Work Visas

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Work Visa Attorneys

Individuals wanting to live and work in the U.S. typically obtain a work visa. Work visas encompass a variety of classifications. The appropriate work visa will depend upon the proposed position and job duties, and the applicant’s qualifications. Petitions for virtually all work visas are filed on Form I-129 Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker by the prospective U.S. employer sponsor. Once the Form I-129 Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker has been approved, the foreign national employee can change their non-immigrant status if in the U.S. or obtain a visa from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. For more information pertaining to which work visa is appropriate for you and your situation, contact an experienced work visa attorney at Sam Shihab & Associates.

Types Of Work Visas

There are a variety of work visas available to foreign nationals seeking employment in the U.S. Some common work visas include:

• H-1B

A classification for workers who have completed the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or higher and will work in a specialty occupation in the U.S. that requires the theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge;

• L-1A

A classification for intracompany transferees who have and will work in an executive or managerial position and have worked for a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary abroad for at least 1 out of the preceding 3 years;

• L-1B

A classification for intracompany transferees who have gained and will utilize specialized knowledge about their employer’s products, processes, procedures or services, and have worked for a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary abroad for at least 1 out of the preceding 3 years;

• O-1

A classification for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field who intend to continue working in their field in the U.S.;

• TN

A classification for nationals of Canada and Mexico who will work in a professional occupation in the U.S. and have the required qualifications as set forth in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);

• E-1

A classification for nationals of countries that have a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty with the U.S. and wish to come to the U.S. to conduct substantial trade between the U.S. and the treaty country; and

• E-2

A classification for nationals of countries that have a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty with the U.S. and wish to come to the U.S. to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested a significant amount of capital.

• E-3

A classification for nationals of Australia with bachelor’s degree or higher U.S.-equivalence who are coming to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation.

Work visas can provide an avenue for foreign national employees to obtain an employment-based green card. Some classifications require the employer to file a labor certification to initiate the green card process, whereas others allow the employer to immediately file an I-140 Petition for Alien Worker on behalf of their foreign national employee. After the I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker has been approved, the foreign national employee may complete the final step in the green card process and file their I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status when their priority date is current. To fully understand the work visas for which an individual is eligible, as well as the applicable green card procedures, an experienced work visa attorney should be consulted.