Many people worldwide want to live and work in the United States, but with how competitive and grueling the system can be, few people ever make it. With all the requirements and legal hurdles one must overcome, getting into the United States requires the help of a qualified immigration attorney in USA. There are many immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in the United States system that you must be aware of and many requirements and grueling processes for each and every one.
Foreign Students in The United States
First, let’s talk about students who want to study or are currently studying in the United States already. Sadly, it is much more difficult for foreign students to get hired in the United States. Since most immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for work are contingent on job offers, this makes it much more difficult for foreign students.
For this and other reasons, foreign students choose to come here and study on an F-1 Visa. Technically an F-1 visa does not qualify a student to work in the United States, at least off campus, and many restrictions apply. However, F-1 students may apply for CPT programs if they qualify for certain internships that will allow them to train, work, and earn both money and school credits as they continue to study.
An expert immigration attorney in USA, like one of our legal professionals, can help you navigate the process. Life is already demanding and hard enough for students without having to deal with all these legal headaches. We will be there every step of the way as you struggle to meet these goals and demands while studying in the United States.
From F-1 to OPT: Students Already in The U.S.
After graduation, qualifying F-1 students may apply for an extension of their stay in the United States. The extension allows them to look for work while staying in the country for one or three years depending on their area of study. OPT status will allow you to live and work here. This may give you more time to look for other visa options in the U.S.
What to Know About H-1B Visas
H-1B visas are technically available to graduates of both American and foreign institutions. However, they are always contingent on an already existing job offer from a United States company. To qualify for this visa, you will need to be recruited in a specialty field by an American company. This includes student working in the STEM or other specialty fields. Unless you are here working and living on a visa or in a program like OPT, you will likely have to return to your home country.
If your H-1B application is approved, you may be able to live in the United States along with your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21. The visa lasts for a maximum term of 3 years but can be renewed for 3 more years. The maximum stay as an H-1B visa holder is 6 years. Afterward, you will need to find and qualify for another visa program to continue working in the U.S.
To be approved for the H-1B, you must first have your employer submit your request and be selected through the lottery system. However, space will be limited. Many applicants struggle with the complexities of the H-1B immigration system, and countless more could end up waiting decades to even be approved.
If you are an aspiring H-1B applicant or have not thought about it, you should contact an immigration attorney in USA today for a consultation. A reputable immigration law firm will be able to ensure more likely approval by compiling your documents and filing your applications impeccably. We can also help you consider other viable options.
Employment-Based Immigrants Visas for Foreign Graduates
Employment-based visas are secured through employment with U.S. companies, but the applicant must go through extensive lengths to prove they deserve the opportunity. The United States typically wants to favor domestic workers over international ones, giving you a distinct disadvantage. However, there exist employment-based immigration visas for those who possess “extraordinary skills” and have much to contribute. These employment-based categories included EB-1 (EB-1A, EB-1B, and EB-1C) and EB-2 immigrant visas.
The EB-1 visa includes multi-national executives or managers of a company with branches in at least one other country. The executives or managers must prove they have worked for the company for at least one year in the last three year preceding the application date. It may also include outstanding professors or researchers. For this classification, you will have to prove “extraordinary ability” in a qualifying field. Evidence for this may be by showing a high salary, awards, achievements, membership in a reputable organization, among others. The USCIS lists ten eligible criteria for meeting the requirements of EB-1 visa. Extraordinary athletes may also qualify for EB-1 visa.
EB-2 immigrant visas are also employment-based visas. This program is mostly for those who possess advanced degrees, particularly in specialty fields like business, along with the arts and sciences. EB-2 immigrant visas require a job offer and PERM labor certification. You may forego the requirement for PERM labor certification if and only if you qualify for a national interest waiver. This, of course, will require additional documentation.
A lot of heartaches, headaches, and wasted time can go into determining which of these employment-based categories or others you may qualify for. The application process can be grueling for each and every step. Fortunately, an experienced immigration attorney can help you avoid much of that grief. You should always consult an immigration lawyer any time you are pursuing an employment-based visa.
Transferring from a Foreign Company
One option may exist for advanced degree holders, but in general, for anyone already employed abroad by a U.S. company that operates in a foreign country. If your company has offices or other facilities already in the U.S., you may consider requesting a transfer. L-1 visas are available to foreign nationals employed by a U.S. company and transferred for a special assignment. You will likely have to speak to your employer about this option, but you should also contact an immigration attorney to consider what other options you have.
E-1 and E-2 Visa
Some special programs exist for immigrants here on matters of international trade. If you work for a company that engages in the transfer of goods, services, or banking, then you may apply for an E-1 visa to enter the country.
Similarly, if you are a member of certain treaty nations, you may apply for an E-2 investor visa. This might, for instance, apply to aspiring entrepreneurs. You will have to prove several things, for example, by presenting evidence that your capital invested is at risk of loss. You will also have to prove your funds were obtained legally, and you likely will not be able to qualify by just buying a real estate.
You should discuss your options with an immigration attorney to determine if you qualify for one of these trade and investor visas. Supplying the evidence to prove you do can be tumultuous, but a good immigration law firm can help.
Similarly, if you are a foreign investor, you may also be able to apply for an EB-5 visa with the help of an immigration attorney in USA.
TN Nonimmigrant Visas
If you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico, there is a special program for you. NAFTA (renamed USMCA) nation citizens should consider applying for a TN visa. This nonimmigrant visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to apply for work visas, assuming they have an offer of temporary employment, much more quickly and with much less documentation. You should get in touch with an immigration law firm to see if you may qualify for a TN visa and how you can apply.
Why You Should Work with a Reputable Immigration Law Firm
Even one small mistake on an application or a missing piece of evidence, or even a forgotten signature, can delay and hurt your process of obtaining a visa or coming into the United States. Too many have experienced the devastating failure of the immigration system in America. Why? Because many have failed to consult a professional immigration law firm. You need to work with a qualified immigration attorney who has your best interests in mind. Our professional legal team is dedicated and personally invested in your success.
Call 800-403-8117 now for a consultation, and you will see how we can make life easier for you as you explore your immigration options.