Not many people outside of lawyers tend to have expertise in immigration law. Yet, if you own a business, there are some basics about immigration, you should know, particularly if your business employs people who are not U.S. citizens.
In fact, learning about immigration as a business owner may be one of the best things you can do to protect your business from liability.
This is especially true if you’re hiring someone who is a non-US citizen. Foreign nationals need to have a proper visa and work authorization to work in the United States legally.
Fortunately, there are many sources of information, from both government agencies and the private sector, on immigration for business owners. Following are just a few:
- The Society for Human Resources offers a wealth of news, resources, and self-paced courses on immigration basics for business owners, including on J-1 and H-1b visa sponsorship and how to comply with the U.S. government’s I-9 and e-verify requirements.
- The U.S. Department of Labor explains the process for hiring foreign workers, including the workers’ and the business owners’ responsibilities at different parts of the process. It also offers easy access to the right documents and forms, as well as to federal regulations that address immigration issues for business owners.
- I-9 Central is a subset of the DOL’s website offering a one-stop-shop for everything related to the Form 1-9, which employers must use to verify new workers’ employment eligibility.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission outlines how federal anti-discrimination laws apply to immigrants and how to make sure you’re in full compliance.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration, which supports small businesses in the country through loans and education, offers a wealth or resources for immigrant entrepreneurs, which can come in handy if you are an immigrant business owner.
- The National Skills Coalition supports businesses and individuals who are seeking to improve on their existing skill sets, both within an employment setting and beyond. Highlighting policies and immigration legislation that changes based on location, this is a resource that is readily available, and that can be used by entrepreneurs countrywide.
Perhaps your most valuable resource on immigration law for business owners is a law firm with experience helping business owners handle the ins and outs of employing immigrants or working in the United States as an immigrant entrepreneur.
For businesses from farm and agricultural operations to start-ups in the tech space, being able to use foreign workers can mean the difference between success and failure. And this doesn’t mean having an attorney on retainer.
Farmer Law PC provides free education around this issue via an immigration podcast, making learning about critical immigration issues for business an interesting and effortless experience. Past podcast episodes cover everything from the H-2A visa program to the COVID-19 Implications Act, helping you stay abreast of important developing immigration and general business issues.
Possessing knowledge on this topic is vital and can make a difference in the success of your business in the future.