An international workforce can help a business succeed in a global market, but hiring foreign employees can be a complicated process. Working with an attorney can help, but it helps to understand the general process.
1. Start Early
Because the process can be complicated and lengthy, it’s important to get started early on. It can take months or years to get an employee to the U.S., depending on the immigration program being used.
Start planning and getting the process going as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the better. You never know what kinds of delays or obstacles you might face along the way, so starting early will mean that you’re not scrambling to get through the process.
2. Make Preparations within the Company
Treat the hiring process as you would any other one. Determine which roles the foreign employees will fill. Most businesses hire foreign workers to fill jobs they would have difficulty finding talent in the U.S. to fill.
Once you’ve determined which roles the foreign workers will fill, come up with a plan for recruitment and retaining the employees. There must be a plan in place to bring the workers to the U.S. and there must be a plan to keep them here while abiding by the law.
3. Determine Which Immigration Program to Use
There are several visa programs available to businesses that want to hire foreign employees. You will need to determine which program would be the best fit for your business.
An attorney can help you determine which program would be best.
“Each year, approximately 140,000 visas are made available for workers who are seeking to live and work in the United States permanently,” says Law Offices of Cheng, Cho & Yee.
While 140,000 visas is a generous amount, it’s still a limited number. It’s important to act quickly once you have a plan and have determined the type of visa you want to pursue.
Once you have determined which visa program to use, you need to come up with a plan to keep the employee in the U.S. and remain compliant with rules and regulations.
4. Obtain the Proper Certification from the Department of Labor
Any business that wishes to obtain visas for foreign workers must obtain a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor before proceeding. These certifications are required and allow the DOL to ensure that the foreign employees will not harm job opportunities, working conditions and wages for American workers.
There may be several certifications required, depending on the type of business you’re running and the immigration program you’re using.
5. Petition the USCIS
The next step is to petition the USCIS, and the process will vary depending on the type of visa you pursue. You will also be responsible for petitioning the USCIS when it comes time to renew the employee’s visa or to change its status.
And don’t assume that because you’ve been approved for certification that you are guaranteed to be approved for a visa. It is crucial to follow the outlined steps in petitioning the USCIS if you hope to have a chance of having the visa approved.