Employees Seeking Immigration to the United States
Immigration Attorneys serving clients in Dallas | Fort Worth | Houston | Bedford | Arlington | Grand Prairie | Weatherford and Throughout Texas
At the Texas law firm of Bailey & Galyen, our immigration lawyers provide legal services related to labor certification, and documentation and filing of all types of work visas for prospective foreign employees and U.S. employers seeking to hire them.
Many different types of visas exist, ranging from H-1B to TN visas. An immigration lawyer who has extensive knowledge and experience can help you to navigate the complexities involved in obtaining a work-related visa.
In the United States, the minimum quota of work visas issued to immigrants on a yearly basis is 140,000. Five categories called ”preference categories” establish guidelines for issuing visas to those seeking employment-based permanent residence. Visas may also require filing a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security and labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.
First Preference EB1
- Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
- Outstanding professors and researchers who are recognized internationally and have at least three years experience in teaching or research.
- Certain executives and managers who have been employed at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer.
Candidates in the First Preference category do not need labor certification to apply for permanent residency.
Second Preference EB2
- Professionals holding advanced degrees
- Professionals holding a B.A. and at least five years of progressive experience in the profession
- Persons of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences or business (expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered)
Labor certification is required or a Schedule A designation or established qualification in one of the shortage occupations in the Labor Market Information Pilot Program. Also the candidate must have a job offer from a U.S. employer who has filed a petition on his or her behalf.
Third Preference EB3
- Skilled Workers
- Professionals Holding Baccalaureate Degrees
- Other Workers
To receive an EB3 visa, candidates require labor certification; the prospective employer must file a U.S. job offer and their petition.
Fourth Preference – Special Immigrants EB4
There are seventeen different categories of immigrants who may apply for work visas under EB4, which include certain religious workers, ministers of religion, broadcasters, individuals who have worked for the U.S. government abroad and international organization employees, to name a few.
Fifth Preference- Employment Creation Investors EB5
Aliens who qualify in this category are those who invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 (U.S. dollars) in a commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, permanent residents or lawful immigrants not including the investor and his or her family. The employment rate of the geographical area of the business is also taken into consideration.
For candidates to receive labor certification, a prospective employer must have offered the candidate a job. The employer must fill out and file several required forms. The Department of Labor makes a schedule of occupations, delegating the authority to the USCIS to approve certifications in these fields, which include physical therapists, nurses and aliens of exceptional abilities in the sciences and arts (not referring to the performing arts). The Labor Market Information Pilot Program also defines up to ten occupational classifications, which have labor shortages. Candidates in these ten employment areas are given consideration for labor certificates as well.
H-1B Work Visas
H-1B Visas are related to specialty occupations and are granted to workers who have a bachelor’s or higher degree or an equivalent professional level through a combination of education, training and experience in specialized fields, such as the following:
- Computer Specialists
- Business Administrators
- Physical Scientists
- Medical and Health Practitioners
The U.S. employer must petition to the USCIS on behalf of the prospective employee and must also file a labor conditions application with the Department of Labor showing wage and payment for the position before the visa will be approved.
An H-1B visa covers a 3-year employment period, but the employers may request an extension if they can prove that a longer period is required and that the employee intends to leave the U.S. at the end of the extension. Despite the fact that an H1B visa is classified under non-immigrant status, if the visa holder becomes eligible for permanent status and the employer wishes to employ the visa holder permanently, permanent residence often becomes an option.
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