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May 15, 2024

The Impact of Immigration Policies on Businesses

In Arizona, one out of every eight residents was born outside the United States, and.

The Impact of Immigration Policies on Businesses

In Arizona, one out of every eight residents was born outside the United States, and one of every 12 U.S.-born Arizonans has at least one foreign-born parent. Even in an immigrant-friendly state like Arizona, it is hard not to worry when you see so much anti-immigrant rhetoric from politicians in the news. Will it become more difficult for employers to sponsor immigrants and their families with employment-based visas? Will the penalties become harsher for employers who do not do thorough background checks and unknowingly hire workers whose visas have expired or who have never had a visa status that enables them to work? 

Beyond these large questions related to immigration and employment, the details of immigration policies change each year, such as how many employment-based visas and investor visas the government is willing to issue and which countries are eligible for temporary protective status (TPS). For help avoiding and resolving legal problems for yourself and your employees, contact an Arizona immigration lawyer. Here’s how immigration policies can affect businesses.

Employers Pay the Price for Not Carefully Checking Job Applicants’ Employment Eligibility

National origin is a protected category, which means that it is against the law to discriminate against employees and job applicants because of their country of birth or ancestry. In fact, being President of the United States is the only job in the entire country that is only open to people born in the U.S. Some federal jobs require U.S. citizenship, but all other employers may only ask if a prospective employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. In other words, applicants may fit into any of the following categories and more, but they only answer “yes” on the employment eligibility question:

Newlyweds who entered the country with a fiancée visa and are in the process of adjustment of status

  • Spouses of H-1 visa holders
  • TPS beneficiaries
  • DACA recipients
  • U.S. permanent residents

When job applicants show you their proof of employment eligibility, you should verify that it is valid and genuine. Otherwise, you risk legal trouble for yourself and your employees.

Everyone Wins When Employers Offer Foreign-Born Employees a Path to Permanent Residency

Employment visas are highly sought after and are only getting more competitive each year.  Employees who enter the U.S. with employment visas provide valuable contributions to the workforce and to society. The U.S. offers two different types of employment visas, namely H-1 and L-1.  H-1 visas are for foreign workers who are newly hired by U.S. companies, while L-1 visas are for foreign employees of international companies who are being assigned to work at a U.S. branch of the company. Both employment visa categories enable the employee’s spouse and children to live in the U.S. while the employee’s visa is valid. L-1 visas are not a path to a green card, but H-1 visas are. It is worth the effort to recruit international employees for H-1 visas.

Investments From EB-5 Visa Holders Can Help Your Business Grow

EB-5 visas are investor visas, the U.S. equivalent of the “golden visas” so frequently discussed in aspirational web content. The investments are for pre-selected projects designed to stimulate economic productivity and the labor market in particular parts of the country. EB-5 visas enable the investors to extend their visa status to their spouses and minor children, and after a certain period of time, the investors and their families become eligible to adjust their status to permanent residency and, eventually, to apply for naturalization.

As for how EB-5 visas affect you as an employer, your business can participate directly in the business projects for which the government is issuing investor visas. Even if you do not, the increase in business activity that the projects provide can benefit your business indirectly.  Businesses can get tax incentives for creating a certain number of jobs, and by operating a business close to or related to a project that has received investments from EB-5 visa holders, you can share the prosperity. Unfortunately, EB-5 visas are one of the most unpredictable visa programs. Do not hold your breath waiting for an EB-5 investor-funded project to come to town, but do find ways to incorporate it into your business strategy when it does.

Sources

https://www.thedream.us/businesses/dreamers-with-work-authorization/

A Tempe immigration lawyer can help you sponsor the employment of foreign-born workers and keep up with changes to immigration policies.

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