Hiring Immigrant Workers: 3 Things to Know

Ladan Nikravan

There may be some negativity toward immigrants among segments of the population, but the same doesn’t ring true for employers. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, a third of employers (33 percent) say they plan to hire immigrant workers in 2017, with 16 percent planning to do so in the second quarter.

The types of functional positions non-U.S. born workers are being recruited to fill varies from industry to industry. Among employers who are hiring immigrant workers this year, this includes:

  • Technical (42 percent)
  • Administrative (31 percent)
  • Manual labor (31 percent)
  • Sales (30 percent)
  • Creative (29 percent)
  • Financial (25 percent)
  • Managerial (23 percent)


Of employers who hire immigrant workers, the vast majority (80 percent) say that they pay the same to both U.S. born workers and immigrants working in the same roles.

As the data shows, employers are recognizing that immigrant workers can be an asset to a business. However, if you are interested in hiring foreign workers then you need to know how to do so legally so that the employment relationship can continue, the employee can avoid deportation and you can avoid the legal consequences for illegally employing a foreign worker.

Make sure you verify every employee’s employment eligibility: When hiring any employee, you are required to verify that he or she is legally eligible to work in the U.S. To do so, you need to file an Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9) within three days of hiring the employee. The I-9 form provides the procedure for verifying an employee’s eligibility to work, including examples of the types of documents required an employee must present for verification. While employers are barred from hiring employees without legal status, they are also prohibited from discriminating against job applicants or employees based on national origin or citizenship status.

Will the worker need a visa? Make sure you decide on the right immigration program to use: There are numerous visa programs available and you will need to decide which one is appropriate for the types of international employees you want to hire. Do you plan on your new employees becoming permanent residents or will you only hire them temporarily? What job function will they be fulfilling? Are you looking to hire someone from a country with which the US has a treaty, or elsewhere? These are all considerations you must take in choosing a business immigration program.

Work with the department of labor: Before moving forward with the visa process with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will have to obtain a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). These certifications are in place so that the DOL can verify that the admittance of your foreign employees to the U.S. will not harm job opportunities, wages or working conditions for U.S. workers. There are various certifications employers must obtain depending on the type of business immigration program they are using.

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