Tampa Work & Investment Visa Lawyer
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 and U.S. citizens willing to sponsor them. This includes employers who want to file for work permits such as H-1Bs. We also help investors obtain nonimmigrant visas to conduct business in the United States.
Employment-Based Immigrant Visas
If you are an immigrant applying for a visa 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 honest reporting of any relevant work experience, educational experience, and vocational certifications.
The U.S. provides the following work visa categories:
- EB-1a – Workers who possess extraordinary ability or specialized knowledge.
- EB-1b – Professors or researchers with extraordinary abilities 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, highly qualified scientists, athletes, and artists can self-apply for a visa. 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. Our business visa lawyer can help you understand your options and 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.
- Executives and managers who 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, 10 criteria prove extraordinary ability. Any applicant who files for an EB-1 visa must be able to prove three of the 10.
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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, Ph. D.s, or M.D.s. Some highly trained or high-skilled professionals may also qualify for EB-2 visas.
- EB-3 applicants have to satisfy fewer 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 so that it meets the requirements of specific government criteria. The reason 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 you maintain compliance with government regulations. We can also help you build a comprehensive strategy and obtain 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 nonimmigrant visas are open to nationals from countries with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S.:
- E-1: Treaty trader who enters the United States for substantial trade in goods, services, or technology between the States and the trader’s country of origin.
- E-2: Treaty investor who enters the United States to direct 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 green card holders).
- EB-5 visas require visa holders to invest $1 million in a domestic business or $500,000 in an area with notably high unemployment or a targeted rural area. The investment is required to protect at least 10 existing jobs or create 10 new ones. The major benefit of the EB-5 is that the investor qualifies for immediate (conditional) green card status.
Temporary Work Visas L, P & O
Temporary worker visas are a common type of work visa that fall into the L category. These visas are intended for individuals who will be employed in a specialty occupation that requires at least four years of post-secondary education in the field of specialization.
The most common type of L visa is the L-1 visa, which is available to employees of multinational companies who are transferring to a U.S. office. To qualify, the employee must have been employed by the company for at least one year before the transfer and must be coming to the U.S. to work as an executive, manager, or employee with specialized knowledge.
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