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What You Need to Know Before You Hire Someone From Another Country

A company’s greatest asset is its employees, and the individuals you hire can impact your organization. When numerous businesses recently added “remote workplace” to their checklist of employee benefits, they discovered the edge of developing their collections for top talent.

Giridhar Akkineni, CEO of AkkenCloud, stated, “Employing workers worldwide is an excellent way for small businesses to find highly skilled employees that can complement your workforce. They can bring fresh and additive ideas and feedback to the team and strengthen the company by diversifying your workforce’s experiences and perspectives. But to extend your business with foreign workers, you must observe precise methods before your recruiting strategy can hop abroad.”

Obtain Approval from The Department of Labor

You will first need the Department of Labor’s (DoL) approval to hire someone from a different country. The DoL aims to safeguard American citizens’ rights and work opportunities. Therefore, this means you will have to provide evidence that there need to be more qualified U.S. workers who can accomplish the job for the wage offered.

To accomplish this, you will need to:

  • Prove that there is a necessity to hire foreign workers
  • Show the job vacancy satisfies the specific requirements of the selected labor certification program
  • Complete and sign the appropriate forms
  • Confirm you can pay the candidate the presented wage
  • Mail the form and all attachments to the designated office

Start the Application Process Early

The hiring process for a candidate outside the United States can take months or years to fully complete, so start with forming a plan well before needing someone in the role. The hiring duration for an H-B1 professional can assume to be almost nine months. The best companies have planned out well, creating a multi-prong approach to meet business needs.

Additionally, you will have to plan what jobs the company will be recruiting. Often, these roles are positions for which you need help finding talent with the skills and capabilities required to succeed within the country. Therefore, this might mean sourcing domestic-based candidates before moving to international ones.

Begin the Hiring Process

Once you determine which roles to fill with international candidates, you must make plans with the recruitment team. Business immigration is not something companies can play by ear. You must create a solid interviewing plan, including how long the job will be open and where you will post the job.

Keep an Open Mind 

International resumes can look very different from than ones you see from domestic candidates. In some countries, applicants might commonly list their race or marital status on resumes. If there is specific information you want candidates to avoid including, put that in the job description. Additionally, it might be more common for people in other countries to have significant gaps in their resumes, so keep an open mind when reviewing applicants.

Jason Greer, labor relations expert and founder of Greer Consulting, shared, “Definitely keep

an open mind when you consider hiring international talent, but it is so important that

you have at least a rudimentary understanding of the employment and labor laws

specific to the countries of the people you are seeking to hire. Remember that what

applies in America, in terms of the law, may not apply to a worker from, say Thailand or


Conduct Interviews 

Once the recruiter has determined the best prospects for the position, the hiring manager can start interviews. If you are employing workers in their home country, consider utilizing Skype or Zoom to perform the discussion. Remember to be transparent about what time zone you are guiding when organizing meetings with international nominees. 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time is 8 p.m. in France. Be mindful of circumventing by accidentally scheduling a call for the candidate in the middle of the night.

Obtain Work Visas

If your prospect is already in the United States, it might be more straightforward to utilize an I-9 to verify their work authorization. Then compare it with the E-Verify federal database. However, if the candidate still requires to be in the country, you will have to sponsor a visa, which can take a significant amount of time.

The employer is responsible for obtaining work visas for their global employees. There are various procedures, depending on the visa you require, that will need to be completed. To sponsor an employee, the company will have to:

  • Apply for a Labor Condition Application;
  • Provide company statements and request the proper documents; and
  • File the visa petition on behalf of the foreign employee.

Remember, although the Department of Labor authorized your certification to hire foreign employees, you still must receive their work visas.

Follow All Tax Regulations

Foreign workers should apply for a social security number through the Social Security Administration. Once they maintain a social security number, they will provide your human resources department with the number. Foreign workers are subject to the exact payroll taxes as United States citizens.

Employees staying in their home country will require completing Form W-8 BEN. They must also finish a W-2 so that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials can cross-reference it with their I-9. If ICE discovers a disparity between the two forms, they will mail the company a no-match letter. It is critical not to fire an employee because of a no-match, as they could sue you for discrimination.