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U.S. Immigration Updates: How to Hire Foreign Workers Through Changing Laws and Regulations

By June 26, 2020 No Comments
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President Trump extended his executive order to ban immigrant workers from entering the United States on multiple employment-based visas—including the H-1B and L-1 visas for highly-skilled workers—until at least December 31, 2020.

This order means that companies will not be able to hire a foreign worker, even if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selected the future employee in the H-1B lottery to start work in October 2020. The Trump administration signed this order in the hopes of reallocating jobs to out-of-work Americans; however, it will leave many companies scrambling to find alternative ways to hire employees outside of the U.S. with as little business disruption as possible.

What the Immigration Ban Includes and Who Is Impacted

President Trump’s latest executive order expands on his initial immigration ban that his administration introduced in April. This ban applies to the following categories of nonimmigrants if they are outside the U.S. as of 12:01 am EDT on June 24, 2020, and do not hold a valid visa, advance parole, or other U.S. travel document:

  • H-1B and H-2B nonimmigrants
  • L-1A executives and managers
  • L-1B specialized knowledge workers
  • J-1 interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, and Summer Work Travel participants
  • Their dependent spouses and children

The new restrictions prevent about 525,000 workers from entering the country between now and the end of the year, including 170,000 Green Card holders that the government barred from coming to the U.S. since April. The order makes an exemption for health-care workers focused on treating and researching COVID-19. In all other industries or job functions, workers are not allowed entry to the U.S. until 2021 and must seek different ways to work for U.S.-based companies.

Work Through Immigration Bans with Flexible Hiring Solutions

While this amended proclamation from the White House prevents workers from physically coming to the U.S. to work, there are still ways to legally hire and onboard these new employees to keep operations running smoothly.

A flexible hiring solution such as International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) allows companies to quickly employ any worker in over 185 countries around the globe. While International PEO is not a work visa, it does enable businesses to compliantly hire highly-skilled workers in foreign markets. With this solution, companies can then transition an employee off of International PEO and onto their internal teams once they can legally enter the U.S. Although the workers cannot legally move to the U.S. with International PEO, they are a legal, compliant employee of your firm for any amount of time. International PEO is particularly helpful in cases where workers were applying (or approved) for an H-1B visa or green card.

To receive an H1-B visa, employees must work at a graduate level in a specialty occupation that requires theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. With recent developments, potential employees that U.S. companies want to hire are now stuck outside of the country until at least January 2021, even if they were selected for the H-1B lottery and expected to start work in October 2020. Companies can use a hiring solution like International PEO to temporarily hire identified talent in a foreign market and have that employee work remotely until they can relocate to the U.S. Our experts can also work with companies to identify an alternative country where it is possible to secure a work permit.

Green card workers have permanent residence in the U.S.; however, current work visa holders may not be able to get visa extensions or green cards, meaning that foreign workers have to leave the country. International PEO helps companies keep these workers legally employed and allows them to work remotely in their home country or identifies another market where they can secure a work permit and compliantly work. 

Employ Workers Around the World Today

 Navigating U.S. visas and immigration policy is a long and complicated process, and it is frustrating when employment plans don’t work out the way you intended. However, you still have options to keep your hiring plans on track and employ foreign workers quickly and compliantly.

Our global expansion experts can help your firm navigate the complexities associated with ever-changing immigration laws. Talk to us today to learn more about how our International PEO solution can help.