Employment Visas

There are countless reasons why individuals and their families come to the United States, and many more reasons for trying to stay once they get here. Business and employment opportunities are often at the center of the decision. In order to work in the U.S., a non-citizen must apply for and obtain an employment visa.

There are many different types of employment visas available, depending on an individual's particular circumstances. Below are some of the most common:

E Nonimmigrant Visa for Traders and Investors: Available for managers and employees who need to remain in the U.S. for extended periods of time in order to oversee a project or certain work.

F1 Student Nurses: Allows nurses to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis as part of an Optical Practical Training (OPT) program.

H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa for Professional Workers: For foreign nationals working in certain "specialty occupations," which require highly specialized knowledge as well as a bachelor's degree or higher in a particular field. H-1B visas have become more difficult to obtain in recent years due to changes in immigration laws and procedures, as well as annual caps on the number of visas awarded. Workers who obtain the visa can also get admission for their spouses and children and may seek permanent resident status.

H-1C: This program, providing work authorization for registered nurses, expired in 2009. However, a continued nursing shortage has caused legislators to consider re-establishing H-1C opportunities.

J-1 Physician’s Visa Waiver, also called the “Conrad Waiver” or the Conrad 30 Program: For physicians interested in practicing medicine and residing permanently in the U.S., the program requires applicants to obtain a waiver based on employment shortages in a certain area, a federal job offer, or other circumstances.

L-1 Nonimmigrant Visa for Intercompany Transferees: Available for certain high-level managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge who want to transfer from a company's overseas office to perform a similar function in the U.S. A worker's spouse and children may also be eligible for admission.

Nonimmigrant Visa for Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement: This program provides an avenue for talented or acclaimed foreign nationals who may not be eligible under other work-related nonimmigrant categories or who simply want to avoid those routes. Unlike the H-1B program, there are no caps on the number of individuals who may be awarded these "O" category visas.

Permanent Labor Certification: This is the process by which an employer gains authorization to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. The system is designed to protect U.S. workers by requiring the Department of Labor to certify that there are not enough U.S. workers willing and able to accept a job opportunity in a certain area, and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed U.S. workers.

TN Visas (NAFTA): Available for citizens of Canada and Mexico who work in certain recognized professions.

The immigration lawyers at Attorney Spiros Stavros Nicolet help clients navigate the immigration process from beginning to end. We have vast experience obtaining visas on behalf of businesses and individuals, and we offer free consultations. Please contact us online or call 773-562-6884 to schedule an appointment.

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