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Setting Up a Corporate Immigration Policy

Immigration is a key component of many company strategies for workplace competitiveness. American employers who currently hire foreign national workers and those who plan to do so in the future, need to have a formal corporate immigration policy in place to ensure that they are competitive in the marketplace and can attract and hold foreign talent.

A United States employer can legally hire foreign nationals under a variety of visa categories, but no matter what the category, many of these foreign national employees want to remain permanently in the United States. Similarly, after training and working with top employees, most companies want to keep the foreign talent they have already sponsored.

Because of the lengthy waiting period for visas, many employees want to start as soon as possible on the green card process. At the same time, before a company spends a considerable amount of money on the process they want to be sure that the employee is one worth keeping for the long-term. These competing interests are the primary reason why having a corporate immigration policy is necessary.

Having a corporate immigration policy in place puts every potential employee, their managers, and recruiters, on notice of what it will take to be “sponsored” and how long an employee needs to be employed before that process starts.

Employers typically want to know: (1) how long a foreign national employee would have to work for the company before sponsorship would be started; (2) whether that timing has changed since the height of the financial crisis; and (3) whether there are contingencies on initiating/continuing the green card sponsorship process.

A company must also take into account federal regulations which make the employer responsible for all fees and costs associated with the PERM labor certification process; this is the first step in the majority of employment-based green card cases. Such fees may not be reimbursed by the employee.

We strongly suggest that our employer clients create a corporate immigration policy to ensure consistency across the company in sponsoring employees. An upfront corporate policy will also diminish the threat of key employees resigning to take up employment with more foreign national “friendly employers.

The attorneys at Berardi Immigration Law are incredibly knowledgeable and diligent in creating corporate immigration policies for our clients. If you are considering creating and adopting a corporate immigration policy, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.