The foreign worker program in the United States allows employers to hire non-American workers for a variety of skilled and unskilled positions. Most employers are familiar with the H-1 temporary work visa program; however, for skilled laborers, an immigration lawyer in Illinois can find a more permanent solution through the EB visa program.
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Temporary vs. Permanent
Labor condition applications, like those for H-1 visas, are meant for temporary workers who have no intention of moving to the United States. This may include migrant workers, seasonal or contract employment. The approval process is short, usually less than a week. To qualify, employers must prove the worker is being paid the prevailing wage, and no American workers are hurt by foreign employees.
A labor certification application is much more involved, because they offer a path to permanent residency or a Green Card. Skilled workers in this category may include programmers, lawyers, financial analysts, and other workers where the average employee must hold a degree. The application process can take up to two years, though an immigration lawyer in Illinois may be able to speed up the process. In addition to proving they meet the prevailing wage and do not harm American workers, the employer must prove no American worker is qualified for the position. To do so, they must meet a series of requirements.
The employer must advertise the job in the most circulated edition of the local paper (usually the Sunday edition), and advertise on pertinent job websites and professional journals. In most cases, the listing must last at least 30 days.
The employer must inform the state workforce agency of the vacancy, so the agency can post the position on the American Job Board.
The employer must keep a detailed record of all American applicants, categorized by the lawful reasons for the rejection of the application.
The employer must communicate with the state workforce agency to determine the prevailing wage for the area. The agency will provide the employer with the wage, a wage tracking number in most states, an OES code, skill level and expiration date for the information.
An immigration lawyer in Illinois is the best resource for determining if an employee should be hired under the labor condition or labor certification programs. Hiring an employee with the wrong visa can cost an employer dearly.