Robert Groban, Jr., Quoted in “NAFTA Good Source for Recruiting Foreign Employees”

Society for Human Resource Management Online

Robert S. Groban, Jr., Member of the Firm and National Chairperson of the firm’s Immigration Law Group (ILG), was quoted in Society for Human Resource Management Online, in “NAFTA Good Source for Recruiting Foreign Employees” (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Employers familiar with U.S. immigration laws are at a competitive advantage, according to Robert Groban Jr., chair of the National Immigration Practice Group at Epstein, Becker & Green in New York City. He told SHRM Online that this is especially true for health care providers, as the United States is expected to need an additional 1.6 million direct-care workers by 2020.

There are several strategies for recruiting foreign workers that health care employers might consider. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), for example, can be a key tool for U.S. employers to hire foreign health care workers from Canada and Mexico, he noted. …

Hospitals can make nurses H-1B-eligible by ramping up their requirements and requiring their nurses to have bachelor’s degrees, Groban remarked. These hospitals can further advance their ability to tap this resource if they are affiliated with institutions of higher education because they then should be exempt from the quota that otherwise might limit their ability to use this classification.

But H-1B eligibility only goes so far. Employers recruiting from universities often get students who are on F-1 visas, who then are eligible for an Optional Practical Training designation for an additional year. After they start working, they typically then inform the employer that their authorization expires in a year and that they need a sponsor for an H-1B visa to stay after that. “It may or may not work” with the current cap on H-1B visas set at 65,000. “Most likely the progression to H-1B is less than a 50 percent chance,” Groban said.