Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, "Hiring International Drivers: A Recruiter’s Guide to Hiring Experienced, Foreign CDL Drivers"? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time frame, so Chad Hendricks and Rob Peacock, our presenters, answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post. If you weren’t able to join the live webinar, don’t worry – you can watch it on-demand anytime!
Question: Does your program target OTR candidates/needs or does it also target local truck candidates/needs?
Answer: The program is designed to target the drivers that you need. Typically, the biggest request is for true OTR drivers, but drivers that are willing to drive locally are also available.
Question: KY is an At-Will Employment State; we cannot do Employment Contracts. How will this work here?
Answer: The contract with the driver is with Experienced Associates and not the carrier. Also, the contract is about covering the costs of the program and not directly related to employment with a specific company.
Question: What is the Retention cost per driver per month?
Answer: The weekly fee is the only fee associated with this program. This fee is to recover the costs for recruiting, relocating, training, and government requirements. However, we refer to this as a pay for retention program because if the driver quits, the weekly fees stop for the carrier.
Question: Is this good for a 1099 contract position with a trucking company?
Answer: This is an employer sponsored visa program which means the driver must be employed by the company as a W2. This visa program does not prohibit drivers from changing their employment status once they arrive in the United States, but the intention must be to employ these drivers.
Question: Is there housing assistance for the drivers once they come to the US?
Answer: There is housing provided during the training and the time for the driver to receive their CDL. Housing assistance based on income would not be possible because these drivers are making wages that would exceed those requirements. There may be some assistance available because of immigrant status that is not based on income levels. However, our expertise is not in government assistance programs, so we cannot give those details. We do work with our drivers and carriers to insure that all the needs of the driver during the transition are accounted for.
Question: Do the drivers already have their class A CDL before they start with their new company?
Answer: The drivers arrive at the company with their Class A CDL. When the drivers arrive in the United States, they first report to the CDL school to complete this transition and re-certification training before arriving for work.
Question: Can you only hire from South Africa? Is the program open to hire from Nigeria?
Answer: We have had conversations with contacts in other parts of the world to determine this and are busy validating the reliability of said countries’ vetting sources and processes. Until this is complete we will focus on South Africa as we are confident that the country’s certification resources such as criminal and driving record checks, and the medical, drug, and physical testing, meet best practice requirements. The other advantage of South Africa is that English is a common second language which prevents a language barrier.
For more discussion on this, please schedule a meeting with us via http://calendly.com/chendricks
Question: Are there drivers looking for regional or local work as well as OTR?
Answer: Most of the drivers are expecting OTR, but regional and local work can also be accommodated.
Question: Are any drivers already starting to be vetted and ready to go?
Answer: There is a list of drivers that already have driver portfolios that are ready and may need to be updated.
Question: Are there any ow/op drivers in the program or just "company" drivers?
Answer: The EB3 Visa program does not allow for drivers to go through this program as owner operators or 1099 independent contractors. These drivers must be company drivers. Once the driver is a legal resident, there is not a restriction on the driver preventing him/her from being an owner operator.
Question: What is the payment per mile for them in those 3 years?
Answer: The weekly fee is $125/ 2,500 miles. If the driver is averaging 2,500 miles per week, this would amount to $0.05 per mile.
Question: What is the paperwork is involved?
Answer: There are three phases to the process: (a) obtain the U.S. Department of Labor’s approval to hire a foreign national: (b) obtain an immigrant petition from USCIS; and (c) apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to be admitted as a permanent resident. Each has its own information requirements and processes. Although more and more of them are completed online, the volume of information is still the same. Consequently, listing all the “paperwork” here is impractical. For more information, please schedule a meeting with us via http://calendly.com/chendricks
Question: What is the estimated weekly income level these drivers looking for?
Answer: The weekly income level for these drivers is based on your current driver wages. This cannot be used as a cost cutting program. The Department of Labor does establish minimum wage levels, but we have yet to see a company that isn’t already paying their current drivers above that minimum.
Question: We allow riders. Can they bring a spouse?
Answer: Although authorised to, we recommend that our drivers not bring their spouse or children during the first 6 months. The rationale for this is that the drivers need to complete their transition training, settle down into their work routine, and learn about their new environment. If the driver’s family were there during this time, the spouse and children would find themselves without their support structure which would cause stress for everyone involved.
If a company does allow riders within the first 6 months of hire, a driver with no children could determine that it would be acceptable to bring a spouse.
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