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Employment Visas: What Are My Options?

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Employment Visas: What Are My Options?

Obtaining an employment-based visa requires proper planning and coordination between the foreign worker and the U.S. employer. Our experienced immigration lawyers at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC have years of experience helping both the employers in the Chicago area and their prospective foreign-born employees in applying and securing employment-based visas. We also help employers seeking immigration law services in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

One of the decisions an employer or foreign worker must make, or both must make is whether to pursue a temporary work visa or a permanent one. The decision will make a difference in what needs to be done and how long it will take for the visa to be issued.

Immigrant Work Visa

Before an employer petitions to have a foreign worker be authorized to work for them on a permanent immigrant visa, the employer must first obtain labor certification approval from the U.S. Department of Labor. Once the labor certification is obtained, the employer can then submit their petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to have that agency approve the petition, and then only after that can the prospective employee apply for their immigrant visa.

There are five categories under which a U.S. employer can petition to have a foreign worker obtain an immigrant visa through employment, and these are:

  • Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Worker and Persons of Extraordinary Ability. There are three sub-groups within this category, and these are:
    • -Those with extraordinary ability in the sciences, athletics, education, arts, or business
    • -Outstanding professors and researchers who are recognized internationally and have experience of at least three years
    • -Multinational executives or managers who have worked overseas for at least one year for a branch, affiliate, parent, or subsidiary of the U.S. company
  • Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals who hold advanced degrees or have exceptional ability in their respective professional fields.
  • Employment Third Preference (E3): Skilled, professional, and other workers with the requisite minimum training and education
  • Employment Fourth Preference (E4): This is a category for special immigrants who meet the criteria for that category.

Non-Immigrant Visas

A non-immigrant visa is issued to an individual who is interested in coming to work in the United States but on a temporary or fixed period. There are several of these types of non-immigrant temporary work visas, but the most common are:

  • H Visa. These visas are for those coming to the U.S. to work in an occupation that requires specialized education or knowledge.
  • L-1 Visa. This is a visa for an individual to come and work for their employer in the United States at a branch, affiliate, parent, or subsidiary office of the current employer in a qualifying position.
  • O Visas. The O-1 visa is a category for individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, athletics, arts, education, or business or who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in their field.

For superb representation in seeking and obtaining any of these temporary or permanent employment-based visas, contact our office and talk to one of our experienced employment-based immigration attorneys. Although we are based in Chicago, we also take cases in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

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