Hospitality and Immigration


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GHospitality and Immigration Law Seminar

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Hospitality and Immigration

  1. 2. <ul><li>WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION </li></ul>
  2. 3. Industry Highlights <ul><li>The Hospitality Industry is facing a serious labor shortage, and it is being felt in every major city across the Unites States. These positions cannot be automated or outsourced. </li></ul><ul><li>The restaurant and food service industry employs 13 million people with annual restaurant sales reaching more than half a trillion dollars. </li></ul><ul><li>The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 16.4% growth rate in hospitality jobs requiring close to 500,000 additional employees reaching over 2.1 million by 2014. The restaurant and food service workforce is expected to grow 15% or approximately 2 million jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>1.6 million restaurant employees are immigrants and other foreign- born individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Immigrant worker population in entry-level positions at US hotels and restaurants is 80 percent. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Industry Highlights <ul><li>The number of available jobs in the Industry is projected to increase, yet the labor force ready to fill the jobs is projected to decrease. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees are going to be hopping from one job to another and from one industry to another as never before. They will not be as efficient and effective as their predecessors were. </li></ul><ul><li>Our workforce is an aging one. Many jobs are labor intensive and physically demanding. Many of these jobs are not appealing to American workers. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Immigration, legal or otherwise, has a huge impact on the Hospitality industry. In order to succeed in the current market, HR professionals and other industry leaders need to understand and keep up with current immigration developments. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Immigration is not the only answer, but it is a critical one for the hospitality industry” - Ms. Carol Rossi, CHRE, Director of Human Resources, Harrisburg Hotel Corporation. Testimony before the US Senate Committee on Immigration Reform </li></ul>
  5. 6. Basic Considerations <ul><li>Why should you hire foreign workers? </li></ul><ul><li>How to hire and recruit foreign talent? </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying Immigration issues prior to hire </li></ul><ul><li>Company Policies and Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Cases and Costs </li></ul>
  6. 7. Identifying Immigration issues prior to hire <ul><li>What is the best visa option? </li></ul><ul><li>What can an employer ask? – Be consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Can employers refuse to sponsor for visas? </li></ul>
  7. 8. Hotel Policies and Practices <ul><li>Options for companies in sponsoring foreign workers – many visas to choose from </li></ul><ul><li>Options in paying for costs and services </li></ul><ul><li>Recovery of company expenses </li></ul><ul><li>Managing cases and costs </li></ul><ul><li>Items for hiring managers and HR personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Internal filing system and tracking deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Company involvement – create in house immigration policy assign staff </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Temporary Visa options for Chefs, Cooks and other Hospitality workers </li></ul>
  9. 10. H2-B Visa for temporary and seasonal employees – “The Hospitality Visa” <ul><li>The H-2B visa category fills employers’ needs for seasonal or other short term employment that cannot be filled by available U.S. workers. Cooks, certain chefs, housekeeping staff, waiters can all qualify under this category. The employment must be temporary and arise in one of three categories: </li></ul>
  10. 11. H2-B Visa for temporary and seasonal employees (cont’d) <ul><li>One-time occurrences : It must be established that the U.S. employer has not employed workers to perform the services or labor in the past and will not need the workers to perform the services or labor in the future; </li></ul><ul><li>Recurring seasonal jobs: It must be established that the services or labor is traditionally tied to a season of the year by an event or pattern and is of a recurring nature (i.e. ski instructor); </li></ul><ul><li>Peakload need: It must be established that the U.S. employer regularly employs permanent workers to perform the services or labor at the place of employment, that it needs to supplement its permanent staff due to a seasonal or short-term demand. </li></ul>
  11. 12. H2-B Visa for temporary and seasonal employees (cont’d) <ul><li>Validity Period </li></ul><ul><li>H2B Cap </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workers Subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workers not subject </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Application process </li></ul><ul><li>Time line and key dates to remember – Employers must plan ahead </li></ul>
  12. 13. J1 Trainees: Overview <ul><li>Summer Work and Travel </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Trainees </li></ul>
  13. 14. J1 Trainees: Overview (cont’d) <ul><li>Upcoming Changes to the J1 Program: </li></ul><ul><li>All J-1 Intern and Trainee applicants would be required to score a minimum of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), score required for admission by U.S. graduate schools. </li></ul><ul><li>This would eliminate those individuals who, while not in command of perfect grammar, do possess the oral and communication skills necessary for practical training. </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange Visitor Program sponsors would be required to interview each applicant personally in his or her home country, and to perform a site visit to every participant's host company. This proposal would result in program fees increasing by a minimum of $450.00 per participant. </li></ul><ul><li>The existing &quot;Trainee&quot; category would be overhauled. </li></ul><ul><li>An &quot;Intern&quot; category for recent graduates would be added to the agency J-1 designation, and the &quot;Trainee&quot; category itself would be redefined to include only individuals with three years of professional experience in their respective fields. </li></ul>
  14. 15. H3 Trainees <ul><li>Training not available in home country </li></ul><ul><li>Only incidental productive employment allowed </li></ul><ul><li>Not in position of regular employment </li></ul><ul><li>Syllabus/Itinerary required </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom training </li></ul>
  15. 16. H-1B Visas for management level Chefs and management employees <ul><li>Specialty Occupation - Hotel General Managers, Accountants, Systems Analysts, Food Service Managers are common specialty occupations </li></ul><ul><li>Validity period </li></ul><ul><li>H1-B Cap </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cases subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cases not subject </li></ul></ul><ul><li>H1-B Portability </li></ul><ul><li>Dual Intent </li></ul><ul><li>H1B1 Singapore and Chile – Success with Chef cases!! </li></ul>
  16. 17. TN Visas for Hotel Managers – My favorite!! <ul><li>65 professional Classifications </li></ul><ul><li>Validity period </li></ul><ul><li>Canadians – File at the Border </li></ul><ul><li>Mexicans – File at US Embassy or Consulate </li></ul><ul><li>No “Dual Intent” </li></ul>
  17. 18. O-1s for outstanding chefs and distinguished managers <ul><li>Work visa available to those foreign nationals who have &quot;extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Sustained national or international acclaim </li></ul><ul><li>Validity Period </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible with the Arts – Chefs qualify </li></ul>
  18. 19. L-1 – Intra-company Transfer Visas <ul><li>L1A Managers and Executives of companies, Hotels with foreign subsidiary or affiliate </li></ul><ul><li>L1B Specialized Knowledge employees </li></ul><ul><li>Validity period </li></ul><ul><li>Canadians can file at the border </li></ul><ul><li>L2 are work authorized </li></ul>
  19. 20. E-2 visas for owners, executives, managers and specialized employees of foreign-owned hotels and restaurants <ul><li>Treaty must exist </li></ul><ul><li>Nationality of the Company </li></ul><ul><li>Validity </li></ul><ul><li>Substantial active investment </li></ul><ul><li>Restaurant owners, executives, supervisors can qualify </li></ul><ul><li>Spouse work authorized </li></ul>
  20. 21. Temporary work visas – Miscellaneous <ul><li>Premium Processing </li></ul><ul><li>Consular Notification </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of Status </li></ul><ul><li>Change of Status </li></ul><ul><li>Amended Petition </li></ul>
  21. 22. Permanent Residency (Green Card) options for Chefs, Cooks and other Hospitality workers <ul><li>How can a Foreign National Obtain Permanent Residency? </li></ul><ul><li>3 steps </li></ul><ul><li>1. Labor Certification – PERM </li></ul><ul><li>2. I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker </li></ul><ul><li>3. I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status </li></ul>
  22. 23. Employer Sanctions <ul><li>Civil Penalties </li></ul><ul><li>Employing unauthorized workers </li></ul><ul><li>Paperwork Violations </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Penalties </li></ul><ul><li>Swift & Co case – 1282 illegal workers hired </li></ul><ul><li>SSA No match Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Future developments – increased enforcement </li></ul>
  23. 24. Employer Protection – Audit <ul><li>Conduct periodic internal audits </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a clear Immigration policy </li></ul><ul><li>Government Audits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Target industries (Hotels, Restaurants, Food Service) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior violations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tips </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Is 2007 the Year of Immigration Reform?
  25. 26. Is 2007 the Year of Immigration Reform? <ul><li>Recent update – More enforcement!! </li></ul><ul><li>Congress passed one measure separately that was part of the Senate immigration reform bill last year. The measure was included in the minimum wage bill introduced in the opening hours of the Congress. Employers who have hired illegal workers will be barred from federal government contracts for seven years (ten years if they had government contracts while they were employing illegal workers). The Senate version has an exemption if an employer participates in the BASIC pilot program for employer immigration compliance. </li></ul><ul><li>The Future – Even more enforcement!! </li></ul>
  26. 27. How could a comprehensive immigration reform affect the Hospitality industry? <ul><li>Address Shortage of Workers. </li></ul><ul><li>The Industry advocates for the creation of a new guest-worker program. </li></ul><ul><li>Create an opportunity for earned legalization for the estimated 10-12 million undocumented workers in the U.S. who are vital contributors to our economy with a system that will improve our nation’s security. </li></ul><ul><li>The Employment verification process should be simplified with proven programs that are gradually implemented to ensure accuracy in the results. </li></ul><ul><li>Employers should not be the immigration police: Any new sanctions on employers should include good faith provisions and fines should be capped. </li></ul>
  27. 28. Q & A
  28. 29. <ul><li>Jacob J. Sapochnick, Esq. </li></ul><ul><li>619-819-9204 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>