American companies are allowed to bring foreign workers to work for them, provided certain requirements are met. The process of bringing non-citizens to work in the United States varies, depending on whether the employment is permanent or temporary. At Joseph & Hall, we have experienced employment immigration lawyers who routinely help employers and foreign workers in Carbondale to successfully navigate the complex immigration system to obtain a work visa for foreign workers.
There are two broad employment immigration categories, and these are immigrant and non-immigrant visa categories. An initial decision an employer must make is what type of visa they would need to obtain for their prospective foreign worker. In many cases, even within a visa category, there are several subcategories that require a thorough understanding of the requirements to avoid applying for the wrong work visa and getting denied.
An employment-based visa is a green card given to a foreign worker who is sponsored by an American employer. A green card is approved for permanent employment if certain other requirements are met.
To sponsor a foreign worker for an immigrant visa, the employer must first obtain what is known as “labor certification” from the US Department of Labor (DOL).
Labor certification is a process where the employer is required to take certain steps and provide documentation to prove that there are no American workers to be hired for the available position. If the DOL is satisfied with the documentation, the agency will issue the labor certification, based on which the employer can petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to approve an immigrant visa (green card) for the foreign worker.
If USCIS approves the petition filed by the employer, then the foreign worker can apply for the green card either in the United States, if they are already in the country in another valid legal status, or at a US consulate.
Approval of the green card, however, is not automatic, even in cases where the employer’s foreign worker petition has been approved. This is because the foreign worker must be found to be eligible for the green card, but there are situations where the foreign worker may be found ineligible to be approved for the green card.
If the American employer only has a temporary or seasonal job available, then a temporary or non-immigrant visa is appropriate. A non-immigrant visa is approved only for a limited period, and the foreign worker for which it is approved can only work for the sponsoring employer. A sponsoring employer is an employer who files paperwork with USCIS for the foreign worker to be given a work visa.
There are many types of non-immigrant visas available. The most common are H1 and L1, but many of these temporary or non-immigrant visas can be changed to green cards if the applicable requirements are met.
If you are in the Carbondale area and need an employment immigration lawyer, contact us today and schedule an appointment to confidentially discuss your situation.
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