There are several types of visas made available to immigrants to gain entry into the U.S. to pursue employment opportunities. Not only do these visas allow entry into the United States, but many of them offer a clear path to permanent residency, making them particularly desirable. Our Houston immigration team outlines some of the most commonly pursued employment visas below.
H-1B visas are, by far, the most popular visas among foreign workers. These are temporary work visas available to immigrants who work in specified occupations such as computer science, accounting, education, and engineering.
Due to the high demand for these visas, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has placed a limit on the number of H-1B visas available each fiscal year. As of now, only 85,000 petitions for this visa are excepted every year, with 20,000 of them being reserved for individuals with a master’s degree or equivalent.
These visas are reserved for employers who wish to transfer their managers, executives, or employees with specialized knowledge from a foreign entity to a United States entity. Stipulations regarding this visa include:
- The employee must have been with the company for at least one year
- The employer must have an established relationship between the foreign entity and the entity within the U.S.
There are two categories of L visas:
- L-1A: Given to executives and managers with supervisory duties
- L-1B: Given to specialized employees that have knowledge of company products, services, procedures, systems, etc.
The O-1 visa is given to foreign nationals who possess “extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.” Individuals must have an international reputation with internally recognized accomplishments in their field in order to qualify for this temporary visa.
E-1 & E-2 Visas
This category of visas is given to treaty traders and investors coming to the U.S. under a treaty of commerce.
These visas are reserved for treaty traders to conduct business in the United States under a treaty between the U.S. and their home country. They are typically given to those in executive or supervisory positions under the pretense they are traveling to the states to work in a substantial trade.
These visas are given to foreign investors with the intention of either purchasing or starting a business in the United States. These individuals are required to make a substantial investment with the requirement of providing jobs to American workers in order to fully qualify.
TN NAFTA Visas
These visas were originally established as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and are awarded specifically to citizens of Mexico and Canada. It has since been replaced with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but the provisions of the visa itself remain the same.
Citizens from Mexico or Canada eligible to pursue this visa include accountants, engineers, lawyers, and other profession-level business activities. The TN visa is unique in the fact that it has no annual cap to the amount given each year, and can be renewed indefinitely three years at a time.
Contact Our Houston Immigration Team Today
The process of getting a worker’s visa can be extremely stressful and confusing. With the possibility of roadblocks and delays being present at any point in the process, it is crucial to have an experienced and knowledgeable immigration team on your side.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you obtain an employment visa, don’t hesitate to contact us today through our website or give us a call at (713) 286-7182 to schedule your consultation!