The Great Resignation has caused significant labor shortages in a lot of industries, and it looks like these shortages will continue for a while. This problem has hit the manufacturing industry particularly hard. The manufacturing industry was already facing labor shortages before the Great Resignation. But, there is a way manufacturing companies, as well as many others, can help lessen their labor shortages, and that is through legal immigration.
There are two categories of visas that can be used to obtain workers. These are immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Learn More
Within these two categories, there are also different visas for specific purposes. With all of these choices, employers have a lot of options for obtaining more of the labor they need, not all with the current system but more. We will explain some of the different types of immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
Immigrant visas are also called green cards, and those who obtain these can live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. There are five different employment-based categories that apply to green card holders: the EB-1 (extraordinary ability), EB-2 (advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (2-year experience in skilled jobs or unskilled), EB-4 (religious), and EB-5 (major investors).
The EB-3 unskilled visa is probably the most useful type of visa for manufacturers. With this visa, foreign nationals can perform jobs that require less than two years of experience or training on a full-time basis permanently.
There are two types of non-immigrant visas that could be particularly useful for manufacturers. One of these visas is the TN visa. This visa is for Canadian and Mexican professionals. It is given to Canadian and Mexican citizens in several different professions, such as computer systems analysts, technologists, and engineering technicians. Manufacturers may want to use these visas for filling some specialized jobs for technicians that require some training or education beyond high school but not a bachelor’s degree. The number of years a worker can work under this status is not limited, but the job needs to be temporary.
Another possible choice for manufacturers is the J-1 visa. This visa allows foreign nationals to engage in jobs or programs that support cultural exchange. People that participate in this program may be in various categories, but they are most applicable to manufacturing programs. Trainees and interns can use these visas. Interns are allowed to work in the United States for twelve months, and trainees can work in the United States for eighteen months.
It is not easy to obtain approval to hire foreign nationals to work in the United States. However, this could be an important source of labor for companies in the manufacturing industry. So, it is likely well worth the effort for many companies.
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