There are six million illegal immigrants in the United States and tough federal sanctions against businesses that hire them. But your business can benefit from federal immigration law by taking advantage of visa programs that help you hire foreign workers.

In 1990, Congress nearly tripled the number of employer-sponsored permanent immigrants allowed to enter the United States each year. It also established five separate preference categories that together allocate more than 140,000 work visas each year. That's in addition to the 675,000 "green card holders" allowed into the country each year based on family relationship or employer sponsorship.

The visa process can be complex, and hiring foreign workers requires a basic knowledge of the most commonly used visa categories.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1996 (IRCA) prohibits employers from recruiting, hiring or employing aliens unauthorized to work in the...(register to read more)

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