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What Should Your Company's Green Card Policy Look Like?

Bridge Team Member

Many companies that sponsor Green Cards for theirforeign national employees have a Green Card policy in place. Having astructured and competitive Green Card policy can determine whether or not aforeign national worker will be able to stay with your company on the longterm, but what is a competitive policy these days, and how can your company’sGreen Card policy stand out?

Be Transparent

No matter what your Green Card policy looks like,being open about the the details, costs, and timelines of a possible sponsorshipearly on in the process is always a good idea. As discussed in an earlier blogpost about using immigration policies and strategies to get ahead in thecurrent war for talent, a company’s Green Card policy is a major considerationfor a foreign national candidate when evaluating an employer.

While yourcompany may not even think about Green Card sponsorship early in the hiringprocess, a foreign national candidate will most likely already consider thebenefits of eventually obtaining an employment based Green Card before theyeven enter the U.S. on their nonimmigrant visa. Remember that many employeesmove their entire family to the U.S. along with them. Your company’sGreen Card policy will determine if an employee’s dependents will have a futurein the country as well, which will ultimately affect your employee’scareer choices. 

Keep Timelines in Mind

When establishing your company’s Green Card policy,one of the main factors to consider is when a foreign national employee will beeligible to start the process. You might want to start the process immediately,require the foreign national to have worked with the company in the U.S. for at least one year or more, or you might chose not to start theprocess until a specific number of years before a foreign national’s visa maxdate.

When considering eligibility, keep in mind your employee’s current visastatus as well as their country of birth, since this will have a significantimpact on the total length of the Green Card process. Being clear about the eligibilityfor Green Card sponsorship will keep you and your foreign national employee onthe same page when it comes to a long term career with your company.

Make it Clear Who Pays for What

Furthermore, you want to be very specific on who willcover the cost of the Green Card sponsorship. Will your company pay for theentire process? Will the employee be responsible for a part of the costs, suchas attorney fees or filing fees, or even all of them? Who will pay for theGreen Card applications for accompanying family members?

No matter who isresponsible for the costs, make sure to be very clear about the details beforeyou start the process and have all costs and financial responsibilitiesoutlined in the Permanent Residency Sponsorship Agreement between your companyand the foreign national employee. Always keep in mind that your company isresponsible for all costs related to the PERM process, regardless of who willpay for the I-140 and I-485 stages of the Green Card process. The decision onwho will be responsible for the costs can be a major factor in whether or not aforeign national employee is willing or able to go through the Green Cardprocess and stay with your company on the long term. 

While there are many different factors to considerwhen establishing your company’s Green Card policy, having a well-thought-outand employee-friendly policy can give your company a big advantage over othercompanies on the market. 

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.us.

Disclaimer: This content is not a form of legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for legal counsel. Bridge US encourages readers to discuss any and all immigration-related concerns with an attorney.

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