US Employers Facing Major Obstacles Hiring Foreign Nationals

VISANOW survey reveals strong demand, but immigration system making
it increasingly difficult to obtain talent beyond US borders

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Employers are placing substantial value on the role of foreign nationals
within their organizations — investing considerable time and money — but
are experiencing increasing difficulty navigating the current U.S.
immigration system. This is according to the VISANOW
Immigration Trends 2016 survey
, which reflects the insights of more
than 400 employers across the United States.

“The results of our survey indicate that it’s crucial for employers to
be able to hire and retain key foreign national employees,” said Dick
Burke, president and chief executive officer of VISANOW. “Seemingly,
employers are concerned that what they perceive to be an increasingly
difficult application process, citing an uptick in Requests for
Evidence, slow processing times and lack of transparency, is threatening
their ability to hire the highly skilled individuals they require to
achieve long-term success.”

The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll, finds that immigrants play
an important role in meeting the needs of employers. More than 40
percent say sourcing foreign nationals is very/extremely important to
their hiring strategy. More than one-third of employers say they expect
their company’s foreign national headcount to increase during the next
year. Only one in 10 expects a decrease. Seven in 10 employers cite
filling a skills gap as very/extremely important in the decision to hire
a foreign national, with global competitiveness a close second (65
percent). In addition, companies are apparently willing to invest in
candidates who best meet their demands for talent. A majority of
companies (63 percent) have sponsored a foreign national for a green
card and, of those, 31 percent start the green card process immediately.
Forty percent start the green card process when an employee has
completed one year of service. Housing is the most popular perk that
employers offer foreign national employees, followed by family
sponsorship and transportation.

Employers find it increasingly challenging to hire talented, highly
skilled people from other countries to work in the United States. A
majority of employers (63 percent) believe the current U.S. immigration
system is broken. Almost half of employers (46 percent) say their
company’s visa application process has become more difficult in the past
five years, citing most often that applying for a green card has become
more difficult. From the time a company identifies a candidate to that
employee’s first day of work, about 60 percent of employers say it can
take anywhere between two and seven months to onboard a new foreign
national. Requests for Evidence (RFEs) receives the most mentions (39
percent) for why employers think their company’s application process has
become more difficult. Nearly half (45 percent) of employers say their
RFEs have increased in the past five years.

Employers are divided on what will be most important for making the visa
application process easier for their company in the next five years.
Half of employers (49 percent) believe that in the next five years,
technology-powered platforms/services will be the most important source
for making the application process easier, followed by internal legal
team (40 percent), external law firm (35 percent) and desktop software
application (34 percent). Interestingly, Hillary Clinton (27 percent)
and Donald Trump (24 percent) are the top picks overall for best
presidential candidate to reform the current immigration system.
Employers believe that quicker processing times and increasing
transparency are very/extremely important to fixing the immigration

Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding or the ability to
choose more than one response.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of VISANOW among 412 HR professionals and hiring managers ages
21 and older (employed full-time) between Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 2015.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have
agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. Because the sample is
based on those who were invited to participate in the Harris Poll online
research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be
calculated. The data is weighted; a full methodology is available.


Founded in Chicago in 1998, VISANOW
is a global immigration services provider integrating the best of both
people and technology. The company offers a transparent and streamlined
way to navigate the tedious and confusing visa application process. Its
patented online platform provides fast response times, easy access to
case information and comprehensive customer support — helping customers
save time, money and stress. Since its inception, the company has
prepared cases for tens of thousands of individual and business visa
applications with a 95%+ VISANOW-retained attorney case approval rate.*

Website, technology platform and administrative services are provided
by, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Legal services are
provided by VISANOW-retained attorneys. *Approval is not guaranteed in
any given case; approval depends on the specific facts and legal
circumstances of each case. This excludes B-2 visas. Please visit
for more information.


Kristen Bugaris
T 312.922.2591