Sponsoring a Foreign Worker in the US: An Overview
There are several government agencies you will need to work with if you are a US employer looking to hire prospective employees from overseas.
You must file a petition with the US Department of Labor (DOL) to show that there are no qualified US employees who can do the job and that the foreign employees will receive fair wages.
The prospective employee must then complete an application for a work visa, demonstrating the eligibility requirements. The visa will allow them to work in the United States for a specific employer and period.
Note that approval from the DOL does not guarantee the issuance of a visa, as an immigrant must also meet all the immigration law requirements for the specific visa category being applied. Note that the visa is not permanent and must be renewed periodically.
Guidelines to Sponsor a Foreign Employee for a Work Visa
Petitioning a foreign worker to immigrate for a lawful permanent residence in the US requires effort from both the employer and the employee.
Below are guidelines to help US companies in sponsoring immigrants for work visas:
Obtain an Approved Application for Permanent Labor Certification (PERM)
The main objective of requiring sponsors to secure PERM is to protect US workers’ wages and working conditions.
This requirement ensures that the admission of the foreign workforce into the United States will not adversely affect their wages and working conditions.
To obtain PERM certification, the employer must:
- Recruit US residents for the position through reasonable efforts, which may include placing ads in newspapers or online, attending job fairs, or contacting employment agencies;
- Offer the position to any qualified US worker who applies and is equally or better qualified than the foreign worker; and
- Pay the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.
Submit an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Form I-140
After obtaining the PERM certification, the next step is to file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, and other sponsorship documents on behalf of the immigrant employee with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The form I-140 requests the USCIS to classify a foreign national as a person eligible to immigrate to the US based on employment.
The employer must file the I-140 Petition with the USCIS with the following supporting documents:
- A copy of the approved PERM application;
- A copy of the foreign national’s passport; and
- Evidence that the immigrant is qualified for the position.
If the USCIS approves, the foreign national employee will be granted what is known as the “priority date.”
This priority date allows the employee to apply for an immigrant visa or adjust status once a visa becomes available.
File an I-485 Application to Adjust Status or Consular Processing
The final step is for the immigrant employee to file an I-485 Application to Adjust Status if they are already in the US or Consular Processing outside of the US.
Adjustment Status. After filing form I-485, if the applicant is inside the United States, they will be called in for an interview with a USCIS officer.
The USCIS officer will ask questions to verify the information in the application, and they may also request additional documents.
Consular Processing. If the applicant is outside the United States, they will be scheduled for an interview at a US embassy or consulate abroad.
A consular officer will conduct the interview and decide whether to issue the immigrant visa.
After the I-485 is Approved – Getting a Green Card
Once form I-485 is approved, the immigrant employee will become a legal working resident of the United States and receive a green card.
The USCIS will issue a Permanent Resident Card, which the holder must renew every ten years.
How can IAS Immigration Attorney Help?
If you are interested in sponsoring a foreign worker in the United States, call us at +1 844 290 6312. One of our immigration attorneys can help you navigate the complex process and ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly. AIS Immigration can help you navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of US immigration law. We aim to make immigrating your employees as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation!
The cost of sponsoring a foreign employee varies depending on factors such as the type of immigrant visa. However, sponsoring employers can expect to pay the following fees:
- Employers who are looking to hire 50 or more employees, with 50% of them being foreign nationals: $4,000 for certain H‑1B petitions and $4,500 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions
- The filing fee for form I-140 at $700
- The filing fee for form I-129 at $460
- American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998(ACWIA) at $750 or $1,500
- Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee at $500
There are several ways to sponsor a social care worker from overseas to come and work in the United States. The most common way is through an employer-sponsored visa, such as the EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-4 immigrant visas.
H-1B non-immigrants refer to foreign nationals seeking entry to the United States in a temporary employment category. They are coming to the US under the premise that the foreign national:
will carry out services in a specialty occupation;
demonstrates exceptional merit and ability in relation to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project;
is a fashion model of renowned merit and ability in the industry
According to the USCIS, a specialty occupation requires “the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific speciality as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”
The USCIS considers several factors when determining whether a position qualifies as a specialty occupation. These factors include but are not limited to whether the job requires a bachelor’s or higher and the complexity of the duties involved.
One way to prove that a position is a speciality occupation is to provide evidence that the worker has a specific skill set or degree that is not common in the United States. The application can provide letters from experts or educational institutions stating that the worker’s qualifications fall under a speciality occupation.
The initial step is to identify the position you will be recruiting for and submit a visa sponsorship to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The organization must have a valid business reason for sponsoring the visa, and the position must be one that a US worker cannot fill.
A visa sponsorship refers to a set of documents that the sponsoring employer submits to the US Government. The sponsorship letter signifies the employer’s intent and willingness to hire someone overseas. The sponsorship letter contains forms and other documents that include the recruitment details and the justification for the company’s need to employ a foreign national.
The length of time it will take for them to be able to immigrate will depend on a variety of factors, including their country of origin and the type of visa they are applying for.
Yes, a foreign national seeking employment in the US may immigrate with his family. Family members include the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
To accompany or follow to join the principal foreign national, the family members must:
- Be the spouse or unmarried child under 21 years of age of the principal foreign national;
- Be admissible to the United States as immigrants, except for those who seek to enter solely as refugees or asylees.
The family members may be granted derivative status, which allows them to receive the same immigration benefits as the principal foreign national. For example, if the principal foreign national is granted lawful permanent resident status, the family members will also be granted lawful permanent resident status.
Last modified on February 24th, 2023 at 11:10 am
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