Green Card Sponsorship as a Tool to Attract Talent

Last Updated on January 18, 2024

The benefits of a global workforce are irrefutable and using immigration-related perks like green card sponsorship can go a long way.

Finding and attracting top talent requires expanding the size of your organization’s talent pool, which may mean searching for employees beyond national borders. Companies that want to be and remain competitive globally must invest resources into hiring an international workforce, but those investments will ultimately pay off.

There are several measures organizations can take to attract and retain foreign talent. One of the biggest benefits a company can provide is green card sponsorship, which also includes paying for the often-expensive fees associated with obtaining a green card.

Having strategic internal immigration policies can help your company gain a competitive edge.

Shorten the Waiting Period for Green Card Sponsorship

Applying a rigid waiting period before your company will consider starting work on a green card could be detrimental to both the company’s and the employee’s best interest.

Since the labor market is tight and competitive for foreign talent, many companies are reducing the time they wait before starting the green card application. As the 2023 Immigration Trends Report shows, 43% of companies start the green card application process immediately upon hiring a foreign national employee, and 83% start the green card application process within a year of the foreign national employee’s start date.

It is critical, in many cases, to allow for a probationary period to give you the chance to assess the fit of a new employee before offering green card sponsorship, just as you would wait before activating other employee benefits. But large companies tend to offer immediate green card sponsorship as a signing bonus for joining the company, which is a big perk for the global worker.

A policy that allows for immediate green card sponsorship could be more attractive than a policy that requires employees to wait a year. Given the choice, a global employee in search of permanent residency might opt for the organization offering the latter.

Cover all Green Card Fees

Covering all immigration fees could be a significant factor in the recruitment process globally, giving your organization an advantage over others who only cover what’s legally required.

Given the high demand for foreign talent and competitive labor market, employers typically cover the expenses for their employees’ green cards. In 2023, 81% of companies covered all green card-related fees for their foreign talent. Besides covering green card-related fees for foreign national employees, 83% of companies also covered legal expenses and government fees for their dependents’ immigration cases.

An adaptive sponsorship policy could also increase employee loyalty, lower employee stress and increase productivity once a sponsored employee is hired. It’s simple: making immigration barriers as seamless as possible makes for happy employees.

In the case of termination, many companies have adopted a payback policy for green card expenses. In 2023, about 40% of employers included a contractual pay-back stipulation if the employee left within a certain period.

This retention strategy is designed to protect the organization and could help to attract dedicated workers. Often, a graduated payback policy is the best choice. For example, you could start with the employee covering the full cost of green card expenses if he or she terminates employment within six months of receiving permanent residency. And you could end with an employee covering 10% of the cost if he or she terminates employment within two years of receiving permanent residency.

Offer Other Immigration-Related Perks

Employers are starting to invest more and more in relevant perks for their global workforce, and it’s paying off.

Along with covering the cost of green card fees, employers are also offering immigration-related perk packages, since it is difficult to compete for talent without them.

Some of the most common perks organizations are offering include:

  • Dependent visa or green card applications for family members
  • Travel (free airfare to visit his or her home country, airfare for immediate family members’ travel)
  • Housing (temporary housing, corporate housing)
  • Immediate green card sponsorship
  • Transportation (car service, company car, rental car)
  • Cultural assimilation training
  • Overseas assignment opportunities

Additionally, employers are offering other perks to compensate for increasing USCIS premium processing fees, such as reducing immigration-related costs for their employees, hiring abroad, and transferring or relocating foreign talent.

For more information on employment-based green cards, watch our related webinar, and reach out to us to learn more about green card sponsorship!

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