Finding Qualified Workers for Businesses

Posted on May 01, 2007 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

How Do Business Owners Find Qualified Workers if the US Government Strengthens the Arrest of Illegal Immigrants?


In the previous article, we have compared the advantages and disadvantages of H-2B visa with other employment-based immigration visas.  After the article, many readers inquired about what types of business could use the H-2B visa to bring qualified foreign workers to the United States.

Mr. Choi asked:

I have a construction business in the United States.  With more and more Koreans moving to the south, especially to the area around Atlanta, my business has been growing very quickly in the past several years.  So, I now plan to open several new branches to cope with the booming business, but I have big difficulties in finding good construction workers, especially the qualified workers with legal status.  In construction business, a lot of the workers are illegal immigrants.  In the past, this was not a problem because the U.S. government seldom enforced the immigration law in work places.

Nevertheless, since the beginning of late 2006, the U.S. government has begun to enforce the immigration law in work places very vigorously.  Not only many illegal immigrants have been arrested, but some of the companies and company owners have been indicated with the crime of tax invasion and money laundry even.  Many business owners in construction business are terrified by this.  Right now, we not only have to worry about the operation of our businesses, but we also need to deal with serious legal consequences.  As a result, someone suggested me that I could bring some foreign workers through the Labor Certification process (PERM).  I understand that the Labor Certification process typically takes years before the foreign workers could come to the United States.  I would like to know if my company could use H-2B visas to bring some foreign workers into the U.S. sooner, so I could take the advantage of the business opportunity.  What types of business may be qualified for the H-2B visa?


The difficulty Mr. Choi is faced with is actually the common problem faced by most of employers in labor-intensive industries due to a serious shortage of skilled or non-skilled workers in the United States.  As a result, a lot of the companies in those industries have been forced to hire illegal immigrants to maintain their businesses. Since the U.S. government has stepped up to arrest the illegal aliens in the work places and to punish the companies that hire illegal alien workers, these companies have been put into very dangerous situations.  Thus, they are eagerly looking for ways to legally bring qualified foreign workers into the U.S.

Currently, there are two ways to legally bring foreign workers into the United States in general: One is the Labor Certification process, and the other is the H-2B visa process.  For most of employers who urgently need workers, H-2B visa seems to be the only option

The H-2B visa program is designed to allow employers to bring non-agricultural alien workers to work in the United States on temporary basis.  Specifically, employers would need to prove the temporary nature of the job, that the temporary needs is for less than one year, and that there are no qualified American workers available to take the job offer.  In general, due to the obvious shortage of labor in construction industries, these requirements are relatively easy to meet.  Other than construction industries, companies in hotel, fishing, and landscaping industries also seem to have a great demand of temporary workers.  By utilizing the H-2B visa program, companies in these industries may be able to get the workers they want to take the projects without violating the U.S. immigration law.

In closing, for most labor-intensive non-agricultural businesses in the United States, such as food-processing, hotel, construction, healthcare, landscaping, logging, manufacturing and etc., the H-2B visa program is the program which no companies can afford to ignore.  To deal with the serious labor shortage problem in the U.S while the government is enforcing the immigration law more strictly, the H-2B visa program may play a very significant role for the employers in those industries and help them to stay out of trouble in dealing with illegal immigrant issues.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.