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H-1B visas: Considerations when hiring a foreign national  


The frazzled recruiter had been trying to fill a vacancy for months. No one seemed to have the right combination of education, experience, and expertise to do the job. Suddenly, the perfect resume comes across her desk. But after talking to the candidate, the recruiter finds out that the candidate needs a H-1B visa. What does this mean? How does it affect the employer? 

Hiring an employee who needs an H-1B visa is not difficult, but requires that the employer keep a few considerations in mind. 

The foreign national must be paid the same or more than other workers in the same job. The Department of Labor wants to make sure that U.S. employers are not exploiting foreign workers by paying them less than their American coworkers. 

The company must pay a $1000.00 scholarship fee as part of the H-1B application. Congress established this fee as a way to fund scholarships to encourage U.S. students to study the sciences. The company cannot seek reimbursement of this fee from the applicant.

The company will have to provide notice to its other employees of the salary that it is paying the H-1B applicant through posting a notice at the workplace or by giving it to a union representative.

The company will have to maintain a publicly accessible file that details how the applicantís salary was derived. The file will also record how public notice of the labor condition application was provided to other employees. The company will also need to update this file whenever the H-1B employee receives a change in his salary.

During the course of the H-1B foreign nationalís employment, if the H-1B employee transfers to a different work site, the employer may need to file a new H-1B application with the INS. This is to provide notice to the INS of a material change.

While the company has the right to terminate the H-1B foreign national in accordance with the employment laws of its state, the company will be responsible for paying for the foreign nationalís return flight home.




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