3 things to know before hiring foreign workers

f your business is part of a very specialized industry, you may have to look outside the U.S. for skilled workers. This can be both a boon and present several difficulties. On one hand, opening the applicant pool up to hiring foreign workers drastically increases the likelihood of finding the right person for the job. On the other hand, it also means having to work through a lot of red tape. But if the job absolutely needs a highly skilled worker, going through the extra work is worth it for a better end result.

Here are some key pieces of information to know before hiring foreign workers:

1. Work authorization
Everyone who works in the U.S. needs proper authorization to do so. For U.S. citizens, that simply means being able to confirm citizenship. According to NOLO, there are three other forms of authorization. They are, noncitizen nationals, lawful permanent residents and aliens authorized to work. If a person doesn’t have one of these authorizations, they aren’t allowed to work in the U.S. However, if you’re in need of someone with very specialized skills, and you can prove that very few people have those skills in your area, you may be able to help a foreign worker gain their authorization. In some cases, you may be able to get someone nonimmigrant status, which would allow them to work temporarily for your business. This can be a great first step to securing a green card.