Hiring a foreign national for short-term employment

For many employers, reductions in the overall workforce or availability of skilled workers may be cause to look outside of the U.S. to find employees without full American citizenship. When this situation arises, it’s important that both the employer and the potential employee are aware of what steps must be taken to ensure that the process is legally documented. Though this may seem daunting, there are a number of pivotal points to be aware of and basic resources to utilize to ensure that the hiring is carried out correctly. Take a look at these guiding principles to follow when hiring a foreign national for short-term employment.

Employing a foreign national abroad
One of the most common ways that employers enlist the service of foreign nationals is by seeking out employees who can work for them in their home country. This remote work can save both the employer and employee travel costs as well as expand the reach of certain businesses. If you are involved in this sort of hiring, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that you must file form I-129, also known as “Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker.” This form allows you to enlist services benefiting an American business from an individual without U.S. residence for a set period of time.

Employing a foreign national in the U.S.
For many companies, employing an individual who lives abroad won’t interface well with the nature of their work. With that said, hiring a foreign national who is already located within the U.S. is also a common option. In order to do this, you’ll need to determine the nonimmigrant status the individual already has and change it to match the needs of your business. Determining and altering this designation requires numerous steps carried out with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you know you or your potential employee’s nonimmigrant status, you can read more about this here.

Special circumstances and abilities
If the nature of your work requires an incredibly specifically skilled or knowledgeable individual, you may be able to gain O-1 status for your employee. According to Wayne State, O-1 status designates a person of “extraordinary ability,” and is used in the hiring of professors and other highly skilled positions.