The immigration process of legally hiring a non-citizen without a work visa can be frustrating and, many times, daunting. Whether you are an American employer seeking the services of a foreign worker or a foreign worker who has been offered employment in the U.S., it is important that you seek the services of an experienced employment immigration attorney to help you navigate the complex immigration system. At Kriezelman Burton and Associates, we know the law and what it takes to succeed in getting employment visas for our clients.
The range of employment visas available is long and wide, depending on the employer’s needs and the qualification requirements for each visa category. Each visa category is defined by its requirements for both the employer and prospective foreign worker. These requirements range from academia to unskilled labor and everything in between, though unskilled labor would normally require what is known as “labor certification.”
Labor certification is a process by which an employer must demonstrate, and the U.S. Department of Labor must verify before a work visa is applied for and approved that:
An employer who meets these conditions and obtains a labor certification can petition for the foreign worker to be approved to get an immigrant visa (green card) based on the offered employment.
The labor certification is not required just for unskilled labor for whom there is an abundance of American workers, but this is a requirement for many skilled, academic, or experienced foreign workers as well.
In cases where the employer only wants to hire the foreign worker on a temporary or seasonal basis, there are several visas known as nonimmigrant worker visas which the employer can petition the United States and Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to approve those visas for one or more foreign workers they intend to hire.
A temporary or nonimmigrant work visa is a visa that allows the holder to enter, live and work in the U.S. for a specified period, usually three years. The visa may be extended for another period, but this can only be done once, meaning, after the expiration of the extended time, the visa holder must either leave the U.S., or they must change their visa to another category that would allow them to remain.
The most common temporary or nonimmigrant visas are H visas, which include a broad range of visas for training and employment in the U.S. Within this H category, the most common H visas are H1-B for specialty occupations, H-2A, for seasonal or temporary workers in agriculture or H-2A for temporary non-agricultural workers. Individuals who qualify can also get H-3 visas for training.
If you are an employer or prospective non-citizen employee looking for an employment visa, we can help. Contact Joseph & Hall today to talk to an immigration attorney to discuss how we can help you in navigating the complex immigration system.
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