Changes of Appointment or Activity
Sponsorship classifications for scholars allow them to continue to conduct their research, teaching or other activity in your department until they either complete those activities or until the end date indicated on their current immigration document. If anything changes in the terms of a scholar’s appointment/affiliation, the ISSO should be notified in advance of the change so that we can evaluate whether or not the change is permitted under the terms of their current sponsorship status. Changes may require the ISSO to issue a new immigration document or make a request to USCIS to amend the information in a previously approved petition.
Changes in a BU appointment/activity include any combination of the following:
- Promotion or other change in job title, rank or job classification
- Substantial changes in job duties/responsibilities
- Funding changes:
- any decrease in salary/benefits
- a substantial increase in salary/benefits
- change to funding source (ie. non-BU funding to BU funding or change of outside funding source)
- Change in or addition of location(s) of employment
- Change in total work hours or change in full-time/part-time employment status (full time equivalency)
- Change in sponsoring department
Scholars in J-1 status
The J-1 classification does allow for some flexibility in the terms of employment or activity – however the scholar’s Form DS-2019 must always reflect the actuality of the appointment terms. Therefore, the ISSO must issue a new form to document any of the changes above, in advance of the change.
If a scholar will move moving from an unpaid position to a paid position, please note that the ISSO will also need to complete the employment verification process before the scholar can commence the BU employment. Also note that changes to a tenure-track position are limited in the J classification and a change of immigration status will need to be approved prior to effecting the tenure-track position.
Scholars in H-1B status
The H-1B that the ISSO submitted on behalf of your scholar is employer, location, title, salary, hours and duty-specific. Any change in employment deemed to be material requires submission of a new H-1B petition to amend the terms of employment.
Employment changes are deemed to be material require submission of a new H-1B petition to amend the employee’s authorization for employment. Changes to an H-1B employee’s employment that are effected prior to submission of an amendment are considered a violation of H status and may have negative effects on both the H-1B employee and BU as the sponsoring employee.
Employment Changes within Same Department
For a proposed change in employment within the same BU department, the hiring department please submit an H-1B Employment Change Form to the ISSO no later than 60 days prior to the proposed change in employment. If the proposed changed is deemed to be material, the hiring department will be asked to complete a new H-1B request packet, including a new appointment letter. The amended petition must be submitted to DHS before the employee can commence the proposed new duties, salary, supervision, etc.
Employment for a New or Concurrent BU Department
If the H-1B employee will commence employment with a new (or concurrent) department, a complete scholar processing request packet, including a new appointment letter, is required from the new (or secondary) hiring department. The ISSO will use this information to determine if the change is considered material and if a new H-1B petition will be required to amend the employee’s work authorization.
Changes in Percentage in Effort
The ISSO will evaluate any request for part-time sponsorship on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations for employing H-1B workers require additional record keeping requirements for part-time H-1B employees. More specifically, the DOL requires employers to keep records of “hours worked each day and each week” for all part-time H-1B employees, regardless of whether or not the employer currently keeps such hourly records for its other part-time employees. These additional payroll records must be made available at the request of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division in the event of an investigation. The burden would be on the Department to satisfy this obligation.
BU Employees with Independent Employment Authorization
Length, type and limits of work permission will vary depending on the immigration category of the authorized employment so be sure to contact the ISSO to ensure that the change would be allowable. Many employment authorizations, including J-2 work authorization or an EAD based on a pending application for permanent residence, do not have associated terms beyond the dates listed on the employment authorization document.
However there are also authorizations that are tied to a specified field, hours per week, or location/title. For example, employees working under the terms of an authorized F-1 Optional Practical Training, must be working in an area related to the degree that they obtained in their F-1 program. Some employment authorizations for F and J students may also be limited to a certain number of hours per week.
TN an O-1 Employees
TN and O-1 employment is not only specific to the employer, BU, but also specific to the terms indicated above. Changes in employment terms for employees in TN or O-1 status may require submission of a new petition to amend the employee’s authorization for employment. Changes to TN or O-1 employment that are effected prior to submission of an amendment are considered a violation of status and may have negative effects on both the employee and BU as the sponsoring employee.