How to Hire Foreign Workers in the U.S.
While hiring foreign workers may not be as simple as hiring a U.S. citizen, there are many reasons why you might want to go down this route. For example, hiring foreign talent can strengthen your workforce by allowing you to access global insights, which might give your company an advantage over competitors.
Introducing foreign workers with diverse knowledge to your company can increase productivity and may help you to compete on a global level. If you hire foreign workers, you may have employees with knowledge of a market you wish to enter and who may speak a language, which will make it easier for you to do business there.
Another reason to hire foreign workers is that there is a shortage of skilled individuals here in the U.S. This is particularly common in the STEM industries (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). It may be necessary to look for workers from other countries if you cannot access the talent that you require here. In light of all this then, how would one go about hiring foreign workers?
Hiring Foreign Workers
Perhaps the best thing to do if you want or need to hire foreign workers is to get an understanding of how the process works. The expert immigration lawyers at Graham Adair say that the system is extraordinarily complex but there are a number of visa programs available to those who wish to hire international workers.
A business immigration lawyer can provide you with helpful information and advice regarding the best visa program to use, based on your circumstances and the contract you are offering. There are many things to consider before beginning your application such as whether you want your new employees to become permanent residents in the U.S., the type of job you are offering, whether you have struggled to find a suitable employee in the U.S., and whether the position is a short-term or permanent position.
As you might imagine then, there is a lot of work involved in securing permission for foreign workers, so getting professional help is important. It is also essential that you be realistic about the length of time the process can take. For most applications, it can be months before it is approved. In some cases, it can extend to years.
It will be necessary for your company to get a certification from the Department of Labor before you begin any visa application process. This certification will state that any foreign workers you employ will not have a negative impact on wages, working conditions, or job opportunities for U.S. citizens. The type of certification you apply for will depend on the type of immigration program you are accessing. A good immigration attorney will be able to provide the necessary information and advice here.
Is it Expensive to Hire Foreign Workers?
Obviously, there is a cost associated with hiring foreign workers but for those companies that need specialist skills not available within the local workforce, the cost may be well worth it. The average cost for a H-1B visa for a foreign worker is around $5,000. There will also be filing fees of around $3,000 and then the cost of hiring the immigration attorney. It is also likely that the company will be required to have money in the bank to cover the foreign worker’s salary for a specific period of time, as determined by the visa conditions.
The expense associated with hiring foreign workers is meant as a deterrent so that companies will favor local workers. However, those who do look for international employees most often do so out of necessity.