What HR Managers Need To Know About The Immigration Strategy And Process

Developing and implementing a comprehensive immigration strategy is necessary for all HR managers in 2023. Read on to learn more.
What HR Managers Need To Know About The Immigration Strategy And Process
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Nowadays, when technology advancements meet progressive international trade agreements and practices, many opportunities arise for organizations willing to hire the world’s best talent and whose HR professionals are well-versed in U.S. immigration laws. 

After all, there’s no denying that recruiting international talent and good HR immigration practices can drive innovation, promote diversity, and lead to financial benefits for each organization. For that reason, today’s best, proficient HR immigration managers are not afraid to look for exceptional candidates from all over the world and try to help them migrate to the U.S. to help their organization grow further.

To get a better perspective of why HR immigration departments are now more serious about bringing international talent to their companies, let’s take a moment to contemplate the following fact. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 32% of all immigrant adults (12.6 million people) hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher. However, to get the big picture here, only 33% of U.S.-born adults have the same educational background, meaning that immigrants now make up a significant percentage of all individuals with higher education in the country.

HR manager talking to employees

As a result, today’s HR leaders continuously look for ways to bring in exceptional international candidates who aren’t readily available in the domestic U.S. labor pool. However, in this environment, discerning fact from fiction about corporate immigration is the initial step in creating a picture-perfect mobility program that stands out to foreign talent and delivers the best employee experience possible.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at everything HR managers need to know about the immigration process, from adhering to the relevant laws relating to immigration to eligibility verification, overseeing the sponsorship of work visas, and more. But let’s start from the very beginning and see why HR immigration departments need to develop a robust immigration strategy to recruit the best international talent.

How Organizations Can Benefit From Developing An Immigration Strategy 

As we already mentioned, filling a job position that demands a highly qualified individual is not easy in 2023. Yet, this is precisely why having a robust immigration strategy is essential for all domestic organizations striving to remain competitive.

Of course, nobody denies that the United States is massive and home to quite a lot of people, but with how things are going recently, chances are you won’t be able to find the right person for the job opening. First of all, depending on the job position, most HR managers are interested in finding an individual with a proven record of experience for that particular role.

HR managers having a conversation

For the sake of this article, let’s say that you’re the HR manager of a major wine producer from California. Besides producing your own range of wines, perhaps your company also imports and distributes award-winning wines from France. In all likelihood, your boss will probably want to hire someone who speaks French, excels at wine knowledge and the industry as a whole, has extensive experience working with French wineries, and is the right cultural fit for your company. 

With such job position openings, the stakes are always high—as bringing in the wrong candidate can destroy everything your company has worked for thus far and make all your clients and employees unhappy. That being said, you’re facing a rather challenging task as you may not be able to find a U.S.-born adult that can meet your company’s criteria and be put on your payroll, so the smart move here would be to hire a wine connoisseur directly from France. 

manager writing a memo on paper

This is precisely why organizations and HR immigration managers should work on developing their immigration strategies. For one, having a strong immigration strategy means having a solid framework in place that will allow you to manage your HR immigration recruitment practices consistently and in compliance with the laws.    

How HR Immigration Managers Can Create An Immigration Strategy On Behalf Of Their Organization 

Understanding The Different Type Of Immigration Visas 

Before the HR immigration manager starts working on the organization’s comprehensive immigration strategy, first, they need to be familiar with the different types of immigration visas in the U.S. immigration system. In that regard, there are two main types of visas for which a foreigner can apply to work in the United States: a temporary non-immigrant visa or a permanent immigrant workers’ visa.

The first type, or the temporary non-immigrant visa, works best for people who want to work in the U.S. for a fixed amount of time. Of course, there are several different sub-categories of non-immigrant visas, including: 

  • O visas—intended for people with extraordinary achievements or abilities; 
  • H-1B visas—intended for persons in a specialty occupation with a higher education degree or its equivalent; 
  • L visas—are intended for people willing to work at a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in an executive or managerial capacity or in a particular position that demands specialized knowledge.
passport of person traveling to many locations

On the other hand, permanent work visas are better suited for people who plan to stay in the U.S. and work for a U.S. employer. And just like with the above-mentioned non-immigrant visas, there are several different sub-categories of permanent work visas, including: 

  • Immigrant visa for priority workers; 
  • Immigrant visa for a person with exceptional abilities or advanced educational degrees; 
  • Immigrant visas intended for professionals and other workers; 
  • Immigrant visa for investors and employment creation;
  • Immigrant visa for certain special immigrants.

If you’re an HR immigration manager who’s just starting to develop a comprehensive immigration strategy on behalf of your company, all this may seem a bit scary and complicated at first, particularly if you don’t have much previous experience with immigration procedures. 

The good news here is that you can always ask the help of your legal department or an outside immigration lawyer to help you navigate through all the different types of visas and, as time goes on, handle all HR immigration cases on your own. 

Including Employment Eligibility Verification 

In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, all companies that want to bring in international employees to join their forces must help the federal government prevent unauthorized people from working in the United States through employment eligibility verification.

The employment eligibility verification process is very straightforward—all you need to do as an HR immigration manager is to include the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Form I-9 in your hiring procedures. The Form I-9 demands that potential immigrants and future employees verify that they’re legally permitted to work in the U.S. by submitting additional information and documents, such as a passport, translated birth certificate, and social security card, among other things.

Deciding Which Perks You Want To Offer To Future Employees

Next in line, as a professional HR immigration manager, you must stay aware of the fact that your prospective employees will most likely need to change an essential part of their life to immigrate to the U.S. and accommodate your organization’s needs. And if they happen to have a family, which in most cases of highly-educated individuals is quite frequent, the whole process can be very stressful for the participants.

Therefore, as the HR immigration professional in charge of the entire process, we encourage you to find ways and work with your company to compensate your future employees for all of that. For instance, you may opt to offer a temporary housing solution, cover their expenses for a visa or green card sponsorships, or cover their relocation expenses. 

In addition, don’t forget to craft an extensive onboarding plan and development training for your future employees and make them meet other company employees as soon as possible. This is particularly important for job candidates with no family or friends in the U.S., so they don’t feel alone and on their own from the first day they will arrive. 

person looking at arrival times at international airport

Conducting Periodical Audits Is A Must

Last but not least, once you’ve created your organization’s immigration strategy, it’s time for an audit. Regarding audits, we suggest you conduct both periodic internal and external audits. 

Any issues and problems regarding immigration regulations must be resolved promptly because noncompliance can result in harsh civil and sometimes even criminal penalties for the company. Likewise, as immigration laws, regulations, and practices continuously change, you might want to talk to an external auditor or immigration lawyer to ensure that you’re procedures are legit and in accordance with the ongoing laws.

HR managers having a discussion about their process

Technology Can Make The Immigration Process Easier 

Finally, keeping track of the numerous forms, work authorization dates, and other important information can be overwhelming for all parties involved. Fortunately, this is where technology enters the picture to help HR immigration managers simplify and streamline the process.

Docketwise is an all-in-one immigration legal HR software solution for lawyers and HR immigration managers. It allows HR departments and employees to store essential documents and new-hire information on a simple and efficient legal HR software immigration platform. This allows HR immigration managers and employees to easily access, review, and update essential documents from anywhere, thus improving the immigration experience for all parties concerned.

group of HR managers around a table having a meeting

Final Thoughts

In the end, we hope that this blog post helped you better understand the importance of including an immigration strategy in your HR department’s policies and helped you comprehend what you need in order to create a winning one.

Now that you know the “ins and outs” of the immigration process and just how tiresome the process could be for each HR professional, we advise you to consider getting the award-winning immigration case management software, Docketwise, to help your team in managing your company’s immigration casework. 

From client questionnaires in multiple languages to a library full of immigration forms and more, Docketwise can help your HR team stay current on all of your cases, communicate easily with your future employees, and successfully build and manage your company in the years to come 

If you want to learn more about our legal HR software solution, you can sign up for our Immigration Briefings newsletter to receive daily and weekly immigration updates or schedule a demo.

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Saja Raoof, Inc. Law Corporation
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Mohammed Ali Syed, Founder and Principal
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