International Talent

Attracting and retaining highly-skilled international workers in the critical biohealth sector.

Why consider international workers?

The unprecedented workforce shortage of recent years has led employers to consider foreign employees more than ever. A global talent war is already starting to be felt in the US and is becoming a worrying concern for some member companies. Many Western Countries are attracting skilled workers by increasing their immigration quotas or creating new immigration opportunities for qualified employees. Amidst the growing talent shortage, The United States has increased immigration quotas and/or eliminated per-country limits for employment-based immigration by modernizing eligibility criteria for existing visa types, including the recent STEM OPT expansion. Additional steps are being taken to increase hiring to clear backlogs and interview waivers to speed up processing. Several US states and companies have followed suit by creating the right environment and policies to attract highly-skilled international workers in critical sectors, including the bio-health industry, to remain competitive.

We are raising awareness among our member companies about the need to consider hiring international talent to address their talent needs. International talent, including foreign students in US universities, contribute to a diverse workforce and create a workplace environment that fosters creativity and innovation informed by their diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and resilience. They are also likely to commit to companies for the long term due to the immigration challenges involved in changing jobs as a work visa recipient.

To hire most international talent, companies need to either obtain work visas for their potential hires or support them in getting one. This can be a seamless process for some hires depending on their backgrounds and nationalities as there are nationality-specific work visas like the E3 visa only for Australians and the TN-1 Visa only for Canadians. In some cases, the process can get a little complicated, which is why BioForward is using this page to address questions about work visas.

Attracting Global Talent: Employers’ Guide to Understanding & Navigating US Work Visa

Partner & Immigration Attorney, Raluca Vais-Ottosen, from member company DeWitt Law Firm, demystifies the process of hiring highly skilled candidates from outside the U.S.

Frequently asked questions:

What is a Working Visa?

Working visas are various forms of visas that can be either immigrant or non-immigrant but in general, they are non-immigrant visas that allow a foreign national to work in the U.S. for a specific amount of time.

How Does a Worker Apply for a Working Visa?

In some cases, an employer applies for the visa in the U.S., and then the worker applies at the U.S. consulate abroad. In other cases, the worker applies directly to the consulate. Specific visas require specific documentation.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Working Visa?

The U.S. state department lists the wait times for non-immigrant visas on its website at:

What Types of Visas Should Companies Consider in Hiring International Talent?

There are several work visas to consider in hiring international talent. The US Immigration website has an exhaustive list of the different types of work visas and their requirements.

What are the Benefits and Limitations for a Spouse and Children?

The rules vary depending on the type of non-immigrant visa, but in general spouses and children of a family member with a non-immigrant visa are allowed to study, but not work, while in the U.S.

If you are interested in hiring an experienced immigration lawyer to help with understainding and applying for working visas, we recommend contacting one of the law firms from BioForward member companies: