Hiring Foreign Workers

When you are recruiting employees for your business, it is not uncommon to wish to recruit people who are not from the United States. Even if the prospective employees live outside the U.S., they might have the correct paperwork and have the government’s “OK” to work in the U.S., but how do you know? Can you simply ask? Do you need to ask? If you find out that the person you want to hire does not have the paperwork in place to come work for your company in the U.S., what should you do? When you are in this predicament, it is best to speak with an immigration attorney who can help you determine what the best next steps are. Lawyers understand how confusing this can be and are here to help you and your company. For more information, reach out to an attorney today.

Asking a Prospective Employee About Work Authorization

While it may seem like an uncomfortable question to ask, the U.S. government expects employers to help enforce immigration laws when they are considering recruiting foreign workers for employment positions. When this is the case, you must confirm the potential candidate’s work authorization and ensure you keep the appropriate records on file to show that you have been compliant. If you would like to find out more information regarding these documents, you can speak with immigration attorneys or browse the USCIS website.

Categories of Foreign Employees

To ensure that your employees are all legally allowed to work in the U.S. you should confirm that they have one of four statuses.

  • They are a U.S. citizen.
  • They are a noncitizen national.
  • They are aliens the government has authorized to work in the U.S.
  • They are lawful permanent residents.

It is important to note that while you need to confirm that the potential employee you are looking at for your company is legally authorized to work in the U.S. You cannot hire or not hire someone based on their citizenship status or their national origin because the government may see it as illegal discrimination.

What if they don’t have the authorization to work here?

If the person you would like to hire does not have the authorization, it is possible to help them get it. It is incredibly important to seek the counsel of a lawyer during this time to ensure you are pursuing the correct channels of authorization. While many factors go into determining how—and if—you want to help someone with their work authorization (like time, money, and effort), it is possible to sponsor a potential employee for a green card. When this is the case, a green card would count as a “lawful permanent resident”, one of the government-approved categories above.

One of our attorneys can help you determine if it is worth pursuing this avenue or if it might be better to try to get a temporary “nonimmigrant” work visa.

Getting the Legal Help You Need

If you would like to speak with trusted attorneys, like an immigration attorney in DC from The Federal Practice Group, about how you can pursue a non-U.S. citizen employee for your company, please reach out to a law firm today.