Small Business Brief


5 Important Things to Know About Hiring Foreign Workers

Roughly 1% of the US labor force are temporary foreign workers.

That equates to around 1.4 million people.

Clearly, there’s a significant role to play for international workers in America. Indeed, a business may require a foreign worker for all manner of reasons. Some companies rely entirely on a foreign workforce to remain in operation.

However, the process of hiring these employees is far from straightforward. Are you a new employer? Are you confused about the process of hiring foreign workers?

Keep reading to learn 5 must-know parts of this process.

5 Considerations When Hiring Foreign Workers

Hiring foreign labor may be essential for your business. Doing it right is essential to ensuring you stay legal and safe. Here’s what you should know about the process.

1. There’s Lots of Red Tape

Don’t expect the process of hiring international labor to be easy.

In fact, expect the opposite. Remember, the US government first and foremost wants to protect the rights of Americans. US citizens get priority when it comes to working. It’s your job to prove you need foreign labor instead.

It can take months (sometimes years) to move through the different stages of red tape. Endeavor to start the process early.

2. Work Authorization is a Must

The foreign employee must be permitted to work in America.

There’s no point continuing with this process if they aren’t. A worker must be a US citizen, a noncitizen national, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work. The I-9 form (found at the USCIS website) must be completed to prove the authorization.

This is a requirement in other countries too. For example, Australia requires a work rights check to validate citizenship and working in the country.

3. You Need Certification from the DOL

The Department of Labor must grant you approval to hire international workers.

This application is usually the first thing you need to do as an employer. You provide evidence of a paucity of qualified American workers. Do so and you may be approved to hire foreign labor. Fail, and you can’t progress to the visa application stage.

Confusingly, some types of worker, for certain types of visa, may not require certification. Contact the DOL if you’re at all unsure.

4. The Different Visas

The US has numerous immigration programs that require different visas.

With approval to hire foreign labor granted, you must decide which visa program best suits your requirements. This depends on numerous factors, such as the job to be completed, and the residency requirements of the employee. Head back to the USCIS site for more details.

Once you know the visa you need, it’s time to apply. That’s your responsibility as the employer. This is all done through USCIS.

5. You’ll See a Host of Benefits

Going through this process can seem daunting.

But the benefits to your business are worth it. Firstly, you are more likely to fill roles that require high-skilled workers.

Likewise, you’ll diversify your workforce, benefit from new perspectives, and be more able to perform global business (by eradicating language barriers), to name a few.

Time to Wrap Up

There you have it: 5 important things to know about hiring foreign workers.

Businesses around the country rely on international workers. However, the hiring process can be tough to understand and get started with.

Hopefully, the information above has clarified what goes into it.

Did you like this piece? Already hired all your employees? Click here to learn how to improve their morale!