Wednesday, May 22, 2024

What Business Owners Should Know About Hiring Overseas Workers


There are many reasons why a business would want to hire international workers, including finding candidates with specialist skills for the job at hand or to diversify the workplace. Regardless, before you rush out to hire someone from overseas though, there are a few things you need to consider. This is according to the immigration attorneys at Graham Adair

Is it Legal to Hire Foreign Workers? 

It is legal to hire workers from overseas, but you do need permission first. You usually cannot hire foreign workers and then look to get certification afterwards. It is necessary to prove that hiring employees from another country is necessary before you can get approval from the United States Department of Labor. This is to protect workers’ rights here in the U.S. 

Before you can get approval, you will need to provide evidence that there are not enough qualified workers in the U.S. to do the job in question, or not enough people who are willing to do the job. 

It is necessary also to provide evidence that the job you are advertising meets the criteria set down by the foreign labor certification program. Furthermore, you must show that your company has the means to pay the specified salary attached to the job, and you will need to complete the appropriate ETA (electronic travel authorization) form. 

Applying for a Visa

Once you have found a foreign worker that you are happy to employ, you will need to apply for a visa. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will provide the relevant Form I-9, which must be completed to verify authorization for the foreign hire. 

Your company will then have to sponsor the foreign worker’s visa application, which can be difficult and take some time. It is best to speak to a business immigration lawyer for advice. Specialist lawyers like those at the aforementioned Graham Adair know the process and can help you with foreign hires. 

Tax for Foreign Workers

Anyone working in the United States, regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens, will need to pay tax. The same tax laws that apply for U.S. workers will apply, so new hires will have to apply for their own social security number from the SSA (Social Security Administration). Once your new worker has this number, it should be passed to you and then given to your payroll department so that they can collect the necessary tax payments at source. Employers must complete a Form W-2 for all employees, and this includes foreign workers. 

Is it Worth it to Hire Foreign Employees? 

Hiring a foreign worker is not a simple task in the U.S. There are strict rules to follow, and it can take quite a while to get all the paperwork in order. Most businesses will need to hire an immigration lawyer to help. So, is it worth it? What are the benefits of hiring an overseas worker? 

The truth is that the issue of worth will vary from one business to another. Some businesses struggle to find qualified staff to work for them, particularly in the high-tech industries. They may have no option but to look outside of the U.S. for a pool of workers with the skills they require. 

There are other reasons why hiring internationally might benefit your company. For example, you can strengthen your workforce by diversifying it. Having foreign workers with the ability to speak different languages and with an in-depth knowledge of other cultures could help you to expand globally. 

The decision to hire foreign workers is one that each business should assess carefully to determine pros and cons.