Which visas allow you to lawfully work in the United States?

The new administration’s approach to immigration is raising some concerns, especially in the technology sector.

Specifically, many foreign engineers and computer scientists have utilized the H-1B visa to work in the United States. Yet if President Trump issues an executive order, this opportunity, as well as the procedures for pursuing it, could radically change.

Although an H-1B visa is only a three-year work permit, many applicants view it as a valuable opportunity to acquire experience and earn handsome wages.  In 2016, for example, the U.S. Department of Labor received over 618,000 applications, representing a four percent increase from the year before. That number is far in excess of the 65,000 H-1B visas that Congress permits to be awarded each year.

Our law firm has helped both individuals and businesses with visas relating to employment. There are several kinds of business-related visas. As mentioned above, the H-1B visa is where an employer sponsors a foreign worker with occupationally specific skills. Notably, this three-year visa can also be extended for another three years.

For temporary workers, the H-2A or H-2B visa may be available. The subcategories refer to agricultural versus non-agricultural work. There is also a demand for workers in other types of industries. The L-1 visa reflects this reality, allowing temporary entrance to foreign workers with certain managerial skills or specialized knowledge.

A recipient of these work visas can also apply for legal permanent residency and a green card. However, the process is detailed, and there is a substantial waiting list. That means that an application should be submitted with complete documentation, and with an eye to legal strategy. Our Nashville immigration law firm has the experience to help you with these applications.

Source: Forbes, “Trump's Proposed Shakeup Of Work-Visa Program Could Leave Silicon Valley Scrambling,” Matt Drange, Jan. 30, 2017

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