Special Handling Rules for College and University Teachers In Labor Certifications Applications
College and university teachers are eligible for a modified labor certification process called "Special Handling". The Special Handling recruitment process is an abridged version of the traditional labor certification recruitment process. The employer is not required to show there were no minimally qualified U.S. workers available for the position, but rather they must prove that the foreign national was the most qualified candidate. The employer can accomplish this by showing the Department of Labor (DOL) that the foreign national was selected using a "competitive recruitment and selection process" as discussed below.
Special Handling Qualifications
To be eligible as a college or university teacher for Special Handling, the foreign national must have classroom teaching or instruction duties at an accredited educational institution that offers a two-year associates degree or higher. The DOL has not specified a minimum number of teaching hours required to qualify for Special Handling, but the position must be permanent and full-time. It is important to note that faculty members who do not teach, such as researchers or librarians, are not eligible for Special Handling.
Special Handling Documentation
In addition to the ETA 9089 application, the employer must submit documentation of the "competitive recruitment and selection process" including a statement signed by the employer describing the recruitment process and the following:
- The total number of applicants;
- The lawful job-related reasons why the foreign national is more qualified than every U.S. candidate;
- A final report of the faculty, student or administrative body making the recommendation or selection of the foreign national;
- A copy of at least one advertisement for the job opportunity placed in a national professional journal stating the job title, duties and requirements;
- Evidence of any other recruitment sources utilized; and
- A written statement attesting to the degree of the foreign national's educational or professional qualifications and academic achievements.
The employer must also notify the appropriate bargaining representative or, if no bargaining representative for the occupation exists, a notice must be posted for 10 consecutive business days. The notice is meant to apprise workers in the occupation of the employer's intention to file a labor certification application. The wage offered for the position on the posting notice and, if included in any other recruitment, must be equal to or greater than the prevailing wage for the occupation in the geographic area of intended employment.
Special Handling Timelines
To make use of Special Handling, the ETA 9089 application for labor certification must be filed within 18 months of the job offer, not the date of hire. Moreover, the employer must wait at least 30 days, but no more than 180 days after the final day of the posting notice to file the ETA 9089 application.