Employing foreign workers can be a great way to save some money while at the same time it can be a guarantee you’re hiring a skilled workforce that will know what it's doing. With that being said, employing foreign workers differs from hiring local workers in a few important ways. Keeping those things in mind will ensure you do everything as it’s intended and will help you not get into any trouble. So, to help you out, today we are going to take a look at the important things you need to know when employing foreign workers.
You will have to get certified
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that every business isn’t entitled to employ foreign workers, in fact, there are certain criteria you must meet in order to get yourself a permit. Several government agencies are involved with granting permission for foreign workers to work in the United States. Most notably, you will have to acquire certification through the Department of Labour, which will require you to fill out some forms and documents in order to apply. Once your certification is confirmed, you will also have to petition for a visa with the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. Keep in mind that your petition for a visa isn’t guaranteed if you’ve obtained certification from the Department of Labour. However, if everything is in order and you are able to get the required certification, you will be able to start hiring foreign workers.
Your workers have to be authorized
The foreign workers you hire will also have to be authorized to work in the United States themselves. As an employer, you have the ability to sponsor someone you wish to hire in order to increase their chances of getting authorized. However, this still won't guarantee that they will be authorized. The authorization process can be quite long and complex and you have two options 1) to help them get a green card which will give them a permanent residence in the U.S. or 2) help them get a temporary work visa. The chances of getting a temporary visa are a lot greater than getting a permanent visa, so the former may be the better option to choose. On top of this, a temporary visa can be used as the foundation from which they can gain permanent residence.
You will have to treat them in accordance with the law
There are many laws and regulations in the United States that regulate the relationship between an employer and foreign workers. For example, you have to be prepared to hire legal representation as your workers will still be able to make a personal injury claim if one of them gets injured. On top of this, there is a legal minimum you have to pay them. They have to receive wages at least equal to the prevailing wage which is the average amount paid to all other workers in the same occupation and in the same employment location. Foreign workers are also subject to payroll taxes which are calculated in the same way as they are for the U.S. citizens so make sure you keep that in mind.
Keep cultural differences in mind
Hiring foreign workers means you are going to hire people from all over the world with many cultural differences, different beliefs and even ways of life. Because of this, they may have different expectations from you as their employer and with their work duties in general. Understanding these differences and making sure you do everything within your power to accept and help them out will help you with integrating them into your business with more efficiency and better results. Additionally, this will ensure you provide them with a safe work enrolment with no discrimination in which they can fully realise their potential.
While hiring foreign workers may seem like a lot of work, it’s actually a relatively straightforward process you can easily get through if you keep the things we’ve talked about in mind. The few extra steps you will have to take, are pale in comparison if you look at the benefits they can bring you. So, what are you waiting for? Start hiring now!