1. How can I hire a foreign worker?
A U.S. employer can hire a foreign worker by sponsoring the individual on a work visa (i.e., a nonimmigrant visa). The type of nonimmigrant visa will depend on the position and the educational background and/or experience of the individual. A foreign worker may also work for a US employer if the individual has a green card case pending and has obtained an Employment Authorization Document.
2. What types of nonimmigrant visa options are there?
There are many different nonimmigrant visa options. An H-1B visa requires a foreign worker to have the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree and for the position which he or she is being hired to require at least a baccalaureate degree. Multi-national companies may transfer employees from other countries to the U.S. under the L-1 visa. Entrepreneurs and investors may apply for an E visa depending on the foreign worker's country of nationality. Foreign workers from Mexico and Canada may be eligible to apply for a TN (NAFTA) visa. Individuals of extraordinary ability in the arts, science, business or athletics may be eligible for an O-1 visa. Performers and artists can apply for either a P or Q visa. Individuals coming to the U.S. to receive training in a particular field may be eligible for a J-1 visa.
3. How do I sponsor someone for a green card?
There are only a few ways to sponsor a person for a green card. The most common method of sponsorship is employment-based. For employment-based sponsorship, if the foreign worker is a person with extraordinary or exceptional ability, the employer can usually file a petition directly with the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"). Depending on the foreign worker's country of birth, he or she may be able to apply for a green card concurrently with the employer's petition. If the foreign worker does not meet the above standards, then an employer can file a labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor after completing the required recruitment steps.
4. How do I know if a person is authorized to work in the U.S.?
Every U.S. employer is required to complete and maintain "Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification" files. The purpose of this form is to verify that each new hire is authorized to work in the U.S. An employer is required to complete this form within 3 days of the new hire. An employer must retained I-9 records for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date the employment ends, whichever is later. I-9 files may be inspected by U.S. Government officials at any time. I-9 violations could result in substantial fines and penalties, or even criminal charges against the employer.
5. Why should I become a U.S. citizen?
There are various reasons an eligible lawful permanent resident should apply for U.S. citizenship. U.S. citizens can vote in local, state and federal elections. U.S. citizens can sponsor immediate relatives, including children, parents, spouses and siblings. U.S. citizens can travel outside the U.S. for indefinite periods of time without having to worry about maintaining residency requirements in the U.S. U.S. citizens are not deportable if charged with a crime. And U.S. citizens may be treated more favorably under the country's estate tax rules and other federal benefit programs.