Volume 6, Number 4

September 22, 2010

The Communiqué is an on-going series of messages to departments who sponsor international scholars at Boston University. With the Communiqué, we offer information that helps in the processing of scholar immigration-related documents and petitions. We hope you find the Communiqué a useful tool in working with the ISSO and in successfully hiring and sponsoring scholars from around the world. Past Communiqués are archived on our web site. Click here to go to the archive page.

Update on Project to Centralize I-9s to Human Resources Offices

Responsibility for I-9 Completion being Moved in Phases to the Office of Human Resources

As highlighted in a previous version of the Communiqué, the Office of Human Resources on both campuses began using a new electronic system for completion and retention of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Forms in October of 2009. Implementation of the new system has centralized record-keeping for I-9 forms, eliminated the use of paper forms and assisted the University in moving towards better compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). As the current time, the Office of Human Resources on both the Medical Campus and Charles River Campus now handle I-9s for all US Citizen and US Lawful Permanent Resident employees in staff, faculty, research and casual employment positions.

Further instructions on I-9 completion and “on boarding” of new employees can be found at: http://www.bu.edu/hr/home/new-employees/new-employee-checklist/

ISSO Continues to Complete I-9s for International Employees

Please note that while more job categories have now moved to the Office of Human Resources, that the ISSO continues to be responsible for completing I-9s for all new and continuing international employees (including employees in staff, faculty, research and casual employment positions) during one of our established I-9 times. For the purpose of I-9 completion, “International” employees include any person who does not hold US Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence (“green card”) at the time of hiring, including persons who obtain a “green card” after beginning employment.

Transition to “Paperless” I-9

ISSO staff members currently use the paper version of the I-9 and have historically given the original form back to the employee to return to the hiring department for follow-up with HR. In the very near future, the ISSO anticipates having access to BU Form I-9, the paperless I-9 completion system currently used by the Human Resources Offices. This transition will eliminate paper copies of the form.

As primary responsibilities for I-9 maintenance has now transitioned away from individual departments and to the HR Offices, the ISSO has discontinued the practice of giving the original paper I-9 to the employee. Effective immediately, the ISSO will retain the original I-9 and send it directly to the appropriate Human Resources Office. Copies will not be routinely provided to the employee or the hiring department. Email notifications will be sent to the hiring department to confirm date of I-9 completion and the employment authorization dates.

Reminders About I-9 Times and Required Documentation

As we begin a new academic cycle, we wanted to remind all departments of Boston University’s policy with regard to completion of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification for foreign national employees.

# 1. ISSO Completes I-9s for all Foreign National Employees

Any professor, researcher or employee of Boston University who is not a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder), must complete an I-9 at the ISSO within 3 days of beginning employment. This includes individuals who obtain employment authorization from the USCIS without Boston University sponsorship (such as students in F-1 status who are authorized for Optional Practical Training, pending lawful U.S. permanent residents, J-2 dependents, asylees, etc.)

# 2. International Employees must come to the ISSO during Designated I-9 Times

The ISSO holds standard I-9 walk-in hours for international employees every week as follows:

Tuesdays 9:00-10:00 am ISSO – 888 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor
Wednesdays 2:00-5:00 pm ISSO – 888 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor
Thursdays 9:00-10:00 am BUMC Human Resources – 801 Massachusetts Ave, 4th Floor

Due to the volume of scholars we assist, I-9s cannot be handled on a walk-in basis. Please make certain employees in your department are coming to the ISSO at an appropriate time to ensure that we will be available to assist them.

New employees sponsored in J-1 classification will complete their I-9s during New Scholar Orientation.

The ISSO generally arranges an individual I-9 appointment for employees sponsored in H-1B or O-1 status.

# 3. Proof of Valid Employment Authorization and a Letter of Appointment/Employment are Required for I-9 Completion

All employees needing an initial or updated I-9 should bring original immigration documents demonstrating their unexpired employment authorization in the U.S. A list of acceptable documents can be found on page 5 of the following link:www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

In addition, employees who do not hold employment authorization sponsored by Boston University must also bring an academic appointment letter (for teaching or research positions) or a job offer letter (for staff positions or casual employment). This letter should specify the job title, hiring department (including the unit/department code), and start date of employment (or dates of employment if temporary)

# 4. International Employees must Renew their I-9s if their Employment Authorizations Changes

Please note that a new I-9 may be required whenever there is a change to the employment authorization, including:

  1. Whenever an employee receivesrenewal or change of employment authorization (including a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or new Curricular Practical Training or Academic Training authorization from a sponsoring school)
  2. If there is achange in the employee’s immigration classification.
  3. When a BU student in a nonimmigrant classification moves to a regular staff, faculty or casual position at Boston University, or if a BU department wishes to employ a former student beyond the date of graduation.
  4. When an employeeobtains lawful U.S. permanent residence (a “green card”) after starting employment at BU.

Your Scholar Services team,

Olivia K. Whitman
International Scholar Advisor

Mari Kim
International Scholar Advisor

M. Andrea Popa
Assistant Director for Scholar Services

Jeanne E. Kelley

International Students & Scholars Office
Boston University
888 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215

Tel: (617) 353-3565
Fax: (617) 358-1170


Are you a new BU department contact or new host to an international scholar? Are you a BU affiliate who wants to receive the ISSO Communiqué? To update your department’s contact information or to sign up for the ISSO Communiqué, please complete a Department Contact/Host Update Form on-line at: http://www.bu.edu/isso/administrators/contacts/index.html