Work Related Visas
The H1B Classification permits a foreign national with specialized knowledge and training to work in the U.S in a “specialty occupation” for a temporary period of time. A “specialty occupation” has been defined as an occupation requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor. HIB visas are capped at a total of 85,000 visas each fiscal year, and cap is generally reached in the first week of April the first month of the fiscal year. The H1B Visa is issued for maximum period of 6 years and in increments of up to 3 years. In limited circumstances the H1B Visa may be extended past the 6year maximum period if the H1B visa holder is applying for permanent residence. A spouse and children may obtain H-4 status and live in the U.S. and may study but are not authorized to work.
- Employee must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
- The job must qualify as a “specialty occupation”
- An approved Labor Condition Application from U.S. Department of Labor prior to filing H1B petition with USCIS
L1 Visa permits intra-company transferees of multinational companies to transfer certain employees from the foreign company to the U.S. company. There are two general categories for the L1 category, the first is L1A for an employee in an executive/managerial position and second is L1B for an employee with specialized knowledge.
- Employee must have worked abroad for the foreign company or its affiliate for a continuous period of one year in the preceding last three years.
- The foreign company must be related to the U.S company
- The employee to be transferred must have been employed abroad in an executive/management capacity or a position with specialized knowledge and is being transferred to U.S. company to work in executive/management or specialized knowledge position
- The employee must be qualified by his/her education and experience
- The L-1 Non-immigrant must intend to depart the U.S. upon completion of his/her authorized stay but may also simultaneously pursue permanent residence. This is known as the dual intent doctrine.
The E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor allows nationals of counties which have commercial treaties with U.S. to enter the U.S. for an initial period of stay up to 2 years to engage in trade or investment. Generally, the E Visa may be extended as along E visa treaty trader/investor continues to engage in such trade or investment and affirms that he or she will depart the U.S. when the period of authorized stay, including extension ends.
The E Visa category is well suited for business owners, managers and employees with specialized knowledge who need to be in the U.S. for extended period of time to manage and oversee and work in a business that is engaged in trade with U.S. or constitutes an active and substantial investment in an ongoing business which does more than support the investor by having a job creation effect.
- A treaty between the United State and the country that the foreign national(s) is/are a citizen(s).
- Majority ownership or control of the trading or investing company by the foreign national(s) country of citizenship.
- The foreign national investor/treaty trader citizenship must be held by each employee or principal of the company seeking E investor/treaty trader status under the treaty.
Other Work Visas
The O visa is persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, athletics or business.
The P category is generally for professional athletes and performers.
The R visa is for certain religious workers
The TN visa provides citizens of Canada and Mexico who are professionals to work in the U.S. pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
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Attorney Kerr can provide answers to your questions regarding Visas and Immigration Matters.