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Hiring Foreign Nationals: For Commitment

Bridge Team Member

When talking about the benefits of onboarding foreign nationals, those benefits often get lost between undeniable downsides and the common perception that companies hire foreign nationals mainly because they have a certain leverage over them. Over the next few weeks, in a series we are calling The Benefits of Hiring Foreign Nationals, we will take a closer look at how hiring a foreign national can benefit your company, with a focus on Commitment, Independence and Maturity, as well as Youth.

Foreign Nationals Are Committed

When analyzing U.S. employers’ motivations to hire foreign national employees, a factor that is brought up very frequently is the foreign national’s involuntary inability to separate from their employer. After all, their legal status in the U.S. is dependent upon their work visa.

While this certainly is a motivation for some employers, it does not mean that it is for all, and it definitely does not mean that every employer hiring foreign nationals has bad intentions. In fact, an employee’s dependence on their work visa can give your company a lot of opportunity for improvement and commitment, as well as create a rewarding workplace for all employees.

Look at it this way: A foreign national (FN) worker starts a career within your company, maybe on an H-1B visa, an OPT work authorization, or an L-1 visa. While there are options for most FN employees to transfer employers while remaining on their current visa, the FN employee will most likely stay with your company for a while.

As discussed in an earlier article about Green Card policies, many FN employees ultimately seek an employer who have a policy and will sponsor an employment-based Green Card for them. In this case, a long-term commitment to the company is a given. For an FN employee, your company will not just be a stepping stone on their way somewhere else, or some entry-level job that pays the bills after graduating college while figuring out where to work next. Many FN employees have a legitimate interest in making your company a rewarding, future-oriented, and enjoyable workplace.

Another important thing to consider is that many FN employees are very vested in their career path. Especially when considering young college graduates with degrees from U.S. universities, employers should be mindful that, in many cases, an FN chose their major very carefully.

While it seems that more and more U.S. college students feel the need to have a degree, no matter the major or subject, most international students put a great deal of thought and time into choosing a program before they enter the U.S. to pursue their degree. Keep in mind that there usually is no financial aid for international students, no in-state tuition, and no option to live at home or work a part-time job to pay for tuition, fees, and books.

Most international students spend a large amount of money on their U.S. education –so, in many cases, it’s safe to assume that the career path that builds on their education is well thought out.

As an employer, hiring FN employees is a fantastic opportunity to build a committed and engaged workforce, which will also have a very positive impact on your non-FN employees. After all, diversity in the workplace is always a bonus.

In next week’s piece, we’ll take a closer look at how the process of moving to and living in the U.S. provides many FN employees with important tools to become a valuable part of your company.

Should you have any questions about how this impacts your business or employees, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at support@bridge.legal.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a Bridge-affiliated partner attorney or another qualified legal professional.

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