Hiring Foreign Workers
Foreign workers can be an asset to your business. However, if you are interested in hiring foreign workers then you need to know how to do so legally so that the employment relationship can continue, the employee can avoid deportation and you can avoid the legal consequences for illegally employing a foreign worker. Generally, the government will only approve foreign workers to fill jobs that are essential to the United States economy and for which the employer has been unable to find United States workers to fill the position.
How to Hire a Foreign Worker
For many employers, the first step in hiring a foreign worker is to apply to the United States Department of Labor. The Department of Labor will require you to present evidence that there are insufficient qualified United States workers available who will perform the job for the prevailing wage. The Department of Labor’s interest is in protecting the job opportunities and rights of American workers. The requirement to obtain certification or approval from the Department of Labor only applies to certain types of workers who are applying for specific types of visas.
Once the Department of Labor approves the employer’s request, or the employer determines that Department of Labor certification is not required, then the employer must apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a visa for the worker. The potential employee must establish that they are eligible to enter the United States pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Temporary workers, such as those involved in agriculture, seasonal workers (such as ski instructors or hotel workers), entertainers and others may be eligible for specific temporary worker designations. The purpose of the temporary worker designation is to allow the employee to legally work in the United States for a short amount of time, for example during one harvest season or one ski season. The employer may be able to hire foreign temporary workers again the following season if there are is a lack of qualified United States workers who are willing to work for the prevailing wage and if hiring foreign workers will not adversely affect the rights or working conditions of United States workers.
Permanent workers are granted visas according to predetermined preferences. Generally, in order to be considered for a permanent worker visa, the potential employee must have extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, business, education or athletics, hold an advanced degree, belong to a special class such as a religious worker, be a retired employee of an international organization or be a large investor in certain American businesses.
If the worker whom you want to hire already has a green card then you may not have to go through all of the steps that you would to hire a person who is not currently a resident of the United States. In order to protect yourself as an employer and often as the worker’s sponsor it is important thoroughly understand the foreign worker immigration laws before employing a foreign worker.
Search LawInfo's Labor & Employment Law Resources
Additional Labor & Employment Law Articles
How Can an Attorney Help With a Sexual Harassment Claim Against an Employer?
Facing a sexual harassment situation in your workplace can be difficult, confusing, and emotionally draining. Contacting a lawyer to help you through what is … More
Making the Hot Seat even HOTTER:
The Top Ten Illegal Job Interview Questions
A job interview can be a stressful event. But when a potential employer asks unlawful interview questions, things can go from stressful to illegal. The legality of … More
Legal Requirements for Lunch and Break Times
Federal law doesn’t require employers to provide breaks for rest or meals. However, it does regulate how breaks are provided and paid. State law also often … More
A Balancing Act: Family and Medical Leave Act Benefits
In 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed to help employees balance the demands of their jobs and important family issues. It is important for … More
Do I have to pay my employees overtime?
Generally, if you allow your employees to work overtime, or more than 40 hours in a one week period, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which is a … More
In this economy, I'm afraid of being laid off from my job. What will I do?
In the case of some layoffs that involve many workers or an entire workplace, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining (WARN) Act may apply. If the WARN Act is … More
Can I Be Fired? Can I Quit? Understanding the Employment at Will Doctrine
In the absence of a formal contract that governs your working relationship with your employer, you are considered an employee at will. Many Americans are … More
Possible Damages for Wage and Hour Law Violations
Most employees make an agreement with their employers that in return for going to work and performing their jobs they will be compensated with wages. The federal … More
Employee Rights When a Job Ends
Leaving a job is not easy. If you are fired, downsized or laid off then you are likely nervous about the future and your own financial security. If you are … More
Who is Protected from Employment Discrimination?
Most working Americans are employees at will. That means that they may quit or their employer may fire them at any time for any reason or for no reason at … More
Labor & Employment Law Sub-categories
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)