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Employer Practices to Follow While Hiring Green Card holders

Best Employer Practices to Follow While Hiring Green Card Holders

When looking for a specialist, it may happen that there is a dearth of US workers specializing in the skills you are looking for. In this case, it is essential for you, as an employer, to maintain your work standards by incorporating a foreign worker or international student with the needed skills. The U.S regulations also allow you for hiring green card holders and other such immigrants.

Here, ‘Immigrant’ is used to denote two categories of people, the ones who are living in the USA but are not US citizens while the other is the ones who live outside the US and are seeking work in the US.

The employees whom you hire must be ‘productive’ workers from which your firm gains proper value addition and not some random people taking the wrong benefits of immigration. Be aware of all the legalities while hiring foreign workers.

As the employer, you must also follow certain practices when it comes to hiring green card holders. These practices help in motivating, bonding, and bringing forth a tight-knit work community in your firm.

Best employer practices to put to use, in concern about hiring green card holders:

Verifying your prospective employee

As compared to a US national, hiring a foreign worker has quite some legal procedures. The hiring itself might take 9 to 12 months especially if the employee has no visa. Keeping this in mind, the employer must keep a proper time gap while hiring international workers.

Do not assume that only US citizens have work authorization and other categories of people are not allowed to work. Thoroughly verify a person’s work authorization.

The importance of knowing about the work authorization of the foreign workers, as previously said, is to prevent illegal immigration. The ones who are authorized to work in the US are categorized as follows:

  • S. citizens
  • noncitizen nationals
  • lawful permanent residents, or
  • aliens authorized to work.

A proper verification process is undertaken in the form of form I-9 which speaks about the documents needed for the verification. It is to be noted here that the employee selects the documents to be presented for the verification process as per their choice. The employer does not have a say in that. All the rules and regulations adhering to verification and I-9 form fill up are given in the employer’s handbook.

Maintain a discrimination-free recruitment process

While both US citizens, as well as non-US citizens, might be working at your workplace, it is imperative to know that there is no distinguishment between them. Don’t practice anything which tends to bias people.

Right from advertising their job position and in their further procedures, the employer must not have a discriminating approach in their recruitment process. No words which tend to bias must be used in the job posting. This bias can be on the basis of visa status, nationality, and likewise. Unless there is a legal requirement for the job to specify citizenship status, the posting must be kept well defined and discrimination-free.

The employer, in no way, is to use any practices differing from the lawful way of verifying the employee and their work authorization. The employer must not ask for any specif documents, require more or different documents, or reject valid employment eligibility documents because of a person’s citizenship status or national origin.

In the I-9 form itself there is an “Anti-Discrimination Notice,” specifically mentioned to prevent the employer from picking up the documents for work authorization verification. This is not acceptable even if it is done from a point of view of document expiry.

Even during the working, the employers must see to it that they don’t create unnecessary issues for employees who haven’t yet have their Social Securit Number (SSN) issued.

Practice policies at work that bring harmony between the workforce coming from different avenues.

READ: All About EAD Work Permit For Green Card Holders

READ: How to Hire a Foreign Employee in USA?

What is to be done if your employee has no work authorization?

There is a possibility that the prospective employee you want to hire has no work permit, in this case, you may help them. This is based on the job requirement, the more important the job position is, the skill level of the worker, the qualification of the worker, the amount of investment in terms of time, effort, and money you want to put in, you can sponsor a candidate for a green card.

As an alternative, you may apply for a ‘nonimmigrant’ status for your employee and gain work authorization. After they start working, they can proceed to apply for a change of status from temporary to permanent.


This gives an insight into some of the practices that employers need to practice especially while hiring green card holders. These practices can bring you a long way and ease many troubles in your recruitment drive. Make sure that your recruits are well authorized to perform work. In case of no work authorization, help out them, and maintain a good practice of clearing off the proper documentation.

Neil Thomas

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