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Employment Visas

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.

What Types of Employment Visas Are Available?

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.

Immigrant Employment Visas

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.

  • E1 visas are reserved for those with extraordinary talent in their field or profession. These are the highest priority.
  • E2 visas are reserved for those with advanced degrees or who demonstrate exceptional talent in the fields of business, science, or art.
  • E3 visas are reserved for professionals as well as skilled and unskilled workers.
  • E4 visas are for special categories of immigrants, such as religious workers or those recruited to serve in the U.S. military.
  • E5 visas are for immigrant investors. The investor must invest $1 million in a qualifying business (or $500,000 in rural/targeted areas) that will create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs. The subcategories of an E5 visa are C5, T5, R5, and I5.

Non-Immigrant Employment Visas

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:

  • H-1B: For those with post-secondary education or distinction in special occupations
  • H-2A: For those who perform agricultural work and reside in certain countries
  • H-2B: For those who work in other fields and reside in certain countries

Who Is Eligible for an Employment Visa?

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.

What Is the Application Process for an Employment Visa?

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.

How Can an Immigration Lawyer Help With I-9 Audits?

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.

Partner With an Immigration Lawyer for Your Employment Visa Needs

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.

FAQ

What if my employment visa application is denied?

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.

How much does it cost to obtain an employment visa?

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.

When can I apply for a green card?

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.

Practice Areas

  • Family Based
  • Employment Based
  • Citizenship
  • Humanitarian Relief
  • Investor Visas
Check your Visa Eligibility
Marriage Green Card through Consular ProcessFor married couples where the foreign-born spouse lives abroad
Marriage Green Card: Adjustment of StatusFor married couples in the U.S.
K-1 Fiancé VisaFor unmarried couples where the foreign-born spouse lives abroad
Removal of ConditionsFor those with expiring 2-year green cards
IR-2 Child VisaFor U.S. citizens with children outside of the U.S.
B1/B2 Tourist VisaFor individuals looking to travel to the U.S.
IR-5 Parent VisaFor U.S. citizens with foreign-born parents
U.S. Citizenship (Naturalization)For green card holders ready to become U.S. citizens
I-90 Green Card Renewal or ReplacementFor current green card holders
H-1B VisaFor foreign professionals who want to work in the U.S.
EB-5 VisaFor investors who want to immigrate to the U.S.
E-2 VisaFor foreign investors to start a U.S. business
L-1 VisaFor multinational companies that want to transfer employees to the U.S.
O-1 VisaFor companies that want to bring extraordinary foreign talent to the U.S.
R-1 VisaFor religious workers who need a temporary U.S. visa
TN VisaFor citizens of Mexico and Canada who work in certain professions
F-1 Student VisaFor foreign students who want to study in the U.S.
NaturalizationFor permanent residents ready to become U.S. citizens
Adjustment of StatusFor immigrants looking to adjust their status
Denials & DelaysHelp with delays or denials in the immigration process
Derivative CitizenshipFor foreign-born children with a U.S. parent
Deportation DefenseLegal assistance and protection against deportation
DACAFor certain people who entered the U.S. unlawfully as children
AsylumFor individuals and families seeking asylum
U-VisaFor crime victims who are in fear of deportation
T-VisaFor victims of human trafficking
Affirmative Deferred Action
EB-5For investors and employers wanting to move to the U.S.
E-2 VisaFor investors and employers wanting to move to the U.S.

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