Should we sponsor international hires for H-1B transfers and green cards? – TechCrunch

Here is another edit from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to spreading the knowledge that enables people around the world to overcome borders and pursue their dreams,” he says. Sophie alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether I work in personnel operations, are a founder, or are looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column. “

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Dear Sophie,

My startup is desperately recruiting and we see a lot of engineering candidates in H-1B. They are looking for H-1B transfers and green cards. What should we do?

– Baffled in the Bay Area

Dear bewildered,

Yes, you absolutely should sponsor international talent for green cards! Listen to my podcast in which I speak how to hire international professionals who are already in the United States transferring their H-1B visa and using green cards as a benefit to attract and retain them.

The severe shortage of tech talent currently in the US is driving professionals to negotiate better compensation packages, and companies are increasingly using green card sponsorship as a benefit to attract and retain international talent.

Green card sponsorship as a benefit

Businesses must offer green card sponsorship to remain competitive. In fact, Envoy Immigration Trends Report 2021 found that 74% of employers said they sponsored someone for permanent residence (a green card), which is the highest percentage in the six years that Envoy has asked this question in its annual survey. Rather than waiting until the last possible moment to sponsor an H-1B visa holder for a green card, 58% of employers say they are starting the process with the employee’s first year at the company on an H visa. -1 B. The majority of employers, 96%, said that finding international talent is important to their company’s talent acquisition strategy.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background featuring a TechCrunch logo.

Image credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie alcorn (Opens in a new window)

Sponsoring international talent for a green card is a way for companies to show that they invest in and prioritize their employees and that they are willing to make a long-term commitment to a potential employee. Employers can further distinguish themselves by offering to cover the costs of green card applications for a spouse and children, as well as a work permit application for a spouse.

Employers should also consider paying for an employee’s marriage-based green card as an external payer, particularly since marriage-based green cards take about a third of the time and a third of the investment compared to green cards based on in employment. Also, most marriage-based green cards are not subject to annual fees.

H-1B transfers are the most common right now

Because most U.S. embassies and consulates abroad remain closed for routine visa processing due to COVID-19, most employers are hiring international talent already in the United States with an H-1B sponsored by another employer. In these situations, an employer must request an H-1B transfer for the prospective employee. Take a look at a previous Dear Sophie Column for more details on the H-1B transfer process.

The questions employers ask me most frequently about the H-1B transfer process include:

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