CFGI Mentioned – “Tips for Managing Green Card Sponsorship Policies”


“An organization's employment green card policy is a top consideration for foreign national candidates considering their career choices.

“Many companies that sponsor green cards for their foreign national employees…have green card policies they can use as a recruitment tool.

“Other companies are rethinking whether they will sponsor workers for permanent residence, considering the current challenges they face in getting temporary worker visas and extensions approved, said William Coffman, special counsel in the Boston office of law firm Mintz Levin. ‘Maybe they're doing it sooner, or developing policies if they don't have them, or changing policies,’ he told attendees of the recent Council for Global Immigration 2018 Symposium.

“Zarina Godhrawala, manager of global mobility and immigration at Deloitte, explained that her firm has put a lot of work into its green card policy to attract and retain talent. But she added that her team can diverge from the policy and follow additional guidelines depending on business needs.

“…Global biotechnology firm Qiagen does not have a published green card policy but instead follows an internal standard operating procedure, said Derry Velardi, associate director of HR for the company.

“‘You have to have a framework for consistency, but in this climate, you also must be agile, because the law's changing every week,’ said Derek Quashie, a senior manager in the immigration practice at PwC Law, in Toronto.

“Whether a company has an official policy or not, employers will want to be clear about several key areas of the sponsorship process—requirements, costs and repayment agreements.

“…One of the first factors to consider is employee eligibility. The green card process can be started immediately upon hire or based on a certain tenure. 

“…Factors to consider include the employee's current visa status as well as the country of birth, which will significantly impact the length of the process. Depending on the visa category, foreign nationals from India can be stuck in the green card backlog for decades.

“…Employers also need to decide who will pay for the process beyond what is required of the sponsoring organization. This can be a major factor in whether the worker is willing to go through the green card process. 

“Employers can pay for the entire process or ask employees to cover the costs of the visa petition and adjustment-of-status portions of the process, including filing fees, medical tests and green card applications for dependents.

“‘The company is responsible for all costs related to the labor-certification part of the process with the Department of Labor (DOL),’ Coffman said. ‘The DOL takes this very seriously and has punished companies for noncompliance.’

“…Some employers require employees in the green card process to stay with the company for a certain period of time or repay the costs that can be legally borne by the employee if they leave before the end of that period.”

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