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Business Immigration

Each year, thousands of employers in the United States hire foreign nationals to join their businesses and organizations. These foreign workers often bring highly specialized knowledge to their respective fields, add cultural diversity to the workplace and help U.S. employers maintain competitive advantage in the global market. Despite the many benefits these foreign nationals bring to the United States’ economy, business immigration procedures are often complex and the legal processes overwhelming.

Our immigration law firm will guide you through the maze of immigration processes, from the hiring to the transfer of foreign workers. With our experience working with all types of organizations and businesses and our vast knowledge of United States citizenship and immigration law, we can help you explore the options for work authorization and assist you with the documentation requirements necessary to obtain the appropriate visa.

Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas

H-1B Specialty Workers Visa

One option available to employers is the H-1B Visa which allows businesses to sponsor highly skilled foreign nationals in specialized occupations to come work in the United States on a temporary basis. These specialty occupations include, but are not limited to: IT, Computing, Finance, Accounting, Banking, Engineering, Teaching, Medical, Legal, and Telecommunications. To qualify for the H-1B Visa, foreign nationals must have a minimum of a Bachelors degree related to their specialized field.

The U.S. employer must submit a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) together with a completed Labor Condition Application (LCA).  Among other requirements the employer must agree to pay the employee at least the prevailing wage.

The United States Government places a cap on the number of foreign workers, issuing a limited number of H-1B Visas per year. With great demand and limited supply, it is important that you consult an attorney who understands the extremely detailed process of obtaining work authorization in the U.S. We assist in the preparation of the petition, application and review all supporting documentation to ensure that you do not fall victim to the common H-1B Visa pitfalls which lead to the rejection of many applications each year.

H-3 Professional Training Visa

Companies that have training programs to educate individuals in a specific industry are able to sponsor foreign participants by obtaining the H-3 Visa. The H-3 visa allows foreign nationals to temporarily live in the United States for a specified period of time (the duration of their training) in order to train with a U.S.-based  company in various occupations including commerce, agriculture, finance, government and business. It is important to note that individuals receiving medical training are not eligible for this Visa program.

In order to qualify for the H-3 Visa, an individual must be invited by an organization, company or American citizen for training which is not available in the foreign national’s home country. Applicants seeking the H-3 Visa must file a petition proving that they will not be employed in the United States beyond what is necessary for their training and that the experience will benefit the trainee in pursuing a career outside the U.S. upon the completion of the program. Although there is no cap on the number of H-3 Visas issued each year, it is important to consult with an attorney who has experience with business immigration to ensure the proper steps are taken in each phase of the application and petition process.
 
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Work Visa

Businesses may hire immigrants with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics” to enter and temporarily work in the United States. A genetic engineer who has written extensively on modified food or an Olympic athlete who has won multiple medals in their respective sport are examples of qualified applicants for the O-1 Visa. In order to qualify for this visa program, the foreign national must prove their high level of expertise in a given field by winning an internationally-recognized award, such as the Noble Prize, or by meeting three of the following criteria to prove extraordinary ability:

  • Professional publications written by others documenting the individuals work in a particular field.
  • Evidence of the foreign national’s participation as a judge on the work of others within their field of specialty.
  • Membership in an association in the field of extraordinary ability, which requires outstanding achievement for membership.
  • Evidence of the foreign national’s original significant contribution in their respective field.
  • Evidence of the foreign worker’s authorship of articles in the field published in major media or professional journals.
  • Evidence of past employment with distinguished organizations or establishments which serve as an authority in the field of endeavor.
  • Evidence of high salary for services in relation to other peers in the field.

The O-1 Visa is granted for an initial stay of three years; however, the Visa may be extended in one year increments for the duration of the foreign employee’s work in the United States. Unlike most of the temporary nonimmigrant visas, there is no maximum length of stay in the U.S. for holders of the O-1 Visa. Our firm can assist you in the preparation of the O-1 petition and supporting documentation.
 
L-1 Multinational Corporation Employee

Multinational companies with multiple locations in the United States and abroad may sponsor foreign employees to join their U.S. branch, affiliate or subsidiary by obtaining the L-1 Visa. In order to be eligible for this visa, an individual must have worked abroad for the company for at least one continuous year in the three years immediately before to relocating to the United States. Two types of employees may be eligible for the L-1 Visa:

  • Managers and Executives who hold a supervisory role within the company may apply for the L-1A Visa for a maximum stay of seven years.
  • Employees with specialized knowledge of the company’s products, services, research, systems, management, operations or procedures which is not widely held or available in the United States may be eligible for the L-1B Visa. These individuals may remain in the United States for a maximum stay of five years.

Employers may petition for foreign national employees through the regular L-1 Visa procedure, submitting a petition for each individual employee, or by filing a Blanket L-1 Visa petition which allows the employer to apply for the L-1 Visa on behalf of multiple employees under a single petition. Generally, blanket petitions are only available for larger corporations as certain criteria must be met. Once the Blanket L-1 is approved, employers have greater flexibility in transferring employees to the United States. Our immigration attorneys can assist you in determining if your business qualifies for the individual or blanket L-1 Visa petition.

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa/E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E visa is nonimmigrant visa category that permits foreign business persons from certain countries to temporarily live and work in the United States if they make a substantial investment (E-2 Treaty Investor visa) or conduct significant trade (E-1 Treaty Trader visa).

To qualify for the E visa individuals must be citizens of countries that have a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangement with the United States.  

Moreover an E-visa applicant must be coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade principally between the United States and the treaty country or to make a substantial investment into the U.S. economy.  The applicant may be an owner, employee, manager or essential employee of the company doing business in the United States.

Applicants for the E visa apply directly at the U.S. consulate in their home country.

E-3 Australian Specialty Visa

The E-3 visa category permits Australian citizens who are professionals to enter the U.S. temporarily to work for a U.S. employer.  E-3 applicants must be coming to work in a specialty occupation (i.e. a position requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher).  E-3 applicants must apply directly at the consulate for the visa and are also required to submit a certified Labor Condition Application.

P- Visa

The P nonimmigrant visa created by the Immigration Act of 1990, Public Law 101-649 of November 29, 1990, permits certain athletes, entertainers, and artists to enter the United States to perform. Every P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien must be the beneficiary of a petition approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prior to visa issuance.

P-1 Athletes and Group Entertainers

The P-1 classification applies to a foreign national who is coming temporarily to the United States:

  1. To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance, or to provide essential support to such athlete; or
  2. To perform with, or as an integral and essential part of the performance of, an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as being outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

P-2

The P-2 visa applies to a foreign national who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or as an integral part of the performance of such a group, and who seeks to perform under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the United States and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states, and which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.

P-3

The P-3 visa applies to an alien artist or entertainer who is coming temporarily to the United States, either individually or as part of a group, or as an integral part of the performance of the group, to perform, teach, or coach under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique.

P-4

The P-4 visa permits the spouse and children accompanying or
following to join a foreign national classified P-1, P-2, or P-3.

TN

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) citizens of Canada and Mexico who are professionals are permitted to enter the U.S. temporarily to work in specifically designated occupations that generally require at least a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

Canadians are permitted to apply for the TN visa at any port of entry into the United States.  However, Mexican nationals are required to apply for the TN visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.




 
 


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