If you own a business and are needing to bring a foreign employee to the United States or if you are an immigrant looking to enter the U.S. under your employer’s sponsorship, it is important to know which employment visa will be needed. With only a limited number of employment visas available each year, you will want to be as informed about the application process as possible so that you can ensure your paperwork is not held up by errors or omissions. Working with a skilled immigration attorney can ensure your visa application and pertinent documents are as accurate as possible and will help expedite the process.
There are two categories of employment visas, and the category that applies to you will depend on whether you intend to immigrate to the United States on a permanent basis or work in the country temporarily.
For those who hope to immigrate to the U.S. permanently on an employment visa, there are five preference categories, ranging from E1 to E5. Each fiscal year, there are only 140,000 of these visas available. If the visas are depleted prior to the end of the fiscal year, no new visas will be added until the new fiscal year opens on October 1st.
If you are entering the U.S. for a temporary or seasonal work assignment, a non-immigrant visa will be necessary. Some of the most common non-immigrant employment visas include:
Eligible individuals are those who are immigrant investors or those who are sponsored by an employer. In order for a visa to be approved, an employee must be able to demonstrate that they will be able to financially support themselves upon entering the country. There are circumstances that may make you ineligible for a visa, such as overstaying a previous visa, some health conditions, and certain criminal offenses.
The process for filing an employment visa application varies depending on the specific visa you are requesting.
For many employment visas, an employer must complete a labor certification with the Department of Labor. After it is approved, the employer must complete a petition: Form I-140 for immigrants, Form I-526 for immigrant investors, or Form I-129 for non-immigrant temporary workers.
In general, workers will then need to complete the appropriate visa application forms and pay the required fees. They will attend an interview, submit to a medical examination, receive any required vaccinations, and provide the required documentation. For more clarification about the precise requirements for your visa type, it is best to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer.
If you are a business owner who is facing an I-9 audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the best way to ensure that you are in compliance is to work with an immigration attorney with expertise in these cases. Your lawyer will help you gather the necessary documentation and review it for accuracy and completeness. If your attorney identifies any discrepancies, they will be poised to build a defense on your behalf.
Employers and employees alike will benefit from enlisting the help of a qualified immigration lawyer. Employers can rest assured that they have completed all of the required documentation accurately and that their prospective employee is eligible for an employment visa. Employees can take comfort in knowing that their application does not contain any mistakes or lack any pertinent information that could result in a delay or denial of their visa approval.
An immigration lawyer can also help if you need an adjustment of status to apply for legal permanent residency. Once you have your green card, your attorney can assist you in obtaining citizenship or naturalization.
Obtaining the information you need for your employment visa or other immigration needs is easy; reach out today to request a free case evaluation.
There are many reasons why an employment visa application may be denied. If the employer or employee makes mistakes on the paperwork, it can lead to a denial. Furthermore, the employee may be deemed ineligible for a visa. Waivers may be available in this case, so it is important that you contact a skilled immigration attorney as soon as possible to determine your next steps.
For the most up-to-date fee schedule for visas, visit the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Fees for Visa Services webpage. Your immigration lawyer can help you determine which fees will be applicable to your specific situation.
Depending on the type of visa you obtain, you may be able to apply for an employment-based green card as soon as you arrive in the United States. An employment-based visa follows the same preference guidelines as an employment visa and is designated as EB-1 through EB-5. An experienced green card lawyer can help you with your adjustment of status application.