Council for Global Immigration quoted in article – “DHS Launches Pilot Program to Streamline Hiring of Foreign Talent”

3/10/2016

SHRM, 03/10/2016 –

"Employers that regularly hire foreign workers are one step closer to the realization of a processing efficiency program…

"…The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced March 4 that it's moving forward with testing a program to pre-approve employers that frequently hire foreign workers, saving time and paperwork for both the employers and the government.

"Dubbed 'Known Employer,' the program draws on ideas long advocated by the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) and the Society for Human Resource Management.

"CFGI Executive Director Lynn Shotwell first testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the subject in May 1999. 'It had a different name then but the concept is still the same, 17 years later,' she said. 'Essentially when an employer files a petition, there's certain information they file over and over again. And it would save resources for both the employer and the government if some of that basic information was preapproved upfront.'

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)…explained that by modifying the process used to review an employer's eligibility to sponsor workers under certain employment-based classifications, the program is expected to reduce processing paperwork, costs and delays and promote consistency in the adjudication of petitions and applications.

"This is a welcome development for corporate immigration and mobility professionals like Denise Rahmani, director of U.S. immigration for Oracle. 'This represents a more practical and streamlined approach for submitting employer support documentation with certain petitions,' she said. 'Employers and employees will benefit from the efficiencies of the program, including cost and time savings.'

"Rahmani said she hopes a formal program for widespread use among employers will be implemented as a result of the pilot.

"…Under the Known Employer pilot, up to nine preselected employers will electronically submit documents relating to the company's corporate structure, operations and financial health just once, to be stored by the agency.

"…USCIS officers will review and predetermine whether a prospective employer has met certain requirements relating to the visa classifications, and if the agency approves the employer's predetermination request, the employer may then file petitions or applications for individual employees without needing to resubmit company information with each petition or application.

"Employers will still have to explain why they need to hire the worker and provide details about the job for each petition, but they wouldn't have to start over again each time.

"…Participating in the pilot program will not incur any additional fees and the pilot is scheduled to last for one year…If it's a success, DHS plans to expand the program to all eligible employers after completion of the pilot."

To read the full article, click here. ​