Equal Opportunity and Compliance

The Equal Opportunity and Compliance group has responsibility for administering a variety of programs and services for faculty, administrators and staff.  This group handles complaints relating to bias, discrimination, discrimination-related harassment, and sexual harassment and initiatives for awareness, diversity and sexual harassment discrimination prevention. View our notice of non-discrimination, equal opportunity here.  For non-emergency situations, any member of the University Community can report a bias complaint using the online reporting form available at stjohns.edu/reportbias. In addition, this office is responsible for employee immigration and visa processing and equal employment opportunity, and also Work-Life Programs such as the Employee Assistance Program.

Ms. Danielle Haynes serves as the University's Title IX Coordinator. Learn more about Title IX here. If you ever need immediate assistance regarding sexual assault, please click here, or if you would like to report any issue relating to Title IX, please e-mail [email protected].

The Human Resources Policy Manual is maintained by this office as a part of its broader responsibility for University-wide policy development and communications for employees. Intended for supervisor use, the manual a comprehensive guide to university-wide employment related policies that apply to staff and administrators. Faculty HR policies are also located on the policy web page under a separate heading.

Policy 703 - Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures

Policy 704 - Policy against Bias, Discrimination and Harassment

Contacts

Danielle Haynes
Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance and Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources
[email protected]

Esther Hutchinson
Associate Director Equal Opportunity and Compliance
[email protected]
718-990-1488

Michelle Cadle
Equal Opportunity and Compliance Specialist
[email protected]

What is an H-1B visa? 

This is an employment-based, temporary status designated for foreign national individuals who have specialized training. For more information about the H-1B visa, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website

What jobs at the University are eligible for H-1B visa sponsorship? 

At St. John’s, teaching and research positions are typically eligible for H-1B sponsorship.  

How do I apply for an H-1B visa? 

Once you have an offer of employment, the University will need to file a petition on your behalf. 

How long is the visa valid? 

H-1B visas are issued in 3-year increments up to a maximum of 6 years. The initial period of stay for a newly admitted H-1B nonimmigrant is three years. After the first three years, you may get an extension of stay for up to another three years. 

Can I use my own attorney? 

Because the petition for an H-1B visa must be completed and filed by the University, the University engages the services of an external immigration law firm for H-1B matters. 

Do I have to pay the costs of my H-1B visa? 

The University pays the costs associated with the employee’s visa. For employees with eligible dependents, the University may simultaneously apply for the employee’s H-1B visa as well as H-4 visas for the employee’s dependents.  However, any dependent costs are the responsibility of the employee. 

How long does the process take? 

Processing times vary depending on the time it takes to collect the necessary information. 

The Labor Condition Application (LCA), which is filed with the Department of Labor, is usually processed within 7 working days. The I-129 petition, which is filed with USCIS, can take anywhere from 2-8 months to process, provided there are no Requests for Evidence (RFEs). 

If I am bringing my spouse and dependent children, will the University cover their visa application costs? 

No. The University does not cover dependent costs.  

I am already in the United States, do I need to leave the country to get an H-1B visa stamp? 

If you have no plans to travel internationally, you do not need to leave the country to get a visa stamp.  You may travel within the U.S. carrying your valid foreign passport, I-797 approval notice and your state-issued driver license or ID if you have one. 

Can I travel internationally while on an H-1B visa? 

As long as you have a valid H-1B visa stamp in your passport to allow re-entry into the U.S, you can travel internationally. 

Can I work for a second employer in the United States while on an H-1B visa for the University? 

No. Since your H-1B status permits employment only at St. John’s and only for the job specified in the original petition, you may not accept employment for any other employer. If you have questions regarding this, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Compliance office at [email protected] 

What will happen if the University terminates my employment while I’m in H-1B status? 

Should the University terminate your H-1B job before the end of your authorized period of stay, you will have 60 days to find new employment or leave the country. After this period, you will be out of status because you are required to have a job to maintain your status.  

If your employment is involuntarily terminated, the University is responsible for the reasonable cost of your return transportation to your home country, which does not include dependents or possessions. However, if you voluntarily resign, the University is not responsible for the cost of your return home. 

What if I have additional questions? 

Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at [email protected] 

What is a Green Card? 

A Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, allows an individual to live and work permanently in the United States. For more information about the green card, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. 

How soon after starting employment can I get a Green Card?   

Typically, after the first 3 years of employment in H-1B status and upon completion of the application to renew your H-1B status for another 3 years, your department should consider the Green Card application process for you.  At such time, your supervisor, department chair, or dean should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) to initiate the process. 

Once you obtain a Green Card, you (not the University) are responsible for maintaining validity. 

What is the process? 

There are 3 steps: 

First, the University must file a Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) with the Department of Labor on the employee’s behalf. 

Second, an I-140 petition must be filed with USCIS. 

Third, the employee must file an I-485 adjustment of status application with USCIS. 

How long does the Green Card process take? 

Timeframes depend on several factors, including the employee’s country of origin, the complexity of the case, the type of petition being filed, and the processing times at each stage. 

At the PERM stage, the time from initiation of the PERM process to approval of the PERM could take approximately 6-10 months. 

In addition, the I-140 petition could take 4-12 months to process. 

Lastly, the I-485 application cannot be filed until there is visa availability

How much does the Green Card process cost? 

The cost varies depending on the complexity of the case.  

Who is responsible for the costs? 

The University pays all costs associated with the PERM.  

The employee is responsible for the I-140 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application.  A list of government filing fees is available here: USCIS Fee Schedule 

What if I have additional questions? 

Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at [email protected]