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Ensuring your business is compliant when hiring internationally

Many businesses around the Jacksonville area have difficultly locating the perfect candidates for specialized positions, such as engineering or chemistry. Highly-educated, skilled and trained professionals are in demand, and there may simply not be enough domestic experts in your field to fill all the critical positions at your company. That can leave your company unable to complete contractual obligations or stagnated when it comes to annual growth.

Thankfully, international hiring can offer many businesses an opportunity to connect with and recruit skilled and bright workers for their companies. However, hiring an international professional comes with its own set of complications. Even after you find the perfect employee, you will still need to fulfill substantial paperwork requirements if you hope for your potential employee to enter the country and begin the job.

There are several visas that may work for the situation

Employers need to worry about compliance in terms of visas, immigration paperwork and international tax laws. Having everything properly filled out is critical to the success of your visa application. However, in many cases, including employers requesting a worker with a popular HB-1 visa, you will have to wait to see if your application gets selected as part of the random lottery selection process. That could mean that even with careful compliance and diligent paperwork, your employee isn't granted a visa.

The HB-1 is a Specialized work visa for potential employees with specific job skills. If the employee in question works for your company in another country, you may be able to apply for an L-1 Intra-Company transfer work visas. These visas often work well for managers and those in highly specialized occupations. For Canadian or Mexican applicants with higher education degrees, a NAFTA work visa may be appropriate. In very special cases, workers with extraordinary abilities in their field could qualify for an O-1 visa.

Be prepared for complications and delays

Due, in part, to stricter immigration policies and travel bans for people from several countries, employee immigration may be a more difficult and protracted process these days. There are a limited number of each kind of visa approved in any given year, and you may find your company unable to obtain one for your prospective employee.

You should always consider different approaches to international hiring and strive for compliance with all federal and state laws. Exploring options, such as hiring an employee in an international division of your company and later seeking a transfer visa, could make the process easier. The growth or success of your business should never hinge on your ability to bring a specific worker into the United States, as issues, challenges and delays are always possible.

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