by three years and four months, to January 1, 2008.The State Department is advancing priority dates for this categories to ensure that quotas are fully used by the end of the fiscal year. 

There will be no movement for most other backlogged employment-based categories. EB-2 China will remain at August 8, 2008. EB-3 will remain at January 22, 2003 for India and January 1, 2009 for China and most other countries. EB-3 priority dates for the Philippines will see the only advancement next month, to October 22, 2006. 

August 2013 Visa Bulletin, Employment Based Categories
See the entire bulletin here:

Monday, July 1, 2013

DOL Labor Certification Registry Goes Live

From, 07/01/2013

The Department of Labor today launched the Labor Certification Registry, an online database that makes certified PERMs, labor condition applications (LCAs) and other labor certifications easily accessible to the public. 

The database, which was announced earlier this year, will make LCA, PERM and H-2A/H-2B labor certification records publicly available within two business days of certification, though the posting of H-1B LCAs has been delayed until July 15, 2013. The registry also contains all LCAs and PERMs certified since April 15, 2009. 

The registry's PERM records give users nearly complete access to information about jobs for which labor certification is sought, including job titles and descriptions, requirements, wages and recruitment, as well as employer contact, signatory and attorney information. Only the employer’s FEIN and the foreign national’s name and other personally identifiable information are redacted. LCA are fully viewable, with only employer FEINs redacted. 

DOL has made PERM and LCA case data available in the past, but the new registry contains far more information than had been disclosed previously.