The US Needs Talent Now More then Ever
H-1B VISAS: person in a specialty occupation
This is a visa given to foreign professionals to allow them to work temporarily in the United States. To qualify, one must possess a higher degree or its equivalent. It also includes fashion models of outstanding ability, government to government research and development, or co-production projects initiated by the department of defense.
It is valid for three years with one possible extension of 3 years making it a maximum of 6 years though one may apply for an extension of stay if they qualify for a more extended period of employment. A lot of people seek for this type of visa making it the most competitive in the U.S. It is wise to seek the help of immigration attorneys to help you through the process. One of the best aspects of the H-1B visa is that it allows one to have ‘dual intent’ meaning, they can lawfully seek permanent residence without affecting their visa status.
- Possess a Bachelor’s Degree, Higher Degree, or its equivalent.
- Individual needs to be sponsored by a valid company. They must have an offer of employment or an internship.
H-1B holders can travel in and out of the United States without advanced parole or EAD while their green card is being processed and are not required to maintain residence. They are allowed to buy real estate property and invest their money in stock, bonds, and mutual funds.
H-2A VISAS: temporary agricultural workers
This program allows for employers or agents who meet the set requirements to seek the services of foreign employees to fill temporary agricultural job slots. However, to qualify, the employer must prove that there are no qualified persons living in the United States that can perform the said work and show that employing foreigners will not affect the working conditions or wages of similarly employed U.S citizens. The maximum stay for each employee is 3 years.
Under the h-4 visa, the spouse and children of an H-2A holder may apply for admission in the United States. After filing the 1-129 form for H-2A visa, the petitioner and the lawyer on record can check the status of the application on the USCIS website.
H-3 VISA: non-immigrant trainee or special education exchange visitor
This visa enables employers to bring in foreigners for necessary training that would otherwise not be available in other countries. The two types include;
- Trainee: available for people who can’t find sufficient training in their home country. These fields include but not limited to transportation, communications, commerce, agriculture, government, and finance. This visa is not intended for U.S employment but to provide training to the foreign national to use for employment outside the United States. To obtain the visa, the employer or the organization must demonstrate
- The training is not available in the aliens native country
- The foreigner will not be placed in a position involving the regular running of the business like the other U.S citizens that are employed.
- The training will be beneficial to the trainee in acquiring employment outside the United States.
- Special education visitor: provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. There is a limit of 50 approved visas in this category. To qualify, the facility has to prove that they have professionally trained staff and a structured program for providing education to children with disabilities, and for providing training and hands-on experience to participants in the special education exchange visitor program.
The petition should include a description of the training the foreigner will receive, a list of the facility’s professional staff, and how the foreigner will participate in the training. They should also show that the foreign national is on the verge of receiving Bachelor’s Degree, has earned a Bachelor’s Degree, or has sufficient training in teaching children with physical, emotional, or mental disability.
The spouse and children of the foreign national may accompany them under the H-4 visa.
H-4 VISAS: spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years for H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3 visa holders.
This visa is issued to the wife and the unmarried children that are under 21 years of age of the beneficiary of the H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3 visas in the event that they would like to accompany him or her to the United States. The visa can be applied at any U.S consulate in their native country.
H-4 visa holders can;
- Pursue education
- Acquire a driving license
- Open bank accounts
- Become eligible to get an ID for IRS tax purposes (ITIN)
- Work in the U.S
- Travel in and out of the country
Employment for the spouses of H visas beneficiaries.
Certain spouses can apply for form 1-765(application for employment approval) if the H visa recipient is the principal beneficiary of an approved form 1-140 or has been granted any of the H statuses. Once approved, your EAD expires the same day as your nonimmigrant status. The employment approval can be renewed by submitting another 1-765 form if you are eligible.
There are 140,000 employment-based immigration visas per year granted each year in the United
States. For one to qualify, they need to fill the 1-140 form and submit it to the USCIS. There are
5 preference categories which include:
1. EB-1. First preference: meant for priority workers and accounts for 28.65% of the total
limit per year which translates to 40,000 visas. There are 3 main types
• EB-1A – this is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in areas like science,
art, education, or business. Qualified applicants must have possessed some
accreditation in their field of expertise on a national or international level.
• EB-1B – for outstanding professors and researchers. To qualify, one must have
worked as a professor or researcher for a minimum of 3 years and received
international recognition for their work. Potential employers file petitions on
behalf of the foreigners and present them a job offer.
• EB-1C: designated for managers and executives who are on the verge of an
international transfer to the US. For them to qualify, they must have worked for at
least a year over the last three years before the company intending to employ them
files a petition and also they must be coming in to fill a managerial or executive
position in the US.
2. EB-2. Second preference: for individuals with an advanced degree or Aliens with
outstanding abilities. They are accorded 28.6% of the total annual limit which is 40,000
and also includes any unused EB-1 visas.
• Advanced degree candidates must have academic qualification exceeding a
bachelor’s degree and extensive experience in their field of specialization of more
than five years.
• An alien with outstanding abilities candidate must demonstrate proficiency in
areas such as arts, science, or business that are well beyond the ones present in
Both require a PERM labor certification and an associated job offer unless they can prove
that it is of national interest that they migrate to the US or their job offer falls under
3. EB-3. Third preference: they are set aside for skilled workers, professionals, and other
worker and account for 28.6% of the annual worldwide cap which is 40,000 plus any
unused EB-1 and EB-2 forms. Prospective employer fills the 1-140 forms and labor
4. EB-4. Forth preference for special immigrants: they are accorded 7.1% of the total
limit per year which is slightly over 10,000 visas. For approval, they need to submit
form1-360. Special immigrants fall under categories such as religious workers, special
immigrant juveniles, broadcasters, retired employees of international organizations,
afghan and Iraqi translators etc.
5. EB-5. Fifth preference: immigrant investor program. They account for 7.1 or 10,000
visas. It is set aside for entrepreneurs, their spouses and children who:
• Make an investment of between 500,000 and 1 million in a commercial enterprise
in the U.S depending on the employment rate of the said business area.
• Create 10 or more full-time positions in a company for US citizens, permanent
residents, or legal immigrants excluding the investor and his family.