January 23, 2017
Immigration Law and Federal Employment
By law, employment at most U.S. Government agencies, including the Library of Congress, is limited to U.S. citizens. However, if the Library determines there are no qualified U.S. citizens available for a position, non-citizens may be hired provided immigration law and other legal requirements are met.
Legal Requirements for Hiring
Current appropriations law prohibits the use of appropriated funds (and Library Regulations prohibit the use of non-appropriated funds) to pay the compensation of any employee of the U.S. Government unless the person:
- is a U.S. citizen; or
- was an officer or employee of the Government of the United States on December 16, 2009; or
- is assigned a post of duty outside the continental United States under 8 U.S.C. § 1408; or
- is lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., has a green card) and is seeking citizenship, as outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B); or
- is lawfully admitted as a refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157 or granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, and who has filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and subsequently a citizen when eligible to do so; or
- is a person who owes allegiance to the U.S. (i.e., nationals of American Samoa, the Swains Island, or the Northern Mariana Islands, and nationals who meet other requirements described in 8 U.S.C. 1408); or
- is employed temporarily as a translator; or
- is employed temporarily (not to exceed 60 days) in the field of service as a result of an emergency.
Notwithstanding the general prohibition against hiring non-citizens, The Library has specific legislative authority to hire up to 15 non-citizens from current year appropriations so long as the Librarian can attest that no U.S. citizen applicant has the special qualifications required for the particular position and so long as the non-citizen being considered for appointment otherwise meets the general requirements for employment in the Library of Congress.
Required Documentation for Non-Citizens
All non-citizens who are considered for employment at the Library must provide appropriate documentation showing evidence that they are eligible for employment in the United States.