Higher Ed FAQs: Special Handling Documentation (Video)

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I'm Russell Ford, founding partner of FordMurray, an immigration law firm based in Portland, Maine, with clients nationwide. And we're focusing on common issues with the recruitment, retention and hiring of noncitizen personnel or a faculty member at colleges and universities. Today's question really is focused on the special handling process.

What documentation does a university need to hold on to during the special handling process?

What kind of evidence do they have to have? What might the government request during this special handling filing? And this is a key issue because a lot of times when colleges and universities are doing a recruitment, their first thought is, and it should be, we need to find a faculty member for this position, and we want to find the best faculty member we can. And they're focused on the process, not so much the documentation of that process, but with all green card cases, or any case that you file with the immigration or Department of Labor.

Evidence is the key. And so even though a university or a college might be focused on the process, we encourage them to focus on the documentation as well. Committee notes, resumes received, advertisements placed, notes during the selection process, notes conducted during the interview, how did the committee get to its decision? How did the committee determine, based on the pool of giant resumes, to get to the four or five applicants that ultimately were interviewed? How did they go from the four or five applicants that were interviewed down to the selection of the one candidate?

All of that documentation is key and vital, not only for maintaining great records. But should a special handling case get audited? Should the government request that information, having that information available, is required by the PERM regulations. But it also just helps the university to document evidence and support the case that they've put forth.

There's a lot of documentation that the government requires you to maintain in your perm file. There's a lot of documentation that happens in the recruitment of a faculty member. So if you have questions such as: "What documentation should I have," "How do I work with my department heads to make sure that they hold on to that documentation?" "Where do we store that documentation to make sure we have it available?" Give us a call, send us an email. Check out our website. We offer complimentary consultations. We're here to answer questions like that for you at your colleges and universities and we're always happy to help. Thanks!