Hiring Foreign Workers? Welcome to America
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: May 14, 2009, 8:12 am
As globalization drives students, workers, and
entrepreneurs to havens of opportunity and prosperity, the old saying
about the United States being a 'melting pot', or 'salad bowl', or even
'mosaic of diversity', still stands true, despite the current economic
When American short track speed skater Allison Baver made
the following comment, she touched on the commonality of cultural
diversity that is omnipresent in just about any place of business in
'I noticed it traveling with our team.
We’re the only team that has coaches from three other countries and
athletes that are all different in terms of our diversity. Look at our
team as a whole. It is the United States. . . . It’s a melting pot.'
be told - if the U.S. is a melting pot, then the regulations and laws
that govern the hiring of foreign workers are a veritable casserole of
certification requirements, application procedures, and tax
Hiring Foreign Workers - Get Your Arms around the Law
a British expat who immigrated to the U.S. more than ten years ago,
I’ve had my fair share of encounters with the federal laws that govern
the temporary and permanent employment of non-resident and resident
aliens in the U.S.
What struck me during my transition from
alien to resident alien to permanent resident was how little knowledge
of foreign worker employment laws my employer had, despite being a
large global enterprise.
So if the large corporations struggle
with the law, where does the small business owner start to build an
understanding of the process of hiring foreign workers?
good news is that there are many guides and online resources that can
help employers understand and comply with foreign worker laws.
is a summary of the key aspects of foreign worker employment law and
links to information and tools to support your small business’ efforts
to comply with these laws.
- Certifying a Foreign Worker
- The Department of Labor (DOL) should be your first stop for gaining
permission for foreign workers to work in the U.S. To achieve
certification for a potential employee, businesses must demonstrate
that there are insufficient qualified U.S. workers available and able
to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for that occupation.
This page describes
the DOL’s certifications issued for permanent and temporary employment
under the following programs: Permanent Labor Certification, H-1C
Nurses in Disadvantaged Areas, H-2A Temporary Labor Certification
(Seasonal Agricultural), H-2B Temporary Labor Certification
(Non-agricultural), and D-1 Crewmembers Certification.
- Petition for a Visa - Once you receive certification or approval by the DOL, the next step is to petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
for a visa on behalf of the foreign worker. The worker will also need
to establish that they are admissible to the U.S. under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
are a range of guides covering the application process, compliance,
record-keeping and contact information for all types of foreign worker
employment status (H-2A, H-2B, H-1B, H-1B1, D-1 and so on) on the DOL
- Foreign Worker Taxation Considerations
- Most foreign workers, whether temporary or permanent are required to
pay U.S. taxes. However there are some exceptions that you need to be
aware of, these include:
- Foreign Agricultural Workers
- Temporary foreign agricultural workers on H-2A visas are exempt from
U.S. social security and Medicare taxes, whether they are resident
aliens or nonresident aliens.
For information on these exceptions, check out the tax information here.
This resource from Business.gov provides information from the U.S.
Department of Labor describing how to comply with federal labor
regulations regarding the hiring and employment of foreign workers.
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