United States companies can sponsor eligible employees for temporary or permanent residence in the United States. Work visa programs exist for both permanent and short-term employment.
Employees are eligible for permanent residence through the PERM labor certification process requiring a demonstration of insufficient U.S. labor through a complex advertising process. Individuals may qualify for “Green Cards” through a show of Extraordinary Ability or demonstration that their immigration is in the National Interest. Full information on permanent residence through employment may be found on the permanent residence page. Shorter-term employment visa opportunities are available through numerous specific visa programs.
Specialized workers in all fields whose position requires at least a bachelor’s degree are eligible for H-1B Visas, which are available annually in a limited number a first-come, first-served basis. These visas become available April 1 and often are exhausted within days. Certain employers, including colleges and universities and their non-profit affiliates are exempt from the annual limitation. Similar work visa programs exist for professionals from specific countries including TN Visas for Canadian and Mexican professionals and E-3 Visas for Australian professionals.
International transferees who are entering the United States to work for the same employer as a manager, executive, or specialized worker are eligible for L-1 Visas which permit up to seven years’ employment with the sponsoring company. Spouses of E-3, and L-1 visa holders and certain H-4 spouses of H-1B visa holders are eligible to request employment authorization documents (EADs) to work for any employer.
Other Temporary Worker Visas
Temporary workers may come to the United States for both agricultural and non-agricultural seasonal work in any field. The United States makes H-2A and H-2B visas available to those employers whose work is shown to be seasonal or short-term and who can demonstrate a lack of available U.S. workers. The intricate process involves coordination with the United States Department of Labor for a temporary labor certification and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as the consulate.
H-3 visas are available for companies to provide technical or vocational training to their foreign employees on a temporary basis. The company must produce a comprehensive training program for the petition and demonstrate the qualifications of each alien trainee.
Other Work Visas
Other work opportunities exist for religious workers, foreign investors and their employees and those with extraordinary ability in arts, sciences, or athletics. Information about some of these programs can be found on the E Visa and performer visa pages.
Every nonimmigrant work visa petition, extension, or transfer requires a different application process. Selection of an employment immigration strategy requires a detailed analysis of the position, the individual’s qualifications and the numerous visa programs available. Greenberg Visa Law has extensive employment immigration and immigration compliance experience and can assist in determining the proper classification for you or your employees. Contact us today for a consultation with an expert immigration lawyer.