H-1B Season is Upon Us!
Hiring and Keeping Foreign Graduates
As you scrape the ice off your windows and get into your car sipping on that nice warm cup of coffee on your morning drive, your mind wanders to how you can keep that sensational foreign worker you hired a couple of months ago. The worker just graduated from a local university and has an employment authorization card to work, but what next? Well, there are a few key issues to keep in mind when figuring out whether to take the next step:
1- The Job Description – A lot of companies don’t have job descriptions for even key positions, but it is important for immigration that you decide exactly what the worker will be doing and if the position requires a bachelor’s degree. If a bachelor’s is required then you may be able to keep him or her on an H-1B visa.
2- Start Early – The first date to submit an application for an H-1B is April 1st of every year, with a start date of October 1st. Don’t wait until April 1st to look into it, because the H-1B visa is capped and the cap may be reached on the first day of submissions.
3- Money, Money, Money – Figure out how much you are willing to pay the worker. Sometimes this is a showstopper. The Department of Labor has a prevailing wage that MUST be met and normally it is higher than what you are used to paying workers. Decide what you are willing to pay if you need to increase the pay.
4- Posting the Job – Realize that you will need to post the position and the pay to other workers. Many companies are not comfortable with this since normally it is a higher pay, but it is a requirement for immigration and sometimes a range of pay being posted can solve the problem.
5- Be Patient! – Immigration is a marathon NOT a sprint. Nothing moves quickly, but if it’s the right person for the job, patience is a virtue.
6- Hire An Attorney – Okay so this sounds like self-promotion but seriously, having a good immigration attorney can make all the difference. There are so many nuances to immigration law that a well-seasoned attorney will know how to navigate the system to your advantage. So, seek one out and focus on your business.