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A Guide in Choosing the Best Work Visa
Are you one of the foreign nationals who aspire to land a job in the United States of America? If so, the first thing that you need to do is to identify the category of work visa that will suit you best. You need to secure a work visa for you to be legally employed in the U.S. There are several US work visa categories to choose from depending on the applicant’s qualifications, credentials, nature of the occupation, and field of specialization.
The work visas being offered by the United States usually fall under the non-immigrant visa category. It allows the foreign national to work and live in the United States of America temporarily. Our North Carolina Immigration Attorneys can provide more information on this.
The first type of work visa is called the EB-1 Visa. It is designated for “priority workers” who excel in their respective fields of specialization. These are the individuals who possess extraordinary talents and skills in sciences, arts, sports, education, and business. The United States is issuing this visa type to outstanding researchers, professors, or business executives. The foreign worker who wants to apply for this visa type must present a detailed record or supporting documents of his or her exemplary performance in the homeland and the international setting. Once this visa is granted, the foreigner is required to work in a similar field of specialization once he or she has entered the United States.
One of the most common work visas is called the H1-B Visa which is intended for “professional workers”. This visa permits a foreign national to work and live in the United States within a three-year duration and this term can be renewed for three more years. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Office (USCIS Office) has set a quota of H1-B visas to be issued annually. Business owners or employers from the U.S. use this visa to hire foreign nationals as members of their workforce. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring employer to process the petition of the foreigners to be able to enter the country. The employers should check the completion of the applicant’s visa application forms, job offer details, employment contract terms, and other visa requirements.
Another type of work visa is called the L-1 Visa. This non-immigrant work visa is granted to business executives, managers, and professionals who work for a subsidiary or affiliated U.S. company outside the United States for at least one year.
Under the regulations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the residents of Canada and Mexico are eligible for TN Visa. This visa allows Mexican and Canadian citizens to enter the U.S. temporarily to participate in business and career-related activities. NAFTA has given a list of professions that are approved for Canadian citizens to be qualified for this visa type. For residents of Mexico, they are required to have a pre-arranged employment agreement in certain professions.
Different factors affect the processing times of a work visa. When a foreign citizen enters the U.S., it is his or her responsibility to comply with the rules and requirements of the approved work visa.
There are instances wherein the employment contract of a foreign worker staying in the United States will end earlier than the expiry date of the work visa. In this case, work visas such as H-1B, E, O-1, TN, and L-1 will still be valid for 60 days. Foreign workers who are holding E, TN, and L-1 visas are granted additional 10 days before and after the expiration of their visa. During this grace period, the foreigner is not allowed to work, except for the holders of H-1B visas who are in the process of changing jobs.
The adjustment of status from non-immigrant visa to immigrant employment visa is possible. There is a possibility that you will acquire a green card and a legal permanent residency status after meeting all the immigration requirements. Holders of H-1B, E-1, O-1, or L-1 visas are qualified to obtain an employment authorization document while waiting for a priority date of the immigrant visa application. This document is renewable and has a validity of one year.
The work visa application process may be complicated and laborious; therefore, hiring a knowledgeable immigration lawyer will be of great help. For legal assistance in processing your work visa, do not hesitate to contact our experienced North Carolina immigration attorneys at Diener Law Firm.