Is hiring foreign professionals possible in this political climate?

Options to hire foreign workers and comply with US immigration laws.

It’s well known that making diversity an important part of the recruiting process will broaden your talent pool of prospective employees. Diversity, including diversity of gender, religion, and ethnicity, has been shown to improve retention, improve performance and reduce the costs associated with employee turnover. So, you are ready to start an international program, but learned in the process that there is difficulty sponsoring an employee under an H-1B work visa. Are there any other options?

The H-1B visa is the most commonly known of U.S. visas as companies rely on it more than any other work visa to employ foreign workers in the U.S. The H-1B visa is available to employers who want to hire a professional foreign national worker with at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (or its equivalent in work experience) for a job which requires a degree in that field (also known as a specialty occupation) and the employer can demonstrate that it will be paying at least the prevailing wage to the foreign employee.

Since 2004, the H-1B cap has been reached before the end of the fiscal year, leaving employers with a “blackout period” when no H1B visas are available. So, getting creative with other work visas is important to get the talent needed.


Some options that are viable alternatives:

  1. H-1B visa positions not subject to the cap. Like institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations or government research organizations
  2. TN visa. Product of NAFTA, hiring professionals from Mexico and Canada, from a list of needed professions may be an option. There are no numerical caps for this type of work visa.
  3. E-3 Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia
  4. H-1B1 Free Trade Agreements signed with Chile and Singapore.
  5. STEM-OPT Employers can employ foreign students in the U.S. as part of their Optional or Curricular Training Program. STEM students can stay for an additional 17 months.
  6. L-1visa for intracompany transferees. To qualify for the L-1, a foreign worker must have been continuously employed abroad for at least one of the past three years
  7. J-1 trainee is eligible to work for a U.S. employer and be compensated for training purposes as long as the terms of the training program are approved through a J-1 program sponsor. Most J-1 visas can be approved for up to 18 months.
  8. H-3 nonimmigrant trainee visa is available for individuals who are coming temporarily to the U.S. for the purpose of receiving training in any field of endeavor.
  9. O-1 Visa category is for extraordinary people who are the “best” in their field.

As immigration attorneys, we find that hiring foreign nationals is not as complicated as our customers initially believe. With the right strategy, depending on the industry or positions themselves there are many options to expand the talent search for the ideal candidate for your company.

It is our job as an immigration law firm to help our customers navigate visa requirements and employment laws. Turning to a professional top immigration law firm that offers recruitment and their expertise to navigate employment laws and work visa requirements will help you fully understand your options. Our immigration consultants can help you find the right candidate for your team, resolve your labor bottleneck, and allow your company to become more profitable.

If you need more information to implement an international program contact us. You can call us and schedule a consultation with our immigration attorneys to talk about your specific needs. Phone (770)-422-4241 or

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Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, PLLC

The attorneys at Farmer, Farmer & Brown understand the value of a diversified workforce and are adept at navigating every facet of immigration law. Our team locates honest, accomplished workers to provide employers with exceptional talent from every corner of the globe.

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