What Is Employment Sponsorship?
Any noncitizen or nonresident of the United States of America is required to obtain a visa before working in the U.S. This helps the U.S. control the influx of foreign labor into the country.
A business may want to hire a foreign national in the U.S. In such events, the business should adhere to certain processes that are mostly administered by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well the U.S. Department of Labor. This process is what is known as employment sponsorship. The exact details of the process will vary, depending on a number of factors, including the skill level of the foreign national, the type of visa, and the terms of employment.
An employment sponsorship is also known as a green card sponsorship. If you want to permanently hire a foreign worker who has been working for you with a temporary visa, you need to apply for an employment sponsorship.
The Case for Temporary Employment
According to the USCIS, any foreign national that comes to the U.S. for temporary employment, qualifies for a non-immigrant visa. Most of these visas require sponsorship for employment.
H-1B Visas – These visas are for those with bachelor’s degrees and special skills.
H-2A Visas – These visas are for agricultural workers.
H-2B Visas – These visas are for general temporary workers.
L-1 Visas – These visas are reserved for inter-company transfers.
TN Visas – These visas are reserved for Mexican and Canadian nationals.
Except for H-1B and H-2A visas, the process will typically involve submitting a Form I-129, a Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, along with a fee of $460, to the USCIS. Companies that sponsor work visas should also obtain a labor condition application from the U.S Department of Labor before they file the Form I-129. The U.S Department of Labor will then determine that there was a shortage of U.S workers for the position and ensure that the foreign national would be compensated at the same level as their American counterparts.
The deadlines for filing paperwork and for learning if a visa application has been accepted vary from year to year and program to program, based on a variety of factors. Your best way of negotiating a complex system is to work with someone experienced in the green card process.
The Case for Permanent Employment
When a business wants to hire a foreign national for a permanent position, they can do this by sponsoring the candidate in question for a company sponsored green card. A green card grants the candidate permanent residency status in the U.S. The employer should show that the candidate is qualified for the job and give its intentions for hiring the said candidate.
The employer will begin by submitting its labor condition application to the U.S. Department of Labor. Upon approval of this application, the employer will submit a $700 fee along, with Form I-140, or Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker to the USCIS. There are four types of permanent employment visas:
EB-1 Visas – These visas are for multinational executives and professors.
EB-2 Visas – These visas are professionals with advanced degrees in the sciences, arts, and business.
EB-3 Visas – These visas are for skilled workers or professionals with a bachelor’s degree.
EB-4 Visas – These visas are for religious workers, doctors, and special immigrants.
Responsibilities of the Employer and Other Considerations
1. A U.S. employer will be required to have an IRS tax number in order to sponsor the permanent visas and the H1-B visas.
2. The employer should pay the foreign national the typical wage for the position filled and should ensure that the arrival of the foreign national does not hurt the working conditions of their U.S. workers.
3. A copy of the LCA should be given to labor representatives for similar jobs or posted in the place of work for a minimum of 10 days.
4. A completed Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 form, as well as detailed records of employment covering the foreign national’s compensation and time on the job, should be available for inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor.
5. Certain employer classes are subject to further requirements. These are employers with H-1B employees who meet one of the following conditions:
o They have 25 or fewer workers, and seven or more of these workers have H-1B visas.
o They have 26 through 50 employees and 12 or more of these workers have H-1B visas.
o They have more than 50 workers and 15 percent or more of these workers have H-1B visas.
In such cases, the employer must swear under oath that they will not displace an American employee 90 days or less before or after the submission of the H-1B petition. Such employers should also demonstrate that efforts were made to hire qualified Americans for the same job.
6. Employers of employees with H-1B visas should also make a public access file available. It will contain a copy of the LCA and wage information and should be made available, at most a day after the filing of the petition.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Resources; How Do I Hire a Foreign National ...
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Resources; I Am an Employer How Do I Sponsor an Employee ...
- U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs: Temporary Worker Visas
- U.S. Department of Labor: Foreign Labor
- U.S. Department of Labor: Fact Sheet #62M: What are an H-1B employer’s notification requirements?
Nicky is a business writer with nearly two decades of hands-on and publishing experience. She's been published in several business publications, including The Employment Times, Web Hosting Sun and WOW! Women on Writing. She also studied business in college.