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The Non-Immigrant Visa Process Ten Steps HR Professionals Can Take To Ensure Successful US Work Assignments.

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Presentation on theme: "The Non-Immigrant Visa Process Ten Steps HR Professionals Can Take To Ensure Successful US Work Assignments."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Non-Immigrant Visa Process Ten Steps HR Professionals Can Take To Ensure Successful US Work Assignments

2 Overview Heightened security requires thorough preparation, organization and presentation.  Borders  Biometric tracking  Routine registration and fingerprinting for certain nationals  Service centers and consulates  more scrutiny Increased information sharing between US and Canadian officials

3 STEP 1 Ensure that the HR Department has Charge of the Immigration Process Establish an immigration process that makes HR the conduit for each business visit, assignment or relocation to the US.  Provide an overview;  Explain the basics  Find out if there is a spouse and/or children  Advise against (selling the house) until the US visa is in hand.

4 STEP 2 Provide the Employee with a Questionnaire  Request the information necessary to start the immigration process:  Assignment purpose; and  Assignment duration.  Questions and answers about issues that could affect the immigration process:  Criminality; and  Prior immigration refusals  Keep a copy of the Questionnaire.

5 STEP 3 Request Basic Supporting Documentation at the Onset of the Immigration Process Request the documentation so that you can:  Determine the type of status;  Estimate the processing time;  Avoid misunderstanding;  Verify the employee/recruit’s nationality, education and work experience;  Ensure that the supporting document is available.

6 STEP 4 Obtain Information from the Employee’s New Manager Managers are an important resource as they:  are familiar with the assignment requirements;  can provide valuable information about the position/employee fit; and  can make the difference in a marginal case.

7 STEP 5 Determining the Best Non-Immigrant Status ( Also known as The Who, What, When and How of Non-Immigrant Visas)  TN Trade NAFTA Professional  L-1A/L-1B Intra-Corporate Transfer  H-1B Specialty Occupation

8 TN Trade NAFTA Professional WHO Qualifies?  Canadian and Mexican professionals entering the U.S. on behalf of a Canadian or Mexican employer to fill a contract for services between a Canadian and U.S. company.  Canadian or Mexican professional either working a) for a US company in the US or b) for their Canadian or Mexican company in the US

9 TN Trade NAFTA Professional WHAT can they do?  Duties normally associated with one of the listed professional positions e.g..:  Accountants,  Computer Systems Analysts,  Graphic Designers,  Urban Planners,  Engineers

10 WHEN and HOW LONG?  Initial status is a maximum of 1 year.  Indefinite ability to renew.  Once employee or employer make any applications for permanent status, including filing a labour certification application, the TN status will not normally be renewed or extended. Change to another non- immigrant visa status is recommended. TN Trade NAFTA Professional

11 WHO Qualifies?  Those working as a manager, executive, or with specialized knowledge of the company’s products or services.  Those with a minimum of one year work experience with a qualifying related company outside of the U.S. L-1A/L-1B Intra-company transfer

12 WHAT can they do? Perform services normally associated with their position.  Executives-direct the management of the company, division, etc.  Managers-manage other managers, professionals, or a function  Those with Specialized Knowledge-perform duties relating to the specific area of expertise.

13 L-1A/L-1B Intra-company transfer WHEN and HOW LONG?  Upon initial entry, the employee is granted a maximum of 3 years.  Executives and Managers: Maximum of 7 years  Specialized Knowledge: Maximum of 5 years

14 H-1B Specialty Occupation WHO Qualifies?  Those working in a “specialty occupation” : an occupation requiring the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge which requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, for entry into the occupation.

15 H-1B Specialty Occupation WHAT can they do?  May work full or part time.  May be employed in more than one H-1B occupation and by more than one employer

16 H-1B Specialty Occupation WHEN and HOW LONG?  Initially up to 3 years, with an extension of up to 3 years available.  Maximum of 6 years for full-time employment, longer for part-time employment

17 STEP 6 Prepare and Review the Petition or Application An important procedural check and balance:  provide the employee and manager with drafts;  request, in writing, that they provide any needed corrections or additions;  keep a record of your request for employee and manager input and the responses; and  ensure that you are satisfied with everything in the package.

18 STEP 7 Prepare the Employee for his or her Interview with Immigration Officials  helps the employee gain an understanding of the questions that he or she may be asked;  reduces anxiety; and  increases the chances of success.

19 STEP 8 Caution the Employee Against Common Pitfalls  Pitfalls include:  Arriving at the airport or border at the last minute;  Assuming that the requirements applicable to a friend apply to the situation at hand;  Being unprepared for the interview; and  Antagonizing immigration officials.  When things go wrong…  Ask the employee to obtain the name of the reviewing officer, and  Remain calm.

20 STEP 9 Stress the Importance of Truth and Integrity through-out the Immigration process.  HR’s Role must be proactive:  communicate to everyone involved that compliance is not optional;  bring managers into the immigration process; and  stress the business rationale for compliance.

21 STEP 10 Post Non-Immigrant Process Follow up with the Employee.  A standardize follow-up protocol:  helps you gauge trends;  provides an opportunity to obtain final copies of immigration documentation for your file;  ensures that the employee/recruit is brought into the existing 1-9 program; and  makes it possible to monitor the need for extensions and renewals.

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