The US is trying to cut out some of the worst red tape for companies hiring foreign workers

A quicker way in for businesses.
A quicker way in for businesses.
Image: Reuters/Keith Bedford
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The US Department of Homeland Security is testing a program to pre-approve employers that repeatedly hire foreign workers. Like the TSA Pre-Check system, which speeds frequent fliers through airport security, the goal is to save time and paperwork.

Under the current system, employers must provide material about their corporate structure and financial health every time they want to secure a visa to hire a worker. In what sounds like a rare admission of unnecessary bureaucracy, the US Immigration and Citizenship Services, which administers the program, explains:

Generally, employers must submit the same information about their organization with each petition or application filed with USCIS. Because each petition or application must stand on its own merits, USCIS officers often issue a Request for Evidence for the same documents that the employer has already submitted in connection with another petition or application.

The pilot program will allow employers to submit their details once, and they’ll be stored by the agency. Companies will still have to explain why they need to hire the foreigner each time, and provide details about the job, but they won’t have to start from scratch with every individual application. The policy will apply regardless of the worker’s country of origin.

The pilot, which will last a year, can include up to nine companies. So far, five have signed up:

  • Citigroup, Inc.
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Kiewit Corporation
  • Schaeffler Group USA, Inc.
  • Siemens Corporation