DHS Considers ‘Known Employer’ Program To Aid Business Travel

February 25, 2015

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering a “Known Employer” pilot program to streamline adjudication of certain types of employment-based immigration benefit requests filed by eligible U.S. employers.

DHS expects to launch the pilot by late 2015 to test the program, which is designed to make adjudications more efficient and less costly, and reduce paperwork and delays for both the department and U.S. employers who seek to employ foreign workers.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will jointly implement the pilot program. A goal is to expedite or otherwise facilitate legitimate cross-border business travel along the northern border ports of entry. “Doing so is a binational commitment under the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border initiative,” DHS explained.

In particular, the U.S. and Canadian governments intend to “explore the feasibility of incorporating a trusted employer concept in the processing of business travelers between Canada and the United States.”

Additional information about the Known Employer program will be provided in the coming months. For background and updates, see http://www.dhs.gov/beyond-border. DHS seeks input on the Beyond the Border initiative, which can be emailed to beyondtheborder@hq.dhs.gov or mailed to Beyond the Border Coordinator, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mailstop 0455, Washington, DC 20016.