17 Startling Facts about Global Employment and Foreign National Workers
As we mentioned in an earlier list of fascinating facts about I-9 compliance and immigration law, it’s a landscape that’s continually shifting – especially on the global front.
What are some of the data points one has to wrap one’s head around when considering the scope of global employment and the employment of foreign nationals in the U.S. or other job markets? Here are fifteen of them for you to take into account as you make your staffing plans, particularly in light of the potential implications of the 2020 the American elections.
- Foreign-born workers comprised 17.4% of the U.S. labor force in 2019.
- Foreign-born workers have experienced vast employment growth in high-skill occupations in the United States over the past 15 years. From 1995 – 2018, the share of foreign-born workers in jobs where fundamental skills (i.e. lawyers) are most important increased from 20% to 25%.
- In jobs requiring social skills (i.e. nurses), it increased from 26% in 1995 to 30% in 2018.
- In high-analytical-skill jobs (i.e. engineers), the share increased from 19% to 24% over that period.
- The H-1B visa program allows businesses to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations in the U.S. Today, 65,000 qualifying foreign workers may be issued a visa or given H-1B status annually, with an additional 20,000 under the H-1B advanced degree exemption.
- 74% of employers stated the ability to obtain visas in a timely, predictable, and flexible manner as critical to their business’s viability and success.
- In 2020, 34% of employers stated “a lack of transparency” as a top problem they faced in the immigration process.
- Before petitioning to file a H-1B, employers must first file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) Form 9035 with the Department of Labor in a timely manner.
- Employers often make avoidable mistakes with H-1B visa applications that can jeopardize their workers, result in penalties, and prevent future filings. Common mistakes include:
- Incorrect data like employee name, rate of pay, or work locations
- Inaccurate job descriptions
- Mismatched company FEIN or tax ID number
- Filing at the incorrect service center
- Failure to correctly pay H-1B filing fees also hurts employers:
- An H-1B petition requires a submission of three filing fees.
- Additional fees apply for employers with more than 50 or and a workforce of more than 50% H-1B, L-1, or L-1B status.
- Each fee must be paid separately, or employers can incur fines.
- The Department of Labor is boosting their H-1B visa audits.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has also expanded their H-1B compliance site visits and typically show up unannounced at the work location listed on the H-1B petition. Failure to properly maintain LCAs on site can result in penalties.
- Employers that need to relocate H-1B employees to a new worksite, due to the impact of COVID-19, may need to file a new LCA with the Department of Labor, plus an amended I-129 petition with USCIS.
- Employers must also update or file an entirely new LCA if an employee experiences significant change in wage or job duties. Mergers and acquisitions may also require the filing of brand new or amended LCAs.
- LCA and H-1B violations are expensive for companies, and can range from $1,000 to $35,000 per violation. In 2020, the maximum civil monetary penalty was raised to $54,921.
- An IT consulting company was fined $48,193 by the DOL’s Wage & Hour Division for H-1B Visa Program violations.
- Employers in violation of H-1B may also be banned from employing H-1B workers for one to three years.