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Recruiting International Candidates

Prior to requesting a visa from the USCIS, the University must show that there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified or equally qualified, and available to fill the position by conducting an open recruitment. Review the policy on visa services for internationals scholars and the subsequent supplement prior to completing a search plan.

The International Faculty & Scholar Office has additional guidelines to consider when accommodating for potential international faculty hires.



IFSO not only follows institutional policies but also federal immigration and labor regulations. 

20CFR 656.18(b)

(b) Recruitment. The employer may recruit for college and university teachers under §656.17 or must be able to document the alien was selected for the job opportunity in a competitive recruitment and selection process through which the alien was found to be more qualified than any of the United States workers who applied for the job. For purposes of this paragraph (b), documentation of the "competitive recruitment and selection process” must include:


20 CFR 656.18(b)(3)

(3) A copy of at least one advertisement for the job opportunity placed in a national professional journal, giving the name and the date(s) of publication; and which states the job title, duties, and requirements.

**Use of electronic journals. DOL revised its PERM FAQs [OFLC FAQs: PERM Program: College and university teachers - Recruitment: FAQ 6] to allow use of an electronic or web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment under 20 CFR 656.18, under the specific conditions 

Labor Certification

Labor Certfication 

Advertisement Requirements 

Items required by U.S. Department of Labor (US DOL) in at least one professional journal advertisement:

Job Title – (e.g., “Assistant Professor,” “Associate Professor” or “Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor, depending upon qualifications”)
Job Duties – Should include the word “teaching;” requiring “teaching” as a job duty allows the employer to select the most qualified applicant from a national recruitment effort, as opposed to a minimally qualified US worker.
Job Requirements
  • Should state what the minimum requirements are; e.g., “Master’s”, “PhD” or “ABD” or “advancement to candidacy,” as well as the appropriate field/related fields the degree should be in.
  • If only a PhD requirement is stated, but the department hires ABD, Labor Certification risks denial.
  • Any “must have” statement, e.g., “must be board-certified in…” becomes grounds for denial of the labor certification if the candidate has no fulfilled that requirement at the time of final SELECTION.
  • Please contact IFSO for any questions.
  • Required items should be quantified (e.g., “one years of experience in…” rather than “experience in…”)
  • If the required items are not quantified, the department must be prepared to quantify the required item when IFSO is preparing to file the prevailing wage and in case of a DOL audit
  • Required items may add wage levels
  •  IFSO will also need to verify that the candidate met the requirements including the quantified requirements.

Job Postings – National profesional journal 

Length of Posting – 30 days minimum. If it is an online post, need proof of posting (an invoice will suffice as proof). 

Deadline – 18 months from the offer letter.

  • If faculty will defer from the start date, you must notify ISPO immediately.                          

Common Mistakes

Common Mistakes 

  • The candidate does not have a PhD yet and the ad does not include language about advancement to candidacy or ABD
  • MD or PhD language on the ad and requiring all candidates to be eligible for a medical license and board eligibility
  • IFSO had a Labor Certification denial based on this language
  • Candidates that hold a PhD will not be eligible for a medical license and board eligibility
  • Not including teaching as a duty
  • The ad is not posted in a national journal only on a UCSD website, another university’s website, Twitter or PI’s website
  • Ad that redirects to another URL without indicating minimum requirements
  • Additional requirements that we must list in the prevailing wage determination may come back with a higher wage level
  • Not notifying IFSO of a foreign national hire who defers their start date
  • Remember IFSO has 18-months to file the Labor Certification from the date the offer letter is issued.
  • Before filing the Labor Certification, IFSO must obtain a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor. PWD are currently taking 5+ months.
  • Departments are also required to post a notice to employees that the university will file a Labor Certification. IFSO must wait 30 days after the notice is taken down to file the Labor Certification.



  • IFSO cannot file a Labor Certification if there are any issues with the ad or we miss the 18-month window.
  • IFSO will have to send CV and scholar citation record to outside attorney to determine if they qualify for another route.
  • These routes require more work from the faculty
New recruitment
  • Approval from the Assistant Vice Chancellor-Academic Personnel
  • Will the faculty need to resign?
  • Will this create employment authorization (visa) issues?
  • Lose candidates
Employment Issues
  • H-1B has a 6-year limit, how can a faculty continue employment with permanent residency??
  • Is O-1 an option?
  • Employment authorization for spouses
  • A dept will never know when their ad might result in an international hire, so it's so important to assume that every recruitment might end up with an international hire.
  • IFSO is happy to review drafts of ads to make sure they will meet immigration and labor regulations for Labor Certifications

An example of an online national professional journal used successfully for labor certifications by other institutions is the Chronicle of Higher Education.  UC San Diego has only recently used an electronic ad for a labor certifications; it is still pending.

For specific information, contact International Faculty and Scholar's Office: