Newark, NJ- Each year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services allows thousands of foreign nationals to come work in the U.S. Work visas are either temporary or permanent and are awarded to immigrants who possess a wide range of skills. With such a variety of work visas available it can be hard for an immigrant to know which category they fall into and how to begin the process. In this article we’ll discuss the different types of non-immigrant and immigrant visas an immigrant can apply for if they wish to work in the U.S.
Work visas fall into two categories, temporary (non-immigrant) and permanent (immigrant). The USCIS issues approximately 140,000 temporary and permanent work visas every year and no country is allowed to receive more than 7 percent of the annual visa allotment so they go very quickly. Immigrants need to get in the game early or they could be waiting longer for a work visa than they anticipate.
Nonimmigrant or temporary work visas are valid for a limited time, requiring the visa holder leave the U.S. by a specific date. These visas are granted to foreign nationals with the broad range of skills and education, from people possessing master’s or bachelor’s degrees to farm workers and seasonal workers.
Two of the more common categories of temporary visas are available for seasonal work in the agricultural and hospitality industries. H-2A visas are granted for seasonal work on U.S. farms and are typically valid for a 364 day period. H-2B visas are temporary non-agricultural visas issued to immigrants to work on one-time or short term projects, or seasonally at places such as ski or beach resorts, hotels or amusement parks.
The most popular temporary work visa is the H-1B visa. The USCIS issues approximately 140,000 of these H-1B visas to immigrants who possess at least a bachelor’s degree and the requisite experience or special knowledge in a specialized field with high demand. Those fields include but are not limited to science, technology, engineering and math—called STEM fields– medicine, education, and business specialties. These visas are typically granted for one-year or three-year periods, and can be renewed for up to six years.
Although the USCIS classifies H-1B visas as non-immigrant visas, immigrants who hold these visas can apply for a green card as long as their employer sponsors them or in a family-sponsored category. It is what is known as a dual-intent visa.
Temporary workers who will be employed by a company with locations in the U.S. and abroad and will be functioning in an executive or managerial position can apply for an L-1 visa. These visas are also classified as temporary work visas by the USCIS, but like the H-1B visa, immigrants can apply for permanent residency if they are sponsored by their employer. An L1B visa is available to employees of companies with offices in the U.S. and overseas who possess specialized knowledge, even if they are not working in a managerial or executive position.
In addition to the temporary work visas, the USCIS also issues permanent work visas. These visas are granted to immigrants with exceptional skills in a wide array of occupations including the arts, education, business and science, to name a few. Unlike temporary work visas, these permanent work visas allow a person to apply for a green card right away. Immigrants who hold these visas are also allowed to sponsor their spouses or children for permanent residency.
The USCIS issues these permanent work visas based on preference categories some of which require an immigrant to already have a job offer from a U.S. employer.
Because there are a limited number of temporary and permanent work visas available each year, and because of the many fraudulent or non-qualifying submissions, applications will be carefully examined. Make a simple mistake on your application or an unintentional omission of information will end up being a major setback. In the worst case, you could be denied and forced to reapply or prevented from ever receiving the visa you desire. If you want a higher likelihood of success on your work visa application will be approved, you can contact my New Jersey office so we can discuss your case.
I understand the U.S. immigration system and will devote my time and expertise to your success. If you allow me to help your with your case, you can expect a high degree of professionalism and dedication, which will give you a greater chance of getting your visa or green card.