Assistant Director of Immigration Services
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas


Salary Range:

Annual salary range $50,000 - $55,000
Job Summary:

The Assistant Director of Immigration Services serves as one of the Designated School Officials and Alternate Responsible Officer working on behalf of Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program branch, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS). This position serves as the leader of the F-1 immigration advising team, which advises students, staff, and others on the code of federal regulations pertaining to F and J visa holders. This person supervises and trains the International Services Coordinator and Student Workers on immigration regulations and SMU best practices. This position has in-depth knowledge of immigration regulations, pertaining to F and J visa types, and their application to international students in a four-year education institution. The Assistant Director works closely with Director of ISSS with researching the regulations and developing best practices in order to ensure compliance with DHS and the DOS.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead F-1 Immigration Advising Team - Supervise and train International Services Coordinator and Student Workers to advise students and scholars on immigration procedures and regulations to ensure maintenance of immigration status. Train on areas such as, Work Authorization (on-and off-campus), Reduced Course Load, Leave of Absences, Transfer-Outs, Change of Status, Reinstatements, Traveling, and Re-entry.
  • Maintain In Depth Knowledge of Immigration Regulations - Regularly attend regulatory conferences to keep abreast of regulation changes and to help Director establish best practices. Research regulations and benchmark best practices with peer and aspirant institutions. Maintain accurate regulatory information on department website.
  • Co-advise J-1 Exchange Visitor Program - Advise international students, scholars, and SMU faculty/staff regarding federal immigration and employment regulations, resources, and cultural matters. Serve as back-up to the Director in issuing initial Form DS-2019 for incoming scholars and provide advising services upon their arrival.
  • SMU Staff and Student Training - Educate various departments and their representatives on office polices and federal regulations for students on F/J visas, through various means of communication (i.e. presentations, phone, email, website). Train new staff member on institutional policies and federal regulations pertaining to F/J students; help train new student workers.
  • Reinstatements - Advise students on how to reinstate their visa status after they have violated their visa requirements. Advise students on the entire application process of reinstatement; determine reinstatement eligibility; help students assemble the application to mail to USCIS; provide documentation supporting the reinstatement recommendation and submit recommendation electronically in SEVIS.
  • Change of Statuses (COS) - Advise students on the criteria and eligibility for a change of status application with the United States Citizenship Immigration Services Office. Facilitate the application process by helping them assemble their application to mail to USCIS; provide documentation recommending the COS within the U.S in the form of an I-20; Ensure all documentations are valid.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) - Aid students during the work authorization application request of OPT benefit before and/ or after they completed their degree. Advise students on how to remain in compliance with DHS while engaged in OPT. Give recommendation for OPT STEM extension which requires employment verification by working with employers. Establish SMU best practices in regards to internal process.
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) - As a designated school official (DSO), the U.S. government has given SMU authority to authorize off-Campus employment based on CPT. A DSO ensures students are eligible to receive this benefit by meeting all the criteria requirement set forth by the government and by internal policies. Educate SMU community about criteria for such benefit, and inform stakeholders of any change with regulations.
  • On-Campus Work Authorization - Advise students on on-campus employment criteria. Review and approve On-Campus Work Eligibility forms and sign Payroll Authorization Forms. Coordinate with various departmental representatives on what constitutes on-campus employment according to the U.S. government. Advise students on how to acquire a Social Security Number for tax purposes.
  • Advise and process authorization on various Immigration issues which include 1-20 extensions, Medical and Academic Reduce Course Loads, Leave of Absences, Transfer-Outs, On-Campus Work Authorization, Off-Campus Work Authorization Reinstatements, Change of Statuses, Travel Endorsements, and Re-Entry.


Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required, Master's degree is preferred.

A minimum of three years' professional work experience advising students is required, preferably at a four-year institution. Professional experience may include internships in an International Office.

Knowledge of the code of federal regulations governing visa holders on F and J visa categories is required. Must have ability to assess cases and provide solutions based on in-depth knowledge of immigration regulations.

DSO certification by Student and Exchange Visitor Program is required.

Must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.

A minimum of one-year supervisory experience is required.

Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint is required.

Experience working in SEVIS is required. Experience with PeopleSoft, Sharepoint, Docusign, and Real-time software applications is also required.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must have excellent interpersonal skills with the ability interface well with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community. Must be customer oriented and able to assist students.

Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability explain regulations clearly as well as train others.

Candidate must possess strong organizational skills which include effective planning, time management and project management.

Must be detail oriented and highly accurate.

Candidate must demonstrate problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills.

Deadline to Apply:

Priority consideratioin may be given to submissions received by: July 28, 2021

Deadline to Apply: August 04, 2021

Physical and Environmental Demands:

This position must be able to:
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Carry/lift 25 lbs.
  • Handle objects (dexterity)
  • Stand
EEO Statement: SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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