Last week, I talked about why companies should hire international candidates. This week, I will explain how companies can hire international candidates.
Companies can hire international candidates with the right paperwork and this is not as costly as the employers think. The biggest amount is the fee that you pay to an immigration attorney to fill out the paperwork and the rest is a small amount that you pay to the government. You need to negotiate the attorney’s fee to cut your costs.
Now, let’s look at the most common work visa, H-1B, for hiring international candidates. H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreigners to work for a temporary amount of time in the United States. The employee cannot apply for H-1B visa himself. The employer should apply for him. The reason for this is that the H-1B visa is tied to the sponsoring employer as well as the job roles and responsibilities. Also, H-1B jobs usually require a bachelor’s degree or higher, so the employee should have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. This degree may have been completed in the US or in another country.
An H-1B visa is valid for three years, but it can be extended an additional three years, meaning that an international employee can work for six years under an H-1B visa. The H-1B fiscal year starts on October 1, and the application period for that fiscal year starts on April 1. For example, if you want your employee’s H-1B visa to start on October 1, then it is recommended to file the application by April 1. The reason for this is that there is a quota on the number of H-1B visas that can be issued per year. If it is filed later, for example, in August, then your employee may not be able to get the H-1B visa for October 1, because all of the visas may already have been issued.
There are only 65,000 H-1B visas available to foreign nationals per year. In addition to this, there are 20,000 H-1B visas available to foreign nationals holding a master’s degree or higher. If your international employee only holds a bachelor’s degree, then he is subject to the 65,000 visa quota. If he holds a master’s degree or higher, his application is filed under the 20,000 visas available for foreign nationals holding higher degrees. If all of the visas under this category are filled up, then he can also get an H-1B visa under the other category that has 65,000 visas available. This means that if he holds an advanced degree, he has more chances of being issued an H-1B visa. However, if he is working for a university or a nonprofit research institution, then he is not subject to any visa limitation. Therefore, the employer can apply for an H-1B visa for him anytime.