This option is available only to faculty members involved in classroom teaching.
The Department of Labor has provided a very beneficial optional process for "college and university teachers," referred to as "special handling," which requires far less recruitment. This streamlined option must be utilized within 18 months of the job offer, so timing is very important.
Effectively utilizing the "special handling" option for faculty:
- the employer must have placed at least one print ad or 30-day online ad in a national professional journal during the recruitment process
- the employer must establish that the alien is more qualified than U.S. applicants and maintain clear records to substantiate this, and
- the labor certification application must be filed by the employer within 18 months of selecting the employee for the position (usually indicated by the date of the job offer letter).
In other words, if a print advertisement for the job opening was placed in a national journal, the job does not have to be re-opened or re-advertised in order to qualify for labor certification. Under this "special handling" option, it is not necessary to establish that no minimally qualified U.S. workers applied, only that the person hired was the most qualified.
To use this option, the department must carefully document the competitive recruitment and selection process and retain these records for at least five years, including:
- a statement by the official with hiring authority (usually the Chair) setting forth the total number of applicants for the opportunity and the job-related reasons why the foreign national hired is more qualified than any other applicant
- a final report by the body (usually a search committee) making the recommendation to select the foreign national applicant
- a copy of the advertisement(s) in an appropriate national journal must be included, along with evidence of any other recruitment undertaken
- a written statement attesting to the "degree of the alien's educational or professional qualifications and academic achievements"