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Senior Immigration Specialist (NYGC)

About the New York Genome Center
The New York Genome Center (NYGC) is an independent, nonprofit, academic research organization dedicated to advancing genomic research. NYGC scientists and staff are furthering new approaches to diagnosing and treating neurological diseases and cancer through their unique capabilities in whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, state-of-the art analytics, and the development of genomic tools. NYGC concentrates specifically on disease-based research in the following areas: neuropsychiatric disease (autism, schizophrenia, bipolar); neurodegenerative disease (ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s), and cancer.
Located in Lower Manhattan, the New York Genome Center was founded by and remains closely affiliated with twelve leading academic medical centers and research universities in the New York region and beyond, engaging in research projects with and for these institutions. Essential to our collaborative work is an outstanding faculty, whose members typically hold a joint appointment at NYGC and a partner university. They support our scientific mission by conducting independent research in areas of mutual interest to us and the wider scientific community.
The New York Genome Center is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, protected veteran or military status, domestic violence victim status, partnership status, caregiver status, alienage or citizenship status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. The New York Genome Center takes affirmative action in support of its policy to hire and advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.
Position Description
Reporting to the Vice President and General Counsel, the incumbent is responsible for providing immigration support and services to individuals who are current or prospective employees of NYGC including, visa and permanent residency case management, communication and coordination with external immigration counsel, and policy development. This role is the sole immigration specialist for the entire organization, supporting a foreign national population of approximately 40 faculty, postdocs and employees. In addition, the incumbent provides NYGC’s legal team with project-specific support, with a special emphasis on research and compliance-related activities.
Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • In consultation with NYGC Legal and Human Resources, manages employee visa and employer-sponsored permanent residence applications, including developing a case strategy based on individual and organizational needs, coordinating with outside counsel on difficult and complicated cases, drafting petitions and filing forms;
  • Provides guidance to international staff on other matters related to their status, including travel restrictions, insurance coverage, employment options for spouses, extensions of stay, and job changes;
  • Provides guidance to managers on immigration matters related to their staff;
  • Responsible for compliance with record-keeping standards related to immigration (e.g. creation and maintenance of H-1B exam files, point person for on-site immigration-related visits);
  • Serves as the Responsible Officer (RO) for NYGC’s J-1 program;
  • Conducts orientation for new international hires; and, for J-1 visa holders in particular, organizes or identifies cultural, social or educational enrichment programs on an ongoing basis;
  • Tracks and keeps management abreast of changes in immigration regulations and develops effective communications for impacted employees;
  • Monitors work authorization documents and communicates with international staff and Human Resources in advance regarding visa or work authorization expirations; assists international staff in obtaining updated work authorization documents.
  • Drafts policies and procedures applicable to international employees (e.g., policy on employer sponsorship of permanent residency);
  • Develops and maintains the international services internal web pages, and other related guidance;
  • Provides immigration related training to management and employees as needed;
  • Provides project-related support to the legal team;
  • Performs other such duties as assigned.
Requirements & Qualifications
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required;
  • 5+ years of experience as an immigration specialist, or directly relevant experience required, including;
    • Responsible Officer (RO) designation for Department of State J Exchange Visitor Program or ability to obtain designation by start date (U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent resident status is required to carry out RO duties);
    • Broad experience with employment-based U.S. immigration practices, particularly H-1B, J-1, and permanent residency sponsorship;
    • Experience preparing and filing employment-based visa petitions;
    • Proven ability to develop and implement processes and procedures;
    • Experience working in higher education research organizations preferred.
  • Excellent knowledge of non-immigrant and legal permanent residence regulations;
  • Proven time management and organizational skills required and the ability to multitask and respond to multiple priorities;
  • Ability to anticipate needs and take action with little direction and oversight required;
  • Excellent cross-cultural verbal and written communication skills required and demonstrated experience working well with people from diverse cultural backgrounds;
  • Proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite and SEVIS system required;
  • Ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality and engender trust required.
  • Job Mastery - Knowledgeable of current role and technical skills, and the impact it has on the Center.
  • Continuous Learning – Strives to expand the depth and breadth of technical and professional skills.
  • Collaborative – Encourages participation from team members and works effectively with all levels.
  • Credible – Works with a high level of integrity.
  • Communicative – Actively listens to others and uses good judgement as to what to communicate to whom; provides feedback.
  • Focused – Utilizes efficient and effective processes.
  • Adaptable – Demonstrate flexibility with changing priorities.
  • Innovative – Develops new insights and pursues improvements.
  • Takes Ownership – Prioritizes tasks, manages time and delivers on commitments.
FLSA Status – Exempt

This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship or relocation assistance.
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