Policy Manual

Employment of Non-U.S. Citizens

This policy has been designed to assure compliance with the laws, regulations and procedures governing the employment of individuals who are not United States citizens.

With authorization from Human Resources, individuals who are not United States citizens or legal permanent residents (green card holders) are permitted to work as staff members at the University provided that they obtain work authorization in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and procedures. The University does not sponsor non-research staff positions.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations require that non-citizens apply for and obtain work authorization before they can be lawfully employed. This process often takes several months and may be delayed even longer by diplomatic complications. Therefore, it is important to advise non-citizen applicants that they begin the process well in advance of the date they expect to work.

Foreign nationals who have permanent resident status in the United States can be employed under the same conditions as United States citizens. All new employees, regardless of citizenship, are required to provide at the time of hiring appropriate documentation establishing identity and employment eligibility. See Form I-9 policy.


Departments contemplating inviting a foreign national to the University as a visitor or for paid employment should check with International Student and Scholar Services. ISSS offers a full range of services on immigration and can provide advice on regulations, housing and insurance.  In cases where the University is the sponsor of the individual’s visa, ISSS is responsible for the coordination with various government agencies responsible for issuing immigration benefits.

Faculty and staff who do not have a Social Security card issued by the United States Social Security Administration will need to provide their passport number and country code to Onboard@Penn in order to be entered into Workday.

Any cases that may result in termination of the appointments of faculty or staff who are not United States citizens must by reviewed by ISSS and Human Resources.


Policy Number: 108 
Effective Date: 12/10/2014
Revised Date:  06/01/2019
Last Reviewed Date:  07/01/2019
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 110, 108 (09/01/2014)
Applicability: All Faculty & Staff
Cross-reference: Staff Requisitioning, Recruitment, Selection, Reference Checks, Employment Offer, and Offer Letters - Policy 101Posting of Position Openings - Policy 104Exemptions from Posting - Policy 105University Sponsorship for U.S. Permanent Resident Status for Staff Positions - Policy 119Using Temporary Agencies - Policy 112

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