The current administration has made it easier for U.S. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) businesses to hire qualified graduates and students as exchange visitors. As a result, interested STEM businesses can become Host Organizations for J-1 Visa Exchange Visitors.
The White House released a statement emphasizing the importance of recruiting STEM talent for the nation’s health, security, and prosperity. Furthermore, attracting global talent has brought innovation to the United States, creating new industries and opportunities. As such, the current administration encourages U.S. businesses to acquire this talent.
The Early Career STEM Research Initiative allows businesses to host exchange visitors. In addition, the initiative promotes companies interested in recruiting foreign STEM graduates to participate in various temporary programs, like training and internships.
STEM employers looking to become a J-1 Host Organization should contact the Department of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ BridgeUSA. BridgeUSA looks at the available opportunities and arranges for the employer to connect with a suitable approved J sponsor. Many employers choose to become sponsors, including universities, business groups, and exchange visitor groups.
J sponsors do the recruiting and screening of the candidates that employers will host. The sponsor then issues the needed documents to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. consulate abroad once an employer or host has chosen the candidate they wish to host. STEM graduates can pay part of the costs, but the exchange is otherwise fully funded. Additionally, it is necessary to remember that some graduates may fall under the two-year home residency requirement.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) launched the Early Career STEM Research Initiative. The ECA launched this initiative to increase the number of talented individuals in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.
STEM businesses should consider this program as one option for obtaining the employees they need. Employers that host exchange visitors for employment must verify the visitor’s authorization to work. As such, they must complete the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) to verify this information. Completing Form I-9 for exchange visitors can prove confusing due to the documents they may present. The best way to complete the form correctly is by using an I-9 management system. This system will guide employers through the entire process and safely store the form for easy retrieval.
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