Human Resources

Visas, I-9's and Department of Homeland Security


Federal law requires that every individual employed in the United States provide evidence that they are eligible for employment. This is accomplished by the completion and verification of Federal Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Every new faculty member, administrator, staff member, and/or student who will be working at Union, must therefore complete an I-9 form prior to beginning employment. It is the obligation and responsibility of the prospective employee to satisfactorily complete the I-9 form. Failure to comply with this Federal Law will result in the termination of employment.

NOTE: Documents presented to establish Identity and/or Employment Authorization must be originals (no photocopies, scans or expired documents accepted).

The I-9 form is available at Human Resources, College Park Hall and must be completed in person.


All offers of employment are conditional upon the prospective employee being able to provide valid and appropriate employment authorization, from the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, before or within 3 days of the effective date of employment.


Union College will pay applicable visa expenses for newly-hired employees in accordance with the following limits:

  • Visiting Faculty: up to $ 3,000 per Union College appointment, up to maximum of $6,000
  • Tenure-Track Faculty: up to $ 10,000 over the lifetime of Union College employment
  • Administrators & Staff: evaluated on a case-by-case basis

Covered expenses include attorney, documentation, and/or processing fees related to obtaining a visa for employment at Union College, as approved by the Dean of Academic Departments (faculty positions) or the Chief HR Officer (Administrative & Staff positions), as well as fees that are legally required to be paid by Union College. For Tenure-Track faculty, the allocated amount is intended to cover the permanent residency (green card) process in addition to required initial work visas. The limits on Union’s commitment to pay visa expenses will be reviewed annually and adjusted as appropriate.

Expenses not covered by Union College include any fees/expenses incurred for securing a visa for a spouse/family member and expenses not directly required for employment at Union College.

Incurred expenses will be invoiced to Union College’s Human Resources Department for payment until such time as the Visa Expense policy limits have been reached. Employees will reimburse Union College for any non-covered expenses incurred. Questions regarding whether an expense will be paid by the College should be answered prior to incurring it. Costs incurred over the limits listed above will be, where law permits, the responsibility of the employee.


Obtaining a visa to work in the U.S. is a complicated and time consuming process. Therefore, the process for securing the proper visa or work authorization document should be started as soon as an offer of employment is accepted.

At Union’s discretion, the permanent residence process for Tenure-Track faculty members will be started within 18 months of receiving H1-B approval. The permanent residence process will be considered for staff and administrators at Union’s discretion on a case-by-case basis. For the purpose of the permanent residence application process, Union College will consider the H1-B approval date as the selection date.

In order to maintain consistency in our immigration processing, international faculty, administrators, and staff must utilize Union College’s local immigration attorney to facilitate this process:

Seth Leech
Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, LLP
One Commerce Plaza
Albany, NY 12260
Phone: (518) 487-7642
Fax: (518) 487-7777

Any exceptions to this policy must be approved, in writing, by the appropriate Responsibility Center Head.