As anyone who has gone through the immigration process can attest, dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and State Department is often frustrating and, in many cases, daunting. This is because of the huge number of immigration cases handled by these agencies daily, which has created a backlog of cases that leads applicants and petitioners to wait a long time before their applications or petitions are adjudicated. At Joseph & Hall, we help employers in the Colorado Springs area to navigate through this complex immigration system.
An initial determination an employer must make before starting the immigration process to obtain a visa for a foreign worker is what type of visa to seek. This decision is often informed by the employer’s needs and the qualifications of the foreign worker the employer seeks to hire. The decision is also dictated by the requirements in place for the various employment-based immigration. These requirements are generally grouped into two visa categories: permanent and temporary or nonimmigrant visa categories.
A permanent employment visa is a green card obtained for a foreign worker who is sponsored by an American employer. A non-citizen can also, in some cases, self-petition. This means they will not need an employer to sponsor them if they meet certain stringent requirements. An employer wishing to hire a foreign worker on a permanent basis would first need to obtain “labor certification” from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This is verification by the DOL that there are no qualified, willing, and ready-to-work American workers to be hired for the open position. DOL also verifies that the foreign worker will be paid prevailing wages.
A nonimmigrant or temporary work visa is a visa that allows a foreign worker to be employed by an American company for a fixed period, usually three years. In some situations, the visa can be extended for another three-year term. In either case, whether for the initial fixed period or the extended period, the foreign worker must leave the U.S. on or before the fixed period expires. It is possible to remain in the U.S. at the expiration of this period, but only if the foreign worker changes their visa to a different immigration category that would allow them to legally stay and work in the U.S.
At Joseph & Hall, we help employers in the Colorado Springs area to navigate the complex immigration system to obtain either of these work visas. If you are an employer in this area, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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