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I'm a European Union citizen living in EU and applying for an assistant professorship position in US. The application form asks the question

For purposes of compliance with The Immigration Reform and Control Act, are you legally eligible for employment in the United States?

I know too little about U.S. immigration laws, and the text of the mentioned act looks complete gibberish to me. Could anyone say what the standard answer to this question would be and why?

Remark: this question is formally different from the one stated in a question on general eligibility (first, here the context is a particular legislation act with its own terminology, second, there the question contains "presently", and, third, there no answer refers to IRCA explicitly). In law matters, this difference may be important.

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    @Axel: The answers there deal with the IRCA, just not by name. However, if you want a precise legal answer, you'll need to consult immigration lawyers who can give answers with authority. – aeismail Sep 26 '17 at 0:45
  • @aeismail No. Even if so, that's not mentioned visibly there. The abbreviation IRCA or "Immigration Reform and Control Act" are not referenced there explicitly. – user80161 Sep 26 '17 at 14:06
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As far as I know, these clauses in application forms, are there for legal and nominal reasons only. The university is legally obliged by law to put this clause. This does not mean the committee will actually take this into consideration, and my experience is that they don't.

You should thus write that you are not eligible to work currently in the US, as indeed you are not. But this should not constitute a cause for concern.

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The IRCA basically lays out what is required to establish that immigrants are able to work in the US. The question is unclear for foreign citizens: until they arrive with the appropriate visa, they are unable to work legally in the US. So you might want to check if they mean that you'd be eligible for a visa, or if you already have one.

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  • @Axel: IRCA = Immigration Reform and Control Act. – aeismail Sep 25 '17 at 22:50
  • I'm not sure it's "unclear". What they mean is indeed whether currently s/he is eligible to work in the USA. This is probably a clause required by law. The USA may have nominal quotas for incoming immigration workforce and they want to monitor this. – Dilworth Sep 25 '17 at 23:01