There may come a point when you realize that you want to hire an employee who is not a citizen of the United States. Despite the fact that it will take some extra work on your behalf, it may be worth it if you’ll end up with the perfect person for the job.

Immigration to the United States is a complex and often time-consuming process. Not to mention the fact that any mistakes you or the prospective employee make will slow things down even further.

Here are some of the basic steps you can take to bring an employee to the United States:

  • Don’t waste time: With so much paperwork and so many potential challenges standing in your way, you want to give yourself as much time as possible. Don’t assume that it only takes a few days or weeks to complete the process. It can drag on for many months.
  • Learn more about the immigration system: There is more than one type of visa program, and it’s imperative that you choose the one that best suits you, your employee and their work arrangement. For example, you’ll want to compare the details of a J-1 Visa and H-1B Visa.
  • Let the employee know what you need: Just as there are a variety of steps for you to take, you need your employee to be on the same page. If they drag their feet, it wil slow things down. And when that happens, you may soon realize that it’s not worth your time to proceed. Make sure your employee is willing to work just as fast as you are.
  • Obtain certification from the United States Department of Labor: You want to do this as soon as possible, as it allows the Department of Labor to verify that admitting the employee will not harm working conditions or wages of current U.S. workers.

Even though these steps appear to be straightforward, things can and probably will take a few twists and turns along the way. Through proper preparation and knowledge of the immigration process, you increase the chance of preventing errors and smoothly moving from step to step.