How to Hire Employees from the Philippines


May 20, 2024
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A Guide for the Childcare Business Owner

If you have questions about how to hire employees for your childcare business from the Philippines, we have answers for you. In this article, we provide a high-level overview of the hiring process for employees from the Philippines. Keep reading to find out more.

Can I Hire Employees Directly from the Philippines?

The short answer is no. U.S. employers are prohibited from directly hiring employees from the Philippines. As with employees from other countries outside of the United States, citizens of the Philippines must go through a formal application process to obtain a visa and other necessary documents from the U.S. government in order to come here legally to work.

Agencies in the Philippines work with individuals seeking employment in the United States. These agencies take care of the applicants’ job postings, interviews, background checks, and training. They help job seekers obtain the proper documentation for working in the United States.

In addition, once employees have been granted approval to work in the U.S., upon deployment they will be visited and monitored by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), headquartered in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Let’s take a look at the steps to hiring a teacher or other childcare employee from the Philippines.

Steps to Hiring a Childcare Employee from the Philippines

Filipino workers must go through a four-part process in order to legally work at your U.S. childcare company:

  1. Employee Accreditation – The POLO will conduct on-site verification at your childcare business and issue a certificate to you, the employer, good for four years.
  2. Verification Process – Both you, the employer, and the agencies can take part in the interview process. After contracts are signed, they will be reviewed and approved by the POLO and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to ensure terms and conditions of employment rights are met.
  3. Exit Clearance – After reviewing all documents, the POEA will issue the exit clearance to the worker, and they can then begin processing the H1-B visa sponsored by you, the employer.

Several documents are required from employers. We’ll review those next.

Documents Needed from Employers

The following documents will be required of you during the hiring process:

  1. A recruitment agreement between the recruitment agency and the school district/employer
  2. A job order indicating the position and the number of positions required
  3. A copy of valid commercial registration and business license
  4. Master employment contract, which includes the following mandatory provisions:
    • Medical insurance
    • Repatriation
    • Terminal causes
    • Free transportation from the country of origin to the work site

Now we’ll take a look at three common types of visas issued to Filipino workers.

H-1B Visa

An H-1B visa is considered a non-immigrant visa. It allows specialty workers to come to the United States for employment. The visa allows workers to stay in the U.S. temporarily, as a U.S. employer employs foreign workers at that specific moment. With an H-1B visa, workers can stay in the U.S. for three years, with an option to extend their stay up to six years.

An H1-B visa is one option for workers from the Philippines looking to come over for work in the United States. Bear in mind that the U.S. government limits the number of H-1B visas it issues each year. If an individual applies once the limit has been reached, he or she may not be successful.

In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Make sure the job qualifies for the H-1B visa program
  • Possess the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher; the bachelor’s degree must be of four years from an accredited university or college
  • For individuals who have a foreign degree of only three years, working in the same field for three years may count as another year of education

J-1 Visa

A J-1 visa is meant for teachers, research scholars, or exchange visitors who want to go to the U.S. It is also considered a non-immigrant visa, and more often than not, those who apply must have achieved a certain level of mastery of the English language.

A J-1 visa is another option for workers from the Philippines looking to come over for work in the United States. With a J-1 visa, the applicant is allowed to remain on U.S. soil until the end of their exchange program. However, they are allowed to remain in the U.S. for an additional 30 days after their visa expires, as they make preparations to leave the U.S.

In order to qualify for a J-1 visa, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a good reputation
  • Have at least two years of experience in the teaching field
  • Possess a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree
  • Work as a teacher in one’s home country at the time of application
  • Meet the requirements of the state he or she is going to be teaching in

L-1 Visa

There are two types of L-1 visas you need to know about when it comes to hiring employees from the Philippines.

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

The L-1B nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send a specialized knowledge employee to the United States to help establish one.

In general, it is probably more feasible to obtain an H1-B visa for Filipino employees, even though it may take time based on the limited number of H1-B visas issued by the U.S. government each year. Creating an office in the Philippines and issuing an L-1A or L-1B visa is possible, but many other factors must be considered, including corporate-branch income taxation, permits, and the maintenance of a physical office abroad.

If you are interested in learning more about what’s involved in hiring employees for your childcare company from the Philippines, we recommend reaching out to the POLO.

Here is the contact information for the POLO:

POLO – Washington, D.C.
1245 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20007, USA
+1 (202) 467-9426

POLO – Los Angeles
3435 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 2285
Los Angeles, CA 90010, USA
+1 (213) 223-1120

Here at Honest Buck, we’re committed to helping you build a strong financial foundation for your Early Childhood Education business with a variety of professional accounting services. Reach out to our team of experts to learn more about our financial services. Contact us today.


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