Employment-based immigration can be a great way for workers in other countries to earn money in the United States while taking steps toward permanent status. It’s also beneficial for U.S. employers. After all, foreign workers often provide the best talent and flexibility available in a given field. These individuals shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to contribute to the greatness of America simply because they are foreign.
Yet, as you may well know, the immigration process in America is extraordinarily complex. Don’t let its daunting nature deter you from seeking the immigration status that is needed in your circumstances, including a temporary work visas. Instead, let the nature of the immigration system motivate you to learn more about how to successfully navigate the process so that you can achieve an outcome that is right for you. We hope this post will be helpful in that regard.
Your temporary employment visa options
There are a number of employment visas that you may be able to utilize to reach your goal. Here are some of them:
- H-1B visas: These visas are available for professionals in specialty occupations, meaning that they require a high level of specialized knowledge. These individuals must have a bachelor’s degree equivalent or higher when it comes to education. In order to protect American workers, an employer seeking to sponsor an H-1B visa applicant must attest that the prospective employee will be paid a similar wage to those in similar positions in the U.S. It’s important to note that there’s a cap on the number of H-1B visas that are granted each year, so an application needs to be thorough, accurate, and complete. If approved, this visa holder can work in the U.S. for three years with the ability to petition for a three-year extension.
- H-2A visas: These visas are for temporary agricultural workers who come from specifically identified countries. There’s no cap on the number of these visas that are approved each year, and H-2A visa holders can work for a maximum of three years in the U.S. if the visa is properly renewed to its fullest extent. Before this visa can be obtained, though, the sponsoring employer must attest that no U.S. workers are available to fill the positions in question, and appropriate wages, benefits, and housing must be provided to the immigrant workers.
- H-2B visas: These visas mirror the requirements of H-2A visas, except that they are intended for seasonal agricultural workers. These visas are capped each year.
- L-1A & L-1B visas: These visas are meant for workers who are performing their duties abroad for an employer who has locations in the U.S. If the employer requires the individual’s services in America, then that employer can sponsor the worker to obtain one of these visas. There’s no annual limit to the number of these visas that are granted each year, so they’re easier to obtain than an H-1B visa. There are no restrictions on the wages that have to be paid, and one of these visa holders can work in the U.S. for three years with renewal options of two to four years depending on the circumstances at hand.
Know how to navigate your immigration challenges
Using immigrant workers can be extraordinarily beneficial for U.S. employers. But far too often they simply don’t want to put in the work to figure out how to use the immigration system to their advantage. The good news is that these employers don’t have to. Instead, they can work with an experienced law firm to have their interests advanced as efficiently and as effectively as possible.
So, regardless of whether you’re an immigrant looking to obtain employment in the U.S. or an employer seeking to take advantage of foreign talent, consider learning more about how you can be supported in your effort to achieve the outcome that you desire.