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.”