There is no denying the fact that it is much easier to hire U.S. citizens than it is to employ people from overseas, but sometimes there are valid reasons for dipping into the international pool when hiring new staff. It might be because you want to strengthen the workforce or build a global team with people who have local knowledge of the areas you are hoping to expand to. Or it could be that you need people with specialized skills but are struggling to find suitable staff here in the U.S. Whatever the reason, say the experts at Graham Adair, anyone you hire to come to work in your company will need to have the relevant permission. Moreover, if you are hiring someone to work in a specialty occupation, you may need to hire a H-1B visa attorney in Austin.
The H-1B Visa
The H-1B is designed for non-U.S. citizens arriving to work here in a specialty job in fields such as:
- Social Sciences
- Business administration.
The employer hiring the individual to work in these positions will be ‘sponsoring’ the worker, meaning that it is the employer’s responsibility to apply for the H-1B visa. This is where the H-1B visa attorney can be especially useful.
The international worker will need to have the skills to do this specialty job and will be expected to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in that field. The employer will also need to prove that there is a lack of U.S. applicants qualified to do the job.
A part of the H-1B visa requirement is that the international employee is paid the higher of the actual wage or the prevailing wage. The actual wage means the amount that the employer currently pays other employees in similar jobs at the same location of the advertised position, and the prevailing wage means the amount that other workers in similar positions in the geographical area are paid. Because of the complex rules surrounding the H-1B visa application, it is recommended that you use an attorney.
How Can an Attorney Help
An experienced immigration lawyer will know the ins and outs of the complex application procedure. Employers need to submit a form called the Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the U.S. Department of Labor. This form is a declaration that includes information about the wage being paid to the worker as well as a certification that no U.S. citizens are being displaced and that there are no strikes or work stoppages in the location where the foreign worker will be employed.
Once the LCA has been certified by the DOL, the application can be made to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the relevant fees and documentation, which may include evidence of the applicant’s education as well as training certificates and any appropriate membership documentation.
Because of the complexity of the application process, it is worth hiring an attorney to help. An attorney can navigate the complicated rules and can guide both employer and applicant through the process, helping to minimize delays by ensuring all the right documentation is submitted first time around.
Employers hire foreign workers for a variety of reasons, but those wishing to hire international employees to work in specialty occupations will need to apply for a H-1B visa. To navigate the complex rules surrounding the application process for this visa, it is a good idea to hire an experienced immigration attorney who can help to ensure the process runs smoothly. It can take months for this visa to be approved, so it is worth getting the application right.