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EMPLOYMENT VISAS

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A nonimmigrant in a Specialty Occupation

H-1B Visa

Eligibility

People who want to work in a specialty occupation in the United States are given H-1B employment visas. The employment tasks, standards, and categorization of the planned post by the Department of Labor all play a role in determining whether a position qualifies as a “specialty profession.” The primary criterion is that to be eligible for an H-1B visa, an applicant must have earned at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree, which is the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree or higher from an authorized institution or university.
A total of 65,000 H-1B visas are available each year, and an extra 20,000 visas are available for those with advanced degrees who obtained their degrees in the US.
Due to the yearly quota, there have been more applications in recent years than there are visas available, hence the government now uses a “Lottery” procedure to distribute the available visas. The only people whose cases are handled are those who “win” the lottery. Others are turned away, although they are invited to reapply the following year.
H-1B petitions may only be filed once a year on April 1. The employment begins on October 1st of the same year after approval.
Passport Checkout Green Visa US
Requirements
The USCIS demands written documentation that outlines the goals, duties, and requirements of the specialty profession. They also ask for the applicant’s academic and professional background. These papers ought to contain:
  • A bachelor’s degree, minimum, or an equivalent;
  • A detailed description of work responsibilities relevant to the employer’s industry; and
  • A description of the employer’s line of work.
  • There are precise requirements that both the company and the employee must follow to qualify for an H-1B visa.
By meeting at least one of the following requirements, an employer must demonstrate that the position is in reality a specialized occupation:
  • Typically, the role requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, or a higher degree;
  • The industry generally calls for a bachelor’s degree or above;
  • For this position, the employer typically demands this amount of education;
  • A bachelor’s degree or above is typically connected with the acquisition of the abilities and knowledge necessary to carry out the precise, specialized tasks of the employment
The employee must demonstrate that he or she has the education, training, or “progressively responsible experience” that is considered to be equivalent to earning a bachelor’s degree, as required by the specialty occupation, or that he or she has a foreign degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher.
Unless they have applied for and been granted an H-1B “Concurrent Petition,” which would allow them to work simultaneously for another employer, H-1B visa holders are required to work only for the employer that filed the petition.

Validity / Extensions

The H-1B visa permits entry into the United States for up to three years, with a potential extension of another three years.
Please note that any day spent outside of America will not be included in the validity period. As a result, if you spent any time outside the US during the six years that the H-1B visa was valid, you may utilize those times to extend the validity of your visa past the six-year mark.
H-1B visas may only be renewed for an additional six years if:
  • An approved I-140 petition benefits the H-1B employee;
  • The H-1B worker is the beneficiary of an I-140 or PERM petition that was submitted more than a year ago;
  • The H-1B worker is reclaiming time spent outside of the US for the previous six years while in H-1B status.

Family Members

Under the category of H-4 visa holders, spouses & unmarried children up to the age of 21 may enter the country. Holders with H-4 visas cannot lawfully work unless they qualify for specific exclusions.

Jurisdiction

H-1B visas are handled directly by USCIS.

Since an H-1B only entitles the bearer to nonimmigrant status, they must declare during the duration of their stay that they intend to leave the country and/or return home when their status expires.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge

L-1B Visa

Eligibility

L-1B visas are awarded to those who have been offered an executive or managerial job at the American affiliate, subsidiary, or parent firm of their current foreign employer and who wish to migrate to work in such a position in the United States. Given the visa holder’s particular knowledge, the post must be for a role tailored specifically to him or her.
With the aid of an L-1B visa, a foreign business that does not yet have a presence in the country can move a worker with specialized expertise here to open an office there.
Requirements and/or Materials:

Documentation & written explanations of the type, extent, and activity of the foreign entity and the American entity, as well as the relationship that qualifies as the post being offered, are required by the USCIS. These papers ought to contain:

  • Evidence that the foreign company is operating overseas and that the specialist function is required;
  • Evidence that the employee held an executive or management role at the foreign company for at least one year over the previous three years; and
  • There is proof that the job description for the United States calls for a person with a specialised understanding of the company’s goods, services, research, technology, management, and other similar areas, as well as their use on the global market, or with sophisticated knowledge of its workings.

The foreign entity and the American entity must have a qualifying connection. If not, the candidate is not qualified for the job and the American company cannot afford to fund the proposed position.

Validity / Extensions

A one-year visa is typically granted to someone coming to the US to open a new office for a foreign corporation. All other workers who enter the country on an L-1B visa typically have a three-year stay allowed.
Up to a maximum of five years, an employee’s stay may be extended in increments of no more than two years.

Family Members

The L-1 holder’s spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 may travel with or behind him or her. The family members may apply for L-2 non-immigrant classification and will often be given the same amount of time to remain as the L-1 holder.
L-1 visa holders’ spouses are eligible to request work authorization. The place of employment for an L-2 spouse is not constrained.

L-1 visas are handled directly by USCIS.

Since an L-1 visa only confers nonimmigrant status, its holder must declare during the duration of their stay that they intend to leave the country and/or return home when their status expires.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager

L-1A Visas

Eligibility

L-1A visas are given to those who desire to work as executives or managers in the United States and have been offered such a job at the parent, subsidiary, or affiliate corporation in the United States of their foreign place of employment.

With the aid of an L-1A visa, a foreign business that does not already have a presence in the country can move an executive or manager here to open a branch there.

Requirements and/or Materials:

USCIS will demand written documents and explanations of the type, extent, and activity of the foreign entity and the American entity, the relationship that qualifies as the relationship between the two, and the qualification of the proposed post. These papers ought to contain:

  • Evidence demonstrating the nature, extent, and activities of the foreign entity and the American entity;
  • Evidence that the employee held an executive or management role at the foreign company for at least one year over the previous three years; and
  • There is proof that the United States will have an executive or management post.

The foreign entity and the American entity must have a qualifying connection. If not, the candidate is not qualified for the job and the American company cannot afford to fund the proposed position.

Validity / Extensions

A one-year visa is typically granted to those coming to the country to open a new office for their overseas employer. All other workers who enter the country on an L-1A visa typically have a three-year stay allowed. The L-1A visa allows for a maximum stay of seven years, which can be extended with USCIS approval in increments of two years.

Family Members

The L-1 holder’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may travel with or behind him or her. The family members may apply for L-2 non-immigrant classification and will often be given the same amount of time to remain as the L-1 holder.

L-1 visa holders’ spouses are eligible to request work authorization. The place of employment for an L-2 spouse is not constrained.

Jurisdiction

L-1 visas are handled directly by USCIS.

Since an L-1 visa only confers nonimmigrant status, its holder must declare during the duration of their stay that they intend to leave the country and/or return home when their status expires.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Nonimmigrant Temporary Religious Workers

R-1 Visa

Eligibility

R-1 visas are given to anyone who enters the country temporarily to work at least 20 hours per week as a minister or in another religious profession. Religious occupations call for routine participation in important religious activities. This includes cantors, missionaries, liturgical workers, religious educators, and a host of other professions.

A non-profit religious organization, a tax-exempt religious organization, or a non-profit religious organization connected to a U.S. religious denomination may employ qualifying people. Religious denominations are a group that is united by an ecclesiastical governing or administrative body and whose members share a common place of worship, form of worship, or set of beliefs for immigration reasons.

Requirements and/or Materials:

The USCIS will demand written documents and explanations of the non-profit organization’s work as well as the precise responsibilities and working hours of the R-1 job. These papers ought to contain:

  • A record of the non-profit’s operations and proof of its legal non-profit status;
  • Proof that the candidate meets the requirements for the post;
  • Evidence showing the applicant was associated with the nonprofit organization for at least two years before applying for the visa;
  • Evidence that the applicant is traveling to the United States just to practice their religion; and
  • Evidence demonstrating either the applicant’s ability to maintain himself or herself in the United States or the organization’s capacity to do so

The applicant must be principally engaged in a religious vocation, the organization must be a religious non-profit organization, and the applicant must have worked in a religious vocation for two years before completing the application.

Existence / Extensions

R-1 visa holders are admitted for a period of 30 months, and with the USCIS’s permission, that period may be increased by up to 30 months. The R-1 cannot be renewed after a total of 60 months or 5 years. Although there are few exceptions to this regulation that provide a further extension, generally speaking, an R-1 visa allows for a 5-year stay.

Family Members

The R-1 holder’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may travel with or behind him or her. The family members may apply for non-immigrant status as R-2, and they will often be given the same amount of time to remain as the R-1 holder.
R-1 visa holders’ spouses are not permitted to work in the country.

Jurisdiction

The USCIS processes R-1 visas directly.

Since an R-1 only confers a nonimmigrant status, the holder of an R-1 must declare during the duration of their stay that they intend to leave the United States and/or return to their home country when their status expires. Given that the R-1 visa has dual purposes, USCIS is not permitted to reject a nonimmigrant petition, application for initial admission, change of status, or extension of stay in the R classification based on a permanent labor certification application that has been submitted or approved or a petition for an immigrant visa that has been submitted or approved.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Non-Immigrant Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia

E-3 Visas

Eligibility

Only Australian citizens may be classified as E-3. You must be traveling here just to engage in services related to a specialty vocation. For admittance into the specialist occupation in the United States, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, and be able to apply a body of information you learned in professional subjects both theoretically and practically.
As a result of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, the E-3 visa was established in 2005.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 E-3 visas have been awarded by US Consulates since the status’s introduction.
Requirements and/or Materials:
You must be an Australian national, have a valid job offer in the US, have at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, and be (temporary) migrating to the US to work in a specialty occupation to qualify for E-3 status.
To qualify for E-3 status, you must be able to demonstrate:
  • An H-1B application’s Labor Condition Application (LCA) cannot be the same as the one utilized previously. Use the normal ETA-9035 and request that it be marked as an E-3 LCA until the Department of Labor creates a new LCA for an E-3.
  • Academic or other credentials proving suitability for the job
  • A job offer letter or other official correspondence from the employer confirming your employment in a specialty occupation and your compensation at the higher of the actual or prevailing rate
  • You must receive the relevant license or other government approval to practice in the specialty occupation before you may begin work there, if necessary.

Existence / Extensions

A person with an E-3 visa is admitted for a 2-year initial stay. Extensions can be made for up to two-year increments. Except under exceptional circumstances, there is no cap on the number of extensions permitted.

Family Members

The same E-3 status is granted to your spouse and any minor children who are not married. Your spouse is qualified for employment. It is forbidden for kids to work.

Jurisdiction

E-3s are handled by the USCIS directly. While USCIS guidelines state that applications for E classification, including extensions, cannot be denied based on a filed or approved immigrant visa petition or a permanent labor certification application, E-3 holders must still maintain an intention to leave the country when their authorized E-3 stay expires.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Non-Immigrant NAFTA Professionals

TN Visa

Eligibility

The United States, Canada, and Mexico now have unique economic and commercial ties because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The TN nonimmigrant classification enables eligible nationals of Canada and Mexico to apply for temporary entrance into the US to participate in professional business activities.

Accountants, engineers, attorneys, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers are among the professionals that are qualified to apply for entry as TN non-immigrants. TN non-immigrant status may be available to you if:

  • You were born in Mexico or Canada;
  • Your line of work meets the requirements;
  • A NAFTA specialist is required for the post in the United States;
  • You are qualified to work in the relevant field, and you have a prearranged full-time or part-time position with a U.S. company (but not self-employment – see proof needed below).
Materials and/or Requirements:

You do not need to submit an application for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate if you are a citizen of Canada.

By providing the necessary papers to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at specific CBP-marked U.S. ports of entry or a designated pre-flight inspection station, you can prove your eligibility for TN classification at the time you apply for entrance to the country. The following papers have to be shown to the CBP officer:

  • Evidence of Canadian nationality;
  • A letter from your potential employer outlining your professional role in the United States, the reason for your employment, the length of your stay, and your educational background; and
  • review of credentials (which is not usually required), in addition to costs.

As an alternative, a potential TN employer may decide to petition USCIS on behalf of a Canadian citizen who is outside the country. In such a situation, you will simply need to provide the approved petition and documentation of your Canadian citizenship at the border.

If you are a citizen of Mexico, you must get a visa to visit the country as a TN nonimmigrant. You will immediately apply for a TN visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico (with the aid of our immigration attorneys).

Validity / Extensions

The initial stay may last up to three years. Your employer must submit a petition on your behalf to request an extension.

Family Members

The spouse does not require a visa if they are Canadian citizens. To join your spouse who has a TN visa, the spouse must apply for a TD visa if they are a native of Mexico. Children and spouses are not allowed to work, although they are allowed to attend school.

Jurisdiction

At the border or an airport, Canadians can apply for TN status. Additionally, through their employment, a petition may be submitted to USCIS. The embassy or consulate must receive a visa application from a citizen of Mexico.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa.

Find more information about employment based green cards & employment based immigration.

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