When you think of immigration, you may automatically think about families moving to America for refuge or opportunity, or about individuals joining their families who are already here. Much of media coverage focuses on these aspects of immigration.

However, one of the most common reasons why foreigners want to move to the U.S. is for employment. Therefore, immigration becomes a concern for businesses as well. As a small-business owner, it is important to be aware of the various immigration needs your company may face.

  • Hiring: Depending on the industry you are in, you may need to look outside American borders to find employees with the right talent, experience and skills. They can be short- or long-term members of your team.
  • Training: You may not be able to hire the experts you want, but you may be able to bring them in to enhance the training of your professionals. Exchanging ideas globally brings new solutions and perspectives.
  • Doing international business: Sending representatives around the globe to make sales and contracts with other companies can strengthen your position in the field.
  • Expanding globally: Do you want to expand your business internationally? Opening a new location in another country may require the temporary or permanent emigration of current staff.

Each of the above situations requires a specific type of visa in the United States. Even certain professions have visa assignments, meaning that a performer would need different documentation than an investor. Also, the visa foreigners need to work here are different than the ones U.S. citizens need to work abroad. Likewise, the pathway to full citizenship also depends on the countries involved.

All of this may seem overwhelming, but do not let that prevent you from enjoying the numerous benefits of making your company international in one of these ways.