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What You Need To Know Before Hiring Foreign Workers

PSI Team | Industry Expertise

Hiring new workers is always great as it shows that you’re expanding as a company. However, hiring just American citizens isn’t always the right move to make for your company. There’re a lot of great workers from other nations that are willing to join your workforce. These workers are a great addition to any workforce as they can offer the same level of productivity as Americans. It depends only on the individual’s skill for which you’re looking to hire them. Hiring workers from outside the country isn’t simple, though; there is a long process to hire them. So, here’s what you need to know before hiring foreign workers.

Define Foreign Workers

To help you understand who you’re looking to hire, we first need to define what a foreign worker is. On the very basic level, a foreign worker is a person who works in America and falls under American labor laws but isn’t a citizen of the country. This means they need other documentation to become an American citizen: the most common form of this documentation is a visa or green card. Most foreign workers get green cards through their job by getting work visas. These permit workers to live in the United States legally while they work here.

Early Start

When you’re looking to hire anyone, it’s best to start the process early. If you’re looking to hire foreign workers, you should start the process even earlier since there’s a lot more paperwork and red tape when you hire people from other countries. You need to deal with several different government divisions and prove that you have the means to provide stability for a foreign worker. This means that you need to prove your capital and have the facilities to handle the problems that might arise from hiring someone from another country. It’s best if you start the paperwork before you even start looking for potential employees; otherwise, you’ll likely need to wait for the paperwork before you can hire anyone.

DOL Certification

Before you start trying to hire someone from another country, the first thing you need is your DOL Certification. The DOL (Department of Labor) judges if a company is capable of handling foreign workers. Before you can hire, you need to provide proof of certain criteria. For example, you’ll need to prove that you need to hire a foreign worker. You’ll also need to confirm that your company is capable of paying a worker without problems. Lastly, you’ll need to meet requirements depending on which foreign labor certification program you’re looking to use. Once you can fulfill all these requirements, you’ll receive your DOL certification and can now hire a foreign worker.

Find Candidates

The next part of employing a foreign worker is the same as hiring a citizen of the USA. You need to find candidates for the position you’re trying to fill. There are many ways you can try to contact potential candidates. Many people use word of mouth to reach out to potential hires, and there’s also posting in places where people gather. Plenty of community centers let people post job offerings. Once you have some offers, you should still run interviews to find someone good for the job. You don’t want to hire someone just because they apply; you need to know they’ll fit in your company well.

Run Background Checks

As with any time you’re looking to hire someone, you should run a background check to ensure they’re someone you want to work for your company. A background check can find previous employment or education to help you learn more about your potential employees. These are important as they’re one of the ways a company can protect itself from hiring the wrong people. A bad hire can cost you a lot of money and cause many problems, and background checks help you avoid hiring these people. You want to leave your screenings to professional background check services; there are many complex laws surrounding how you run a background check on a foreign worker.

Prepare Your Company

As you work to find individuals that can work for you, you should prepare your company for the new hires as foreign workers can present a new set of challenges. The difference in culture is something you need to keep in mind. Many foreign workers celebrate different holidays, which is something you should try to work around. Also, a foreign worker may have a first language other than English. This can cause communication issues if you don’t properly plan for a language barrier; therefore, you should address these things before you finish hiring someone, as it will make the transition smoother for everyone.

Work Visa

As you go through the interview for your new worker, they’ll need to get a work visa to work in the USA legally. This is a major holdup for many workers, as the process can take a while. This is a major reason you should start looking for new employees much earlier than you might think. You may need to sponsor a work visa for them if they don’t already have one. That will require a bit of paperwork between you, the potential hire, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. If they already have a working visa, you’ll need to run a form I-9 to verify their visa. This will help you cover for any mistakes or misunderstandings to avoid future trouble.

Tax Laws

One thing you need to know when hiring a new employee is the variety of tax laws that apply to a foreign worker. They’ll need a social security number to pay payroll taxes, along with all the state taxes that may apply to the situation. Hiring a foreign worker has many complex tax rules that hiring a US citizen might not.

Penalties

After all these steps, there isn’t much else you need to do to hire a foreign worker. Once the work visa comes through and you file all the proper paperwork you need to hire them, they are free to work at your company. Just know that you need to keep up to date with your paperwork. Mistakes and expired paperwork can cost you a lot of money in penalties. Just make sure that you’re following all the laws to avoid any fines that you may accrue otherwise.

This is what you need to know before hiring foreign workers. By following all the proper steps and starting the process early, you should have no problems as you finalize your hires and have them join your workforce.

What You Need To Know Before Hiring Foreign Workers