There are lots of reasons that employers might want to consider hiring a foreign national employee to fill a position in their US-based enterprise.
In a lot of instances, it comes down to seeking out a specialized skill set that might not be readily available on a domestic level. However, in an increasingly global economy, diverse perspectives in the workplace, not to mention multi-linguistic capabilities, can also be major assets, and thus, there can be a lot of incentive to look abroad when it comes to hiring.
However, before anybody embarks on the process or recruiting or sponsoring a foreign national, it is important that they fully understand the regulations and requirements surrounding the process. The regulatory process tends to be complex, and employers will need to prepare themselves to satisfy a number of government requirements that can be both time-consuming and costly before they are able to successfully sponsor an international employee to work in the US.
Thus, while choosing to recruit from an international candidate pool can have major payoffs, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is also important to keep in mind that different types of positions will need to satisfy different types of requirements, and meanwhile, the requirements themselves are constantly changing, so it is a good idea to consult legal counsel as well work with a specialist in immigration ads during the recruitment process.
So, with all that in mind, here are some important considerations that all employers will want to think carefully about whether or not choosing to hire a foreign employee for a domestic position will be practical or feasible before committing to sponsoring a non-US citizen.
Important Questions to Consider
What Type of Position Needs to be Filled?
When it comes to sponsoring a foreign employee in the US, the process will be easier to complete for some types of positions than for others depending on the type of visa that is required.
Keep in mind that the majority of positions where a visa is granted tend to be within computer jobs, architecture, engineering and surveying, education, administration and medicine/health type domains, and applicants for these jobs can likewise expect to encounter less red tape than they might in others.
Is the Position Temporary?
Even if the position is a temporary one, An H-1B visa or another type of temporary working Visa will still be required. These types of US work Visas will be granted in the case that a temporary employee meets the eligibility requirements for temporary employee sponsorship.
Keep in mind that even a temporary work visa cannot be granted without a full and complete background check being provided by the employer, and it is likewise crucial to understand and ensure that all required documentation is provided during the recruitment process.
As such, it is important that employers take plenty of time to ensure a thorough and rigorous recruitment process. They will not only want to take the same steps that they would identify the best domestic candidate, but also be sure to leave aside ample time to successfully interpret any cultural differences in the documentation.
What Type of Visa Documents Will Be Required?
When it comes to determining what type of visa is needed, it is always best to talk to an immigration attorney first. While H-1B visas are a popular option, the quota tends to fill quickly.
Keep in mind that before applying for a visa with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), the first step is to get certified by the US Department of Labor. Depending on the type of Visa, this may require fulfilling PERM advertising requirements, which is a lengthy process that must be completed within a tight timeframe.
As such, it is best to work with an agency that specializes in permanent labor certification ads and immigration ads to make sure that the process is done right. Even the smallest errors will result in a rejected application and professionals who specialize in this process with know the precise way to meet all the requirements so that no unnecessary time or money gets dumped down the drain.
Also, be sure to set aside ample time to complete the process, which will typically take at least 12 weeks.
What Are the Relevant Salary, Benefit and Insurance Requirements?
When it comes to sponsoring a foreign national for a visa, it is important to understand that the salary paid to an H-1B employee must be the same as or more than the typical wage for the position. Likewise, the employee must receive the same benefits as other employees in similar positions. Essentially, it is not acceptable to underpayment or skimp on benefits when hiring a foreign national.
In addition, it is important for an employer to understand that the cost of the visa application process will be their responsibility and theirs alone. Under no circumstances may they try to charge, deduct or seek out reimbursement from the employee for any funds dispensed during this process. This means that employers should prepare themselves to spend between $2500 and $7000 dollars in the process of sponsoring an employee to obtain a visa.
Also note that if an when a foreign national H1-B visa holder becomes a ‘resident alien’, they will likewise be subject to the laws outlined in the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and it is an employee’s responsibility to ensure all relevant insurance obligations are met.
If the employer cannot afford are or are not prepared to pay these costs, it might be preferable to seek out a domestic alternative to fill the position.
Are They Prepared to Play the Waiting Game?
One final thing to note is that should an employer decide to hire and sponsor a non-US citizen for a position, the processing times can be unpredictable, and they will probably want to prepare themselves to settle in for a wait.
While there is a possibility of paying a premium fee of just shy of $1410 to receive a decision within about fifteen calendar days, this service is not always available and has been suspended in the past.
Sponsoring a foreign national employee can be a long and expensive process, so it is important that employers are prepared as to what to expect before committing.
However, once decided, there is no need to be intimidated by the legalities. By working with a qualified lawyer and an agency that specializes in immigration ads, employers can usually count on a successful outcome that will more than pay off in the long run.