In an increasingly globalized economy, it is important for United States businesses to obtain the best talent available at competitive compensation rates, whether from within or outside the United States. Accordingly, employers must be adept at dealing with United States employment visa requirements to recruit and retain talent on a global scale. At Shestopalko law we have the necessary skill set to develop effective immigration solutions for business of all sizes and needs. As Shestopalko Law we are passionate about helping immigrants obtain employment-based visas. We are immigrants ourselves and understand what drives people to want to live and work here and contribute to this great country. We can put our skill, experience and resources to work for you in making the visa process go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Non-Immigrant (Temporary) Work Visas
H-1B Visa (Specialty Occupation Workers)
The H-1B visa is the most commonly sought visa for professional workers. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows United States companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in engineering, IT, finance, accounting, medicine, mathematics, architect and others. The job position offered by United States employer must require theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, such as a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
H-2B Visas (Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers)
The H-2B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows United States companies to employ to hire foreign national workers to come to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural work, which may be one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent. The H-2B visa covers unskilled or job-trained workers in a variety of non-agricultural industries
TN Visas (NAFTA Professional Workers)
Pursuant to the NAFTA agreement, the non-immigrant TN visa permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to work in certain professional fields.
L-1 Visas (Intracompany Transferees)
An alien working for an affiliate, subsidiary, parent or branch of a United States company located outside of the United States may be eligible for the L-1 visa. Internal (intracompany) transferees who have been employed outside the United States by an affiliate, subsidiary, parent or branch of the United States company in a in certain positions may come to work for the same company in the United States.
The L-1 visa is split into two categories:
- L-1A (intracompany executives and managers) allows a United States organization to transfer an executive or a manager from a parent company, subsidiary or other affiliate abroad to reside and work the United States
- L-1B (intracompany specialized knowledge professional) allows a United States organization to transfer workers with special knowledge of the employer’s business from an overseas parent company, subsidiary or other affiliate to the United States
Other Temporary Non-Immigrant Work Visas
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study that he or she studied in the United States. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization after he or she completed the education in the United States. Since 2016, the Department of Homeland Security allows certain F-1 students who received science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees, and who meet other specified requirements, to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-education (completion) OPTs.
These categories only touch upon some of the most common Temporary Non-Immigrant Work visas and the descriptions are general. Employment Immigration is a complicated area of immigration law and the attorneys at Shestopalko Law are happy to discuss your particular skill set and unique situation to fit your particular immigration needs.
Immigrant (Permanent) Work Visas
A job candidate or an employee (who may already have temporary non-immigrant visa status) can be sponsored for permanent residency (green card) by an employer. There are different types (preferences) of petitions for immigrant work visas. There are four most common types of (permanent) employment visas:
- First preference (EB-1)
- Second preference (EB-2)
- Third preference (EB-3)
- Fourth preference (EB-4)
Generally, the “higher” the type (preference category) of employment visa the shorter the wait time for obtaining an immigrant visa. For a current list of priority dates being approved for visas (the date when Department of Labor received the labor certification application), check the United States Department of State’s current Visa Bulletin. Once a priority date is current, as to the date of filing with the USCIS or Department of Labor, the beneficiary worker can apply concurrently for adjustment of status (getting a green card) if legally in the United States or complete consular processing at a United States embassy abroad.
Employment First Preference (EB-1)
The EB-1 visa (category/preference) is an immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals who are the top in their professional field to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Within the EB-1 category/preference there are three sub-groups:
- EB-1A: Extraordinary Workers who poses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
- EB-1B: Outstanding professors and researches with at least three years of experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally.
- EB-1C: Multinational executives and multinational managers who have been employed by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the United States employer and who are coming to work in a managerial or executive capacity in the United States.
Employment Second Preference (EB-2)
The EB-2 visa (category/preference) is an immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or foreign national who have exceptional ability to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Within the EB-2 category/preference there are three sub-groups:
- EB-2A: This category is for foreign national professionals with an ‘advanced degree’ (masters degree or higher) and with a job offer from a United States employer.
- EB-2B: This category is for foreign nationals with ‘exceptional ability’ in the sciences, business or arts and with a job offer from a United States company.
- EB-2C: This category is for foreign nationals with exceptional ability, or an advanced degree, who can show that his or her activities will substantially benefit the United States national interest
Employment Third Preference (EB-3)
The EB-3 visa (category/preference) is an immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals who are either professionals with a bachelor’s degree, skilled workers, or “other” workers to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Within the EB-3 category/preference there are three sub-groups:
- EB-3A: Professionals with a bachelor’s degree for positions requiring at least a bachelor’s degree.
- EB-3B: Skilled workers for positions that require at least two years of experience.
- EB-3C: “Other” workers for positions that require less than two years of experience.
Employment Fourth Preference (EB-4)
The EB-4 visas are usually allocated to special immigrant religious workers. However, the category can cover a broad range of other applicants. These occupations include:
- Iraqi and Afghan translators
- Iraqis who have provided aid to the United States
- Employees of International Organizations
- Certain Physicians
- Current and retired employees of NATO-6
Employment Fifth Preference (EB-5)
The EB-5 program was established by the United States Congress in 1990 to facilitate increased investment in the United States economy. The EB-5 visa is a way to get a green card and permanent residency through investment. The investment allows the investor to permanently live and work in the United States with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The yearly quota or cap of EB-5 visas issued each year is 10,000 visas (subject further to per-country limits).
For more detailed information please visit our Investor Immigration Page.
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Disclaimer: This article discusses general legal issues, but it does not constitute legal advice. No one should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Shestopalko Law expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.