U.S. companies seeking to fill high-level positions may often look abroad to increase their pool of potential applicants. Doing so, however, means conforming to strict government standards and ensuring compliance with laws designed to protect the U.S. workforce. Additionally, it requires navigating some tricky terrain when it comes to the process of immigration itself.
Little Law, P.A. is dedicated to helping immigrants obtain legal status, as well as U.S. citizens who are willing to sponsor them. This includes employers who want to file for work permits such as H-1Bs. We also help investors obtain non-immigrant visas that allow them to conduct business in the United States.
For more information about business visas, investor visas, and how we can help, contact us today. A business visa lawyer at Little Law, P.A. can answer your questions and guide you through the complex immigration process.
Helping Individuals Get Immigrant Visas Based on Employment
If you are an immigrant applying for visas based on employment, you will need to be able to prove your ability to do the job that you want to be hired for or manage the business you want to open. This requires honestly reporting any relevant work experience, educational experience, and vocational certifications. The U.S. provides the follow work visa categories:
- EB-1a – Workers who possess extraordinary ability or specialized knowledge;
- EB-1b – Professors or researchers who possess extraordinary ability or specialized knowledge;
- EB-2 – Professional workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability;
- EB-3 – Other skilled workers, professionals, or generalized laborers;
- EB-4 – Religious workers, translators, broadcasters, or other special laborers;
Not all business visas are tied to a full-time offer of employment. For example, certain highly-qualified scientists, athletes, and artists can self-apply for a visa. That being said, having a valid, full-time job offer can certainly help your chances. Certain types of visas, such as the EB-3 visa, are directly linked to your employer.
In cases where you are terminated from your employment, laid off, or otherwise lose your job, you have 60 days to find another position. A business visa lawyer can help you understand your options, as well as any grace periods that may apply to your case.
What Is a “Worker of Extraordinary Ability”?
Immigrants who qualify under EB-1 as “workers of extraordinary ability” are given priority over other workers. Additionally, eligibility does not need to be tied to a specific job offer, and the immigrant is not required to be sponsored by an employer. EB-1 candidates also do not need to go through the labor certification process.
Workers of extraordinary ability may include the following:
- Recognized leaders in the arts, sciences, athletics, or business through “international acclaim”;
- Outstanding professors or researchers who are recognized for their achievements in their field of practice; and
- Executives and managers that need to transfer to the U.S. for work.
While those who come to the U.S. need not have a specific job offer, they must intend to work in the U.S. In addition, there are ten criteria that prove extraordinary ability. Any applicant who files for an EB-1 visa must be able to prove three of the ten.
Who Qualifies for EB-2 or EB-3 Visas?
Employers looking to fill a job position with a foreign national will go through the EB-2 or EB-3 visa route, depending on the qualifications of the candidate and the position the company is hiring for.
- EB-2 applicants have advanced degrees such as Masters, PhDs, or MDs. Some highly-trained or high-skilled professionals may also qualify for EB-2 visas.
- EB-3 applicants have to satisfy less demanding requirements. They are available to a foreign national with a full-time job offer from a certified employer, and a wide variety of workers may qualify.
Before an employer fills a position with an EB-2 or EB-3 candidate, they must obtain labor certification from the government. This requires posting the job offer in a public forum in such a manner that it meets the requirements of specific government criteria. The reasoning behind doing this is to ensure that efforts to fill the position with qualified domestic candidates have been exhausted. In addition, you will need to offer a competitive salary commensurate with industry standards. Lastly, you’ll need to show that the individual you are staffing the position with legitimately has the qualifications required to fill the position.
If you are a company looking to hire an ideal candidate from overseas, an experienced business visa lawyer can help ensure that you maintain compliance with government regulations. We can also help you build a comprehensive strategy, as well as obtain any necessary labor certifications.
Investor Visas for Treaty Traders or Treaty Investors
If you are trying to enter the U.S. to engage in international trade, or on behalf of an employer to invest a significant amount of capital in U.S. business, you may be able to receive an E-1, E-2, or EB-5 visa. These non-immigrant visas are open to nationals from countries which have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S.
- E-1: Treaty trader who enters the United States for the purpose of substantial trade in goods, services, or technology between the States and the traders country of origin.
- E-2: Treaty investor who enters the United States for the purpose of directing enterprise operations into which the investor is investing a significant amount of capital.
- EB-5: There are numerous similarities between E-2 and EB-5 visas, but EB-5 visas allow foreign investors to petition for immediate permanent resident status (or become a green card holder).
EB-5 visas require visa holders to invest $1 million USD in a domestic business or $500,000 in an area that has notably high unemployment or a targeted rural area. The investment is required to either protect at least 10 already-existing jobs or create ten new jobs. The major benefit of the EB-5 is that the investor qualifies for immediate (conditional) green card status.
For Questions About Business Visas or Investor Visas Contact Our Tampa, FL Visa Lawyers
At Little Law, P.A., we can help you meet your business-based immigration needs, as well as help you succeed in reaching your business or investment goals. For professional advice and assistance for domestic employers, foreign workers, or international traders, contact us today.