Many immigrant entrepreneurs have thriving enterprises in the United States. As these businesses grow, employers may need skilled employees from abroad to sustain and expand operations.
Employers must understand the legal avenues to accomplish this objective while ensuring compliance.
The H-1B visa program provides an option for hiring skilled foreign workers. The employer must offer a job requiring specialized knowledge and expertise to qualify. The application process requires filing a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Upon approval, employees can work in the U.S. for a specified period, typically up to six years.
For employers with established businesses abroad, the L-1 visa provides a viable opportunity for bringing in employees. This visa addresses intracompany transfers. It allows employees from a foreign office to work temporarily in a U.S. location. An employer must show a qualifying relationship between the foreign and U.S. entities. The employee must have a specified period of work experience abroad.
EB-2 and EB-3 green cards
Employers seeking a more permanent solution for their international employees can explore employment-based green cards. The EB-2 category is for employees with advanced degrees or exceptional skills. The EB-3 applies to workers with less specialized skills who are valuable to the business. The process involves many steps. It can ultimately lead to permanent residency for the employee.
Crucial aspects of responsible employer conduct include:
- Keeping up with reporting requirements
- Ensuring proper documentation
- Adhering to employment laws
Employers must remain vigilant about compliance with visa regulations.
According to the American Immigration Council, immigrant workers accounted for 26% of Florida’s 2018 labor force. Employers looking to bring in international employees have several legal pathways to explore. Entrepreneurs can build a diverse and skilled workforce by understanding the nuances of visa programs and complying with the associated requirements.