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For HR professionals identifying viable non-US citizen candidates for hire in the US, investigating visa eligibility is mandatory prior to onboarding and the commencement of employment.
In navigating the complex and frustrating regulations and restrictions of US immigration law, everyone should remember a simple acronym: “COPE". The points listed below will assist any HR professional to cope with the difficulties of US immigration law when identifying personnel for employment in the US:
criminal and prior immigration history;
previous experience; and
Criminal and prior immigration history
A criminal history or prior visa denials, overstays or refusals of entry to the US are preliminary concerns in identifying viable transferees to the US.
Any prior criminal history may delay transfers or even result in outright inadmissibility. A simple arrest without a conviction may result in delayed processing of a visa, while documented admissions of criminal activity or convictions may have even greater repercussions.
While the law governing the implications of various criminal convictions is complex, HR professionals should be mindful that crimes against property, involving drugs or domestic violence often have serious repercussions for those attempting to secure a US visa.
Adverse US immigration history may also complicate and undermine a transfer to the country; prior visa denials or refusals of entry may result in the delayed processing or heightened scrutiny of a visa application. In addition, individuals who have failed to adhere to the terms of a previous visa may face delays and complications in pursuing a new visa. Finally, individuals who have remained in the