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The Office of Legal Immigration will champion a statewide strategy to attract, retain, and integrate global talent from around the world, fostering a robust and diverse workforce for North Dakota.

Key Objectives:

  • Attract and Retain Global Talent: Develop a comprehensive plan for recruiting and retaining highly skilled immigrants, both those already in the U.S. and those seeking new opportunities.
  • Empower Businesses and Communities: Advise and support businesses in navigating the legal immigration process for hiring global talent. Collaborate with communities to develop welcoming environments for newcomers.
  • Foster Integration: Design pilot programs that assist businesses in integrating work-authorized immigrants into their workforce and equip communities with resources to support newcomers. Partner with other state agencies to ensure seamless integration services.
  • Statewide Coordination: Serve as a central hub for immigration-related activities, connecting stakeholders across state agencies, the governor's office, and the legislative body. The office will provide ongoing support and participation in the North Dakota Global Talent Task Force.

Building a Strong Foundation:
Before officially ‘opening for business’, this office focusing on global talent will undertake comprehensive research to understand the needs of employers, communities, and newcomers. This research will involve extensive engagement with stakeholders such as national experts, businesses, local communities, and individuals.

Informed by this research, a responsive pilot project framework will be developed. This framework will support businesses in hiring and integrating global talent, empower communities to welcome newcomers, and assist individuals and families choosing North Dakota as their home.

By fostering a welcoming environment for global talent, the Office of Legal Immigration is committed to building a stronger, more diverse workforce for North Dakota's future.

Office of Legal Immigration Info Sheet


Office of Legal Immigration (OLI) Contacts: 

Paige Kuntz, Global Talent Coordinator 701-328-7292 

Janna Pastir, Deputy Director 701-328-5393 


Contact Office of Legal Immigration
Contact Office of Legal Immigration

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
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What immigration programs are available to increase workforce capacity?

Several immigration programs in the United States are designed to address workforce capacity needs. These programs aim to attract and retain skilled workers, meet labor market demands, and contribute to the country's economic growth. Some of the key immigration programs focused on increasing workforce capacity include:

  1. Employment-Based Green Cards: These include various categories, such as EB-1 (for individuals with extraordinary ability), EB-2 (for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), and EB-3 (for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers). These green card categories allow employers to sponsor foreign workers for permanent residency based on their skills, qualifications, and labor market needs.
  2. H-1B Visa Program: This program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or higher. It's commonly used in fields such as information technology, engineering, and science.
  3. L-1 Visa Program: The L-1 visa is for intracompany transferees, allowing multinational companies to transfer employees from foreign offices to U.S. offices temporarily. It includes the L-1A for managers and executives and the L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.
  4. Optional Practical Training (OPT): OPT is an extension of F-1 student visas that allows international students to work in their field of study for a period after completing their degree. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates can apply for an additional 24 months of OPT.
  5. TN Visa: The TN visa is available for Canadian and Mexican professionals under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It allows individuals in specific professions to work in the U.S. temporarily.
  6. J-1 Exchange Visitor Program: This program facilitates cultural exchange and includes categories like the J-1 Research Scholar or J-1 Professor programs, which allow foreign scholars and researchers to come to the U.S. to work and collaborate.
  7. O-1 Visa: The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in their field, including sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. It's often used for professionals in creative or specialized fields.
  8. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: This program allows foreign investors and their immediate family members to obtain U.S. green cards by investing a specified amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs for U.S. workers.

These programs, among others, play a significant role in addressing workforce capacity needs by attracting foreign talent, skilled workers, and entrepreneurs to contribute to the U.S. economy. The eligibility criteria and requirements for each program can vary, so individuals and employers should consult with immigration experts or legal counsel to explore the most suitable options.

Summary: Numerous U.S. immigration programs target workforce capacity needs, seeking to attract and retain skilled talent and bolster economic growth. Key programs include Employment-Based Green Cards (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3), which allow employers to sponsor skilled workers for permanent residency. The H-1B Visa Program hires foreign specialists in fields like IT and science. The L-1 Visa Program transfers employees within multinational firms. Optional Practical Training (OPT) extends work opportunities for international students, especially STEM graduates. TN Visas support Canadian and Mexican professionals. J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs encourage cultural exchange. O-1 Visas cater to exceptional talents, and the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program grants green cards to foreign investors. These programs help meet workforce needs and require careful navigation of varying eligibility criteria, often with the assistance of immigration experts or legal counsel.

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As an employer, where do I start to identify if international recruitment is an option for my business?

To determine if your business qualifies for visa authorization for workers, you need to consider various factors such as the type of visa you're interested in, the specific visa requirements, and your business's characteristics. It's important to consult with an immigration attorney or expert for personalized guidance, but generally:

  • Choose the right visa: Identify the appropriate visa category for your needs, such as H-1B for skilled workers or L-1 for intra-company transfers.
  • Meet the visa requirements: Ensure your business meets the specific requirements for the chosen visa category, including wage standards, job descriptions, and documentation.
  • Financial stability: Prove that your business has the financial stability to support the incoming workers and comply with wage and labor regulations.
  • Legal status: Ensure your business is legally registered and in good standing in the United States.
  • Labor condition applications: Some visas may require submitting a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor, certifying that you'll provide fair wages and working conditions to your employees.
  • Compliance with regulations: Be prepared to comply with various federal and state regulations related to immigration and employment.
  • Seek legal advice: Consulting an immigration attorney can be crucial to navigate the complex process and ensure your business qualifies for the desired worker visas.

Humanitarian Parole Related Questions

Humanitarian Parole Related Questions
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Is USCIS Humanitarian Parole a Workforce capacity building program?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Humanitarian Parole program is not primarily a workforce capacity program. Instead, it is an immigration mechanism designed to address urgent humanitarian situations. Humanitarian parole allows individuals to enter or remain in the United States temporarily due to compelling humanitarian reasons, such as medical emergencies, urgent family situations, or significant public benefit. While it can occasionally be used to address workforce capacity issues in specific cases, its primary focus is on humanitarian considerations rather than labor force management.

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Does Humanitarian Parole Program have a path to permanency?

The Humanitarian Parole Program itself does not provide a direct path to permanent residency (green card) or citizenship in the United States. It is a temporary measure designed for individuals who have compelling humanitarian reasons to enter or remain in the U.S. for a limited period. Typically, it is granted for specific, urgent situations, such as medical emergencies or family reunification.

If individuals granted humanitarian parole wish to pursue permanent residency or citizenship, they would need to explore other immigration options, such as family-sponsored immigration, employment-based visas, asylum, or other applicable pathways. The fact that someone has been granted humanitarian parole does not confer any special immigration status or benefits beyond the temporary relief provided for the specific humanitarian situation.

It's important for individuals in such situations to consult with an immigration attorney or seek guidance from USCIS to understand their specific options and navigate the U.S. immigration system appropriately.

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Can Parolees extend their stay?

The duration of Humanitarian Parole varies depending on the specific circumstances and reasons for which it was granted. Humanitarian Parole is typically granted for a temporary and specific period to address urgent humanitarian needs. It is not intended to serve as a long-term immigration status like a visa or green card.

Extensions of Humanitarian Parole are possible, but they are not automatic, and the decision to grant an extension is at the discretion of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the relevant authorities. Whether an extension is granted depends on whether the humanitarian need still exists and whether the beneficiary continues to meet the eligibility criteria for parole.

Those seeking an extension of Humanitarian Parole should apply for it well in advance of the expiration date to ensure that they maintain lawful status while the application is pending. The specific process for requesting an extension may vary depending on the circumstances, so individuals and their sponsors should consult with USCIS or seek legal guidance to navigate the extension process properly.

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Can Humanitarian Parolees apply for a green card?

Humanitarian Parolees can apply for a green card (lawful permanent residence) in the United States, but the process is typically not initiated directly through the Humanitarian Parole status. Humanitarian Parole itself is a temporary immigration status granted for specific humanitarian reasons, and it does not provide a direct pathway to a green card.

To apply for a green card, individuals with Humanitarian Parole would generally need to explore other immigration options, such as family-sponsored immigration, employment-based visas, asylum, or other available pathways. The eligibility for a green card would depend on their specific circumstances and the immigration category they are applying under.

It's important to note that the process of obtaining a green card can be complex, and applicants should carefully review the eligibility criteria and requirements associated with the specific immigration category they are applying under. Consulting with an immigration attorney or seeking guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is recommended to navigate the green card application process effectively.

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Do Humanitarian Parole Sponsors have to provide for beneficiaries?

Yes, sponsors of individuals granted Humanitarian Parole may be required to provide for the beneficiaries they are sponsoring. The specific requirements and responsibilities of sponsors can vary depending on the circumstances and the terms of the humanitarian parole granted. In many cases, sponsors are expected to provide financial and logistical support to the beneficiaries during their stay in the United States, especially if the parole is granted for reasons such as medical emergencies or family reunification.

The exact obligations of sponsors, including financial support and other forms of assistance, may be outlined in the documentation provided by USCIS or the relevant authorities when the humanitarian parole is granted. It's crucial for sponsors to adhere to these obligations to ensure the well-being and compliance of the beneficiaries during their stay in the U.S.

Failure to meet sponsorship obligations can have legal consequences and may impact the beneficiary's ability to maintain their humanitarian parole status. Therefore, sponsors should carefully review and fulfill their responsibilities as specified in the parole documentation and seek legal guidance if needed.

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Can an employer require Humanitarian Parolees to work?

Employers can hire individuals granted Humanitarian Parole for employment purposes, but it's important to note that the Humanitarian Parole itself is not a work visa. Humanitarian Parolees cannot be required to work in exchange for sponsorship. Humanitarian Parole is granted for specific humanitarian reasons, such as medical emergencies or family reunification, and its primary purpose is not employment.

Employers who wish to hire individuals with Humanitarian Parole should ensure that these employees have the necessary work authorization. In some cases, individuals with Humanitarian Parole may be eligible to apply for work authorization through USCIS, depending on their specific circumstances and the terms of their parole. However, it's crucial for both the employer and the employee to comply with U.S. immigration laws and regulations to avoid legal issues.

Employers should consult with immigration experts or legal counsel to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable employment and immigration laws when hiring individuals with Humanitarian Parole or any other immigration status.

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Can a Humanitarian Parole Sponsor also be an employer who exchanges provision of necessities for work?

Requiring a Humanitarian Parolee to work in exchange for housing, food, and necessities can potentially be considered coercion or exploitation, depending on the specific circumstances and the nature of the work arrangement. It's important to evaluate such situations carefully, as they may raise concerns about labor exploitation or potential violations of labor and immigration laws.

Coercion typically involves using force, threats, deception, or other forms of pressure to compel someone to work against their will. If a Humanitarian Parolee is made to work solely for their basic necessities and does not have the freedom to make choices about their employment or living conditions, it may raise ethical and legal questions.

Employers or individuals providing housing and necessities to Humanitarian Parolees should ensure that the work arrangement is voluntary, fair, and complies with labor laws. This includes providing appropriate compensation for work performed, adhering to minimum wage laws, and respecting workers' rights and dignity.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (n.d.). 

Costs of International Recruitment Related Questions

Costs of International Recruitment Related Questions
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What is the average cost of legal services for a Green Card?

The cost of legal services for obtaining a green card in the United States can vary significantly depending on several factors, including your specific immigration category, complexity of your case, the attorney's experience, and geographic location. Here are some general guidelines for understanding the potential costs:

  1. Attorney Fees: Immigration attorneys typically charge fees for their services, which can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. More complex cases, such as those involving employment-based green cards or family-sponsored green cards with complications, tend to have higher attorney fees.
  2. Filing Fees: In addition to attorney fees, there are government filing fees associated with most green card applications. These fees also vary depending on the type of green card you're applying for and can change over time. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, filing fees for green card applications could range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.
  3. Additional Costs: There may be additional costs for services like translation of documents, medical examinations, and background checks, which can add to the overall expense.
  4. Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing: Whether you are adjusting your status from within the United States or going through consular processing in your home country can also impact the overall cost.
  5. Complexity of the Case: More complex cases, such as those involving waivers, removal of conditions on conditional green cards, or other legal issues, may require additional attorney time and incur higher costs.
  6. Geographic Location: Attorney fees can vary based on the cost of living and legal market in your geographic area. Attorneys in major metropolitan areas may charge higher fees than those in smaller towns or rural areas.

To get an accurate estimate of the cost of legal services for your specific green card case, it's advisable to consult with immigration attorneys in your area. They can provide you with a detailed breakdown of fees and costs associated with your particular situation. Additionally, it's essential to ask for a written agreement outlining the scope of services and the fees involved before hiring an attorney to ensure transparency and clarity regarding costs.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (n.d.). 

Student Visas- referred to as CPT/OPT F-1 Visas Related Questions

Student Visas- referred to as CPT/OPT F-1 Visas Related Questions
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Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training: a type of work authorization available to international students on F-1 visas. Employers who hire international students with OPT work authorization should be aware of the following key points:

  • Eligibility: International students in the United States on F-1 visas are typically eligible for OPT if they have been enrolled in a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)-approved school for at least one full academic year and are pursuing a degree in a field related to the proposed employment.
  • Duration: OPT provides international students with an opportunity to work in their field of study for up to 12 months (or 24 months for those with STEM degrees) during or after completing their degree program. The duration depends on the student's degree and whether they qualify for the STEM OPT extension.
  • Types of OPT: There are two types of OPT:
    *Pre-completion OPT: Allows students to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) while school is in session and full-time during scheduled breaks.
    *Post-completion OPT: Allows students to work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) after completing their degree.
  • Employer Requirements: Employers hiring international students on OPT should understand the following:
    *The work must be directly related to the student's field of study.
    *The student must apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card from USCIS before they can legally work.
    *Students on OPT are allowed to work for multiple employers simultaneously and can switch employers during their OPT period.
  • STEM OPT Extension: Some F-1 students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) may be eligible for a 24-month STEM OPT extension, allowing for a total of 36 months of OPT.
  • Employer Compliance: Employers hiring international students on OPT should ensure they are in compliance with relevant labor laws, provide appropriate working conditions, and compensate employees as required by law.
  • E-Verify: Employers who want to hire students on the STEM OPT extension must be enrolled in E-Verify, an internet-based system that verifies the employment eligibility of employees.
  • Reporting: Students on OPT and their employers have certain reporting requirements to maintain compliance with immigration regulations. Employers should cooperate with students to fulfill these obligations.

Employers who wish to hire international students on OPT should work closely with their university's international student office and the students themselves to ensure all requirements are met. OPT allows international students to gain practical experience in their field of study while contributing to the U.S. workforce.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (n.d.). 

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Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training: a type of work authorization available to international students on F-1 visas. Employers who want to hire international students on CPT should be aware of the following key points:

  • Eligibility: International students in the United States on F-1 visas are typically eligible for CPT if they have been enrolled in a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)-approved school for at least one full academic year and their program requires practical training as part of the curriculum.
  • Types of CPT: There are two types of CPT:
    *Required CPT: Some academic programs require students to complete practical training as part of their curriculum. This type of CPT is mandatory for graduation, and students must engage in it to fulfill degree requirements.
    *Optional CPT: Optional CPT is for work experiences that are related to the student's field of study but are not required for graduation. Students can engage in optional CPT during the academic year (part-time) or during scheduled breaks (full-time).
  • Duration: The duration of CPT varies depending on the specific academic program's requirements and whether it is required or optional. Students and their Designated School Official (DSO) should coordinate to determine the allowable CPT duration.
  • Employer Requirements: Employers hiring international students on CPT should understand the following:
    *The work must be directly related to the student's major or field of study.
    *Students on CPT must have authorization from their DSO before they can legally work.
    *CPT employment can be paid or unpaid, and students may work for multiple employers simultaneously.
  • Reporting: Students on CPT and their employers have certain reporting requirements to maintain compliance with immigration regulations. Employers should cooperate with students to fulfill these obligations.
  • Academic Credit: In most cases, students participating in CPT must also receive academic credit for their work experience. This credit is typically awarded by the academic institution, and the requirements can vary.
  • Work Authorization Documentation: Students on CPT receive work authorization through their Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, which is issued by the academic institution's DSO.

Employers who want to hire international students on CPT should work closely with the academic institution's international student office and the students themselves to ensure all requirements are met. CPT allows international students to gain practical experience in their field of study while pursuing their academic degrees.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (n.d.). 

State Functions Related Questions

State Functions Related Questions
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Can States override or intervene in federal immigration processes or policies?

Immigration is a federal matter in the United States, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, which grants the federal government the authority to establish and enforce immigration laws and regulations. State governments do not have the legal authority to independently establish their own immigration policies or processes that contradict federal law.

Federal immigration processes and policies are administered by federal agencies, primarily U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These agencies are responsible for enforcing immigration laws, processing visa applications, and handling immigration-related matters.

While states cannot create their own immigration policies, they can play a role in certain aspects of immigration enforcement through cooperation with federal authorities. For example:

  • State and Local Law Enforcement Cooperation: Some states and local law enforcement agencies may cooperate with federal immigration authorities by sharing information about individuals in their custody who may be subject to immigration enforcement.
  • Driver's Licenses and Identification Cards: States have the authority to issue driver's licenses and identification cards to residents, including undocumented immigrants, based on their own state laws. Some states choose to issue driver's licenses to undocumented individuals, while others do not.
  • Access to Public Benefits: States may determine eligibility for certain state-funded public benefits and services, such as education and healthcare, regardless of immigration status.

Any state actions that attempt to directly counter or obstruct federal immigration laws or policies may face legal challenges and potential preemption by federal law. The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution establishes that federal law takes precedence over state law in cases of conflict.

Overall, immigration policies and processes, including visa issuance, enforcement, and naturalization, are primarily the responsibility of the federal government, and state governments must adhere to federal law in this regard.

Sources: Enforcing Immigration Law: What States Can Do To Assist the Federal Government and Fight the Illegal Immigration Problem | The Heritage Foundation 

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What can States do to influence the Federal processes and policies

States, like other entities and individuals, can submit comments related to federal immigration policies during the federal rulemaking process. The federal rulemaking process provides an opportunity for the public, including state governments, to offer feedback on proposed federal regulations, policy changes, and initiatives. Here are the general steps states can follow to submit comments:

  • Review Federal Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs): Federal agencies are required to publish NPRMs in the Federal Register, which is the official journal of the federal government. These notices outline proposed changes to regulations, policies, or programs, including those related to immigration. States should regularly monitor the Federal Register to identify relevant NPRMs.
  • Analyze the NPRM: Carefully review the content of the NPRM to understand the proposed changes, their potential impact on the state and its residents, and the specific information and data that the federal agency is seeking feedback on.
  • Gather Information and Evidence: States should gather relevant information, data, and evidence to support their comments. This may include statistics, research findings, legal analysis, and real-life examples that demonstrate the potential consequences or benefits of the proposed federal policy.
  • Draft Comments: Prepare well-structured, fact-based, and persuasive comments that address the specific points and questions raised in the NPRM. Clearly state the state's position on the proposal and provide evidence to support the arguments made.
  • Submit Comments within the Comment Period: Federal agencies typically provide a specific period during which comments can be submitted, often ranging from 30 to 60 days or longer. States should ensure that their comments are submitted within this designated comment period. The Federal Register notice will specify how and where to submit comments, which may include an online portal, email address, or physical mailing address.
  • Engage with Relevant Federal and Congressional Offices: In addition to submitting written comments, states can engage with federal agencies and congressional
    representatives to advocate for their position and seek support for their views on the proposed policy changes.
  • Monitor the Rulemaking Process: After submitting comments, states should monitor the rulemaking process to stay informed about any updates, revisions, or final decisions made by the federal agency. This may include participating in public hearings or consultations if they are offered.
  • Collaborate with Stakeholders: States may also collaborate with advocacy organizations, experts, and affected communities to strengthen their arguments and advocacy efforts related to federal immigration policies.

The effectiveness of state comments in influencing federal policy can vary, and federal agencies have discretion in considering and responding to comments. However, the opportunity to submit comments is a fundamental part of the federal rulemaking process, and it allows states to voice their concerns, provide input, and advocate for their interests in the development of federal immigration policies.

Recruitment Related Questions

Recruitment Related Questions
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What do New Americans already living in the U.S. prioritize when choosing a community?

New Americans, including immigrants and refugees, often consider several key factors when choosing a community or employer in their new country. These factors can vary depending on individual circumstances, preferences, and priorities, but some common considerations include:

  1. Economic Opportunities: Employment prospects and the availability of job opportunities are significant factors for new Americans. They may seek communities with a strong job market, access to industries or professions that match their skills and qualifications, and the potential for career advancement.
  2. Education: For families with children, the quality of the education system and the availability of good schools can be a top priority. New Americans may research school districts and educational resources to ensure their children receive a quality education.
  3. Safety: Safety and security are essential considerations when choosing a community. Newcomers often seek neighborhoods and communities with low crime rates and a sense of safety for their families.
  4. Cultural and Linguistic Familiarity: Some new Americans prefer communities with a diverse population that includes people from their own cultural or linguistic background. Having access to cultural and religious institutions and being able to communicate in their native language can be important factors.
  5. Support Services: New Americans may look for communities that offer support services for immigrants and refugees, such as language classes, job training programs, and legal assistance. These services can help ease the transition to a new country.
  6. Cost of Living: The cost of living, including housing, healthcare, and other daily expenses, can significantly impact a newcomer's choice of community. Affordable housing options and a reasonable cost of living are often preferred.
  7. Community and Social Integration: Building a sense of belonging and community is important for many new Americans. They may seek communities that are welcoming and inclusive, with opportunities for social integration and cultural exchange.
  8. Proximity to Family and Friends: Some newcomers have family members or friends already living in the United States. They may choose to settle in communities where they have a support network.
  9. Transportation: Access to reliable public transportation or proximity to work can influence a newcomer's choice of residence. This is especially relevant for those who do not own a car.
  10. Legal and Immigration Considerations: New Americans may consider the proximity of immigration offices and legal services when choosing a community. Access to resources and support for immigration-related matters can be essential.
  11. Quality of Life: Overall quality of life factors, such as healthcare facilities, recreational opportunities, and a favorable climate, may also influence the choice of community.
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As an employer, what should we consider before onboarding international or ESL recruits?

Employing English as a Second Language (ESL) workers effectively involves understanding their unique needs and creating an inclusive and supportive work environment. Here are some best practices for employing ESL workers:

  • Provide Language Training: Offer English language training programs or classes, if possible. This can improve communication and boost employees' confidence. Consider on-site or online language classes to accommodate different schedules.
  • Clear Communication: Use clear and simple language when communicating job tasks, policies, and expectations. Avoid jargon and idiomatic expressions that may be confusing to ESL workers.
  • Visual Aids and Written Materials: Use visual aids, written instructions, and visual cues to support verbal communication. Translate important documents and safety instructions into multiple languages if necessary.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Promote cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness among all employees. Foster an inclusive workplace where different cultures and backgrounds are valued.
  • Bilingual Staff and Translators: Employ bilingual staff or interpreters who can assist with translation and communication when needed, especially during training or meetings.
  • Flexible Training Methods: Offer training in various formats, such as hands-on training, e-learning modules, and written manuals. Allow employees to choose the method that works best for them.
  • Feedback and Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins to gather feedback from ESL employees. Encourage them to share concerns, questions, or suggestions for improvement.
  • Team Building: Organize team-building activities and events to foster camaraderie among employees. Social interactions can help ESL workers feel more comfortable and integrated into the workplace.
  • Accommodations: Be willing to make reasonable accommodations, such as providing additional time for tasks or adjusting work schedules, to accommodate ESL employees' language needs.
  • Promote Peer Support: Encourage coworkers to support each other. Pairing ESL workers with fluent English speakers as mentors or buddies can facilitate learning and integration.
  • Performance Assessments: Ensure that performance evaluations are conducted in a way that assesses job-related skills and not language proficiency. Avoid penalizing employees for language barriers.
  • Feedback and Recognition: Provide positive feedback and recognition for ESL employees' contributions to the workplace. Acknowledging their efforts and achievements can boost morale.
  • Cultural Competence Training: Offer cultural competence training to all employees to improve understanding and reduce potential biases.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that written and digital materials, including company websites and software, are accessible to individuals with limited English proficiency.
  • Legal Compliance: Familiarize yourself with and comply with federal and state laws regarding language access and anti-discrimination, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

By implementing these best practices, employers can create a more inclusive and productive workplace that accommodates the needs of ESL workers while benefiting from the diversity and skills they bring to the organization.

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Who can employers connect with to identify and implement best-practices for them and their workers?

There isn't a single specific entity or organization that universally establishes best practices for employers of English as a Second Language (ESL) workers. Instead, best practices for employing ESL workers emerge from a combination of sources, including government agencies, nonprofit organizations, academic research, and industry associations. These sources collectively contribute to the development of guidelines and recommendations that employers can follow to create inclusive and effective workplaces for ESL employees. Here are some key contributors to establishing best practices:

  • Government Agencies: Government agencies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), provide guidance and regulations related to workplace discrimination, language access, and the rights of ESL workers. They offer resources and recommendations for employers on accommodating diverse workforces.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Organizations like the National Immigration Forum, the American Immigration Council, and the National Skills Coalition often publish
    reports, toolkits, and best practice guides to assist employers in effectively integrating ESL workers into the workplace. • Academic Research: Researchers and academic institutions conduct studies and research projects that explore issues related to ESL workers, including language barriers, workplace integration, and cultural diversity. Their findings contribute to the development of best practices.
  • Industry Associations: Some industry-specific associations and trade groups develop best practices tailored to the needs of their particular sectors. These associations often share insights and resources related to employing ESL workers within their industries.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Consultants: Diversity and inclusion consultants and experts provide guidance to employers on creating inclusive workplaces. They often work closely with organizations to develop customized strategies for accommodating ESL employees.
  • Legal and HR Experts: Legal professionals and human resources experts may offer guidance on complying with employment laws and regulations related to ESL workers, including anti-discrimination laws and reasonable accommodations.
  • Local and State Agencies: Local and state government agencies may have their own guidelines and resources for employers, particularly in regions with significant immigrant and ESL populations.

Employers interested in implementing best practices for employing ESL workers should consult a variety of sources to gather insights and recommendations that align with their specific workplace and industry. These best practices should be tailored to the organization's unique needs and the needs of its employees. Additionally, employers may seek guidance from consultants or experts who specialize in diversity, equity, and inclusion to develop effective strategies for accommodating ESL workers and promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment.

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Who studies New Americans, Immigrants, and Refugees in the United States?

There have been various studies and surveys conducted to evaluate the priorities and preferences of New Americans, including immigrants and refugees, as they settle in the United States. These studies provide valuable insights into the factors that influence their choices and experiences. Here are a few notable studies and surveys:

  • U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS): The ACS is an ongoing survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. While it covers a wide range of demographic and socioeconomic data, it includes information on immigration status, languages spoken at home, educational attainment, employment status, and more. Researchers often use ACS data to analyze the characteristics and priorities of New Americans.
  • Pew Research Center: The Pew Research Center conducts surveys and research on various aspects of immigration in the United States. They have explored topics such as immigrant
    integration, attitudes toward immigrants, and the economic, educational, and social experiences of immigrant communities.
  • Migration Policy Institute (MPI): MPI conducts research on immigration policy and immigrant integration. They have published numerous reports and studies that examine the priorities and challenges of New Americans, including topics like workforce integration, language acquisition, and education.
  • National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC): The annual NIIC brings together researchers, policymakers, advocates, and immigrant community leaders to discuss and address issues related to immigrant integration. Research findings and discussions at the conference often shed light on the priorities and needs of New Americans.
  • Local and State Studies: Many state and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations and academic institutions, conduct their own studies and surveys to assess the needs and preferences of immigrants and refugees within their communities. These studies can provide valuable localized insights.
  • Immigrant and Refugee Service Provider Surveys: Organizations that provide services to immigrants and refugees often conduct surveys and needs assessments to better understand the priorities and challenges faced by the populations they serve.

These studies and surveys vary in scope and focus, covering a wide range of topics related to immigrant and refugee experiences. They provide valuable data and insights that help inform policy decisions, program development, and community support initiatives aimed at helping New Americans integrate successfully into their new communities. Researchers and policymakers interested in specific aspects of immigrant integration can access these sources to gain a deeper understanding of the priorities and needs of New Americans.

Citizenship Related Questions

Citizenship Related Questions
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What is the difference between Citizenship and Naturalization?

Citizenship is the legal status of being a member of a specific country or nation, which can be acquired by birth (birthright citizenship) or through a legal process called naturalization.

Naturalization, on the other hand, is the process by which a foreign national becomes a citizen of a country they were not born in. It typically involves meeting certain eligibility criteria, such as residency requirements, passing a citizenship test, and taking an oath of allegiance to the country.

Naturalization requires that someone be a lawful permanent resident for five years prior to application. Naturalization requires that an immigrant meet the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Naturalization requires an immigrant to take an oath swearing allegiance to the United States.

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Where is the closest Citizenship test site?

The closest test site is in Minneapolis, MN. located at: 

USCIS Minneapolis Field Office
250 Marquette Avenue Suite 710
Minneapolis, MN 55401 

Start the process by submitting an Application for Naturalization

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Where can I access ESL and Citizenship classes?

In North Dakota, English Learners Programs, Citizenship classes, and other career and college readiness services are available at Adult Learning Centers. 

To find the location nearest you please visit: Adult Learning Centers (ALC) | North Dakota Department of Public Instruction