Sponsorship of Foreign Nationals

It is imperative that the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) is notified once an international faculty or staff accepts a position with Georgia College & State University. S/he cannot begin working for Georgia College until the appropriate application is filed (and approved depending on the type of visa held when hired). If a prospective employee does not have proper work authorization on the date that s/he is scheduled to begin employment, s/he cannot begin work.  In some circumstances, this applies even where an appropriate application for work authorization is pending.  Failure to do so will be a violation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act and could subject Georgia College to civil monetary penalties ranging between $1,000 to $35,000 and/or other sanctions. These sanctions could include Georgia College losing the ability to hire international faculty and staff for a specified amount of time or permanently, the termination of the international employee found to be in violation of not having proper work authorization, and up to five years imprisonment.

It is the university’s policy to ONLY employ internationals in full-time faculty and professional staff positions.

If the prospective employee has an existing H-1B visa, Georgia College must petition for their H-1B to be transferred. The prospective employee cannot begin work until the receipt notice for the petition has arrived at Georgia College. 

If the employee has an OPT EAD work authorization card, s/he can work up to the end of the time specified on the card. The OPT EAD cards are usually granted for one year. Depending on the degree of study the OPT could be extended. If the OPT EAD card expires an H-1B petition will have to be filed before to the expiration of the OPT EAD card. Once the OPT EAD card expires and the H-1B petition has not been approved, the employee must be placed on leave without pay until the petition has been approved.

If the employee has an F-1 visa, the application for the H-1B visa must be filed AND approved BEFORE s/he can start work for Georgia College.