SHRM: “DHS Considering Cross-Border Trusted Employer Program with Canada”

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Beyond the Border initiativeBy late 2015, the United States plans to start a pilot aimed at making it cheaper and quicker for U.S. employers to employ foreign workers.  This has particular importance to the Canada-U.S. bilateral relationship–which realized “$632 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2013.”

All that trade means a significant number of Canadian workers in the United States, and vice versa.

From the Society of Human Resource Management:

The “Known Employer” pilot, which the DHS expects to begin by late 2015, is intended to streamline adjudication of certain types of employment-based immigration benefit requests filed by eligible U.S. employers. It would make adjudications more efficient and less costly for both the department and U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign workers, according to the posting.

The pilot would be jointly implemented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It comes from a binational commitment with Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border initiative. In particular, the U.S. and Canadian governments committed to exploring the feasibility of incorporating a trusted employer concept in the processing of business travelers between Canada and the United States.

“We have long advocated for a trusted employer program to increase efficiency and save employers and the government vital resources,” said Rebecca Peters, director and counsel for legislative affairs at the Council for Global Immigration. “If the Known Employer pilot reflects the priorities of our proposed Trusted Employer program, it would be a positive improvement to our system. We look forward to working on the concept with [the DHS] as it moves ahead.”