Foreign National Hire Process
Federal law and University policy require that, in order to work at Boston College, a foreign national must have a valid U.S. Social Security number and an appropriate visa status supported by all necessary documentation.
All foreign nationals, whether faculty, staff, or students, are invited upon arriving at Boston College to visit the Office of International Students & Scholars, located at Maloney Hall, Room 249. This office offers information and resources about BC, the Boston area in general, and other international community activities at the University.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires that all undergraduate or graduate students, as well as any faculty or staff, on a J1 visa must register with the Office of International Students & Scholars within 30 days of their arrival in the United States. This registration is necessary regardless if the foreign national is at BC to attend classes, perform research, teach, or work.
Documents Required for Work Approval
• A valid U.S. Social Security number or a receipt of application
If the foreign national does not have a Social Security number, then steps 1-4 must be followed:
- A foreign national on a J or F student visa must obtain two letters, an on-campus work authorization from the Office of International Students & Scholars, and a second letter from their specific hiring department stating that he/she is working at Boston College.
- A foreign national with any other visa type, such as an H-1B, must obtain their confirmation of hire correspondence from either the HR Employment Office or, for faculty, the Academic Vice President’s Office.
- The foreign national must present originals of the appropriate letters and all their personal visa documents at the Social Security Office, located at 10 Causeway Street, Boston, in order to apply for a Social Security number. For complete information on obtaining a Social Security number, visit SocialSecurity.gov, or contact the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213.
- The applicant must obtain a receipt of application when they apply for the Social Security number, since the specific approval process may take approximately two weeks.
The Social Security card or the receipt of application must then be presented, along with the following visa documents, before starting employment to the Boston College Foreign Tax Specialist, located in the Human Resources Service Center, 129 Lake Street, Room 100.
• Unexpired foreign passport
• Form I-94 (Entry/Departure record)
• Valid visa status (F, M, J, Q, H1-B, etc.), along with the appropriate forms
The most common forms are:
|Visa Type||Form Needed|
|H-1B||I-797 (stating sponsored by BC)|
Note: If the employee is a Permanent Resident, he/she needs only to present a current Permanent Resident Card or a current Employment Authorization Card.
Once all the documents have been received and approved, the foreign national will then be authorized for final payroll action by the Foreign Tax Specialist.
Hire Process Information, Depending on Employee Category
For University, including Sponsored Program (excluding Faculty)
A University department contact should notify the HR Employment Office (via eRecruit). The Employment Office will then communicate with the new hire and/or department contact to verify the citizenship status of the hire and that he/she has a Social Security number or a receipt of application and the appropriate visa documents. If the new hire does not have a U.S. Social Security number or receipt of application, the Employment Office will inform the new hire and/or the department contact of the procedure that the foreign national must follow to obtain one. The Employment staff will coordinate with the Foreign Tax Specialist, the department contact and the new hire, to insure all legal and university requirements for employment at Boston College are met.
Undergraduate or Graduate Students
Students are hired by an approved University department contact, via online processing security access to Agora/PeopleSoft HR. Once the process is complete, the hiring notification appears electronically on the outstanding HR Payroll worklist of the Foreign Tax Specialist. The Foreign Tax Specialist will then contact the hiring department, requesting that the individual foreign national hire bring his/her documentation to the HRSC for review.
Faculty hires are processed by University departments via paper or via rehire forms, then forwarded to the Academic Vice President’s Office for approval. The AVP's Office will then forward the approved paperwork to the HRSC Office, where FTE position, budgetary, and visa/document approval will take place. The Foreign Tax Specialist may require communication with the department contact in order to coordinate the individual hire’s visa/document review.
Non-BC Student Hires
Such hires are processed by University department contacts via paper or via rehire forms, then forwarded to the HRSC Office, where position, budgetary, and visa/document approval will take place. The Foreign Tax Specialist may require communication with the department contact in order to coordinate the individual hire’s visa/document review.
Foreign Tax Specialist
The Foreign Tax Specialist at Boston College is the primary contact with the foreign national for verifying work authorization and for determining the individual foreign national’s treaty benefit and tax liability after performing the Substantial Presence Test. The Foreign Tax Specialist will initiate a call as necessary to the new hire’s department contact to insure that all proper documentation is filed and all necessary forms are signed. For all the above types of hires, the hire process must be complete before the new foreign national employee can be hired into the University PeopleSoft payroll system.
The Foreign Tax Specialist is located in the Human Resource Service Center (HRSC) at 129 Lake Street, Room 100. The phone number is (617) 552-6415.