The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is receptive to granting visas to authorize professionals and degreed personnel to work in the U.S.A. in their respective fields. A U.S. employer on behalf of a foreign national can file an H-1B visa.
To obtain an H -1B Visa for the prospective employee, the employer must first offer a job customarily requiring a Bachelor’s or an advanced degree in the alien’s field.
After a job offer has been made and accepted, our office can then file to receive the visa classification and its accompanying work authorization. In most cases, this classification could be requested for a maximum of three years.
An extension for a second three-year term is possible.
Processing time is generally three weeks after approval of the Labor Condition Application (LCA).
The employee must be qualified or licensed for the position, and the position must require, minimally, a university level degree in the same field as the foreign national’s major field of study.
The statute refers to “specialty occupation” employment. Such employment must require theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge. A four-year or graduate degree or the equivalent in that “specialty” generally qualifies the person for this visa.
Note: The employer must also have filed and been approved for an LCA. We can assist the employer with this requirement if an LCA for this position has not already been filed and approved. This step takes approximately one to three weeks depending upon the location of the job.
The employer is not required to recruit American workers. The employer must be offering the prevailing wage in a given geographical area to this employee and all other H Visa workers so employed as the visa is designed to facilitate temporary employment of foreign professionals.
We are available to assist the employer and the beneficiary in preparing the entire application and package once the job offer is made and accepted.
With a newly established American subsidiary, INS can approve an L -1 visa for up to one (1) year. After that year, as long as the American operation has flourished, a staff has been hired, and the employee is performing executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge activities, in accordance with INS requirements, an extension of the L-1 visa for up to three years can be available.
Once the extension is approved with newly established American branches or subsidiaries, an application can be made for permanent residency (green card) for executive or managerial personnel. An individual who qualifies for an L-1A with a business that has been operating for more than one (1) year can apply for permanent residence without delay. Personnel coming to the United States on an L-1B visa based upon specialized knowledge must undertake a longer and more involved process to obtain permanent residency, called a labor certification.
For assistance with your H visa needs, or for more information on which visa is best for your circumstances, contact our office today!