How can I work in the United States?
U.S. immigration law allows certain to be admitted to the United States to work temporarily and in certain instances to obtain a Green Card through employment sponsorship.
Some categories give you permission to work in the United States on a temporary basis, and in most cases require a U.S. employer to sponsor you based on a specific job offer, and allow you to work only for that employer in the capacity set forth in the sponsoring petition.
Most foreign nationals must first obtain a visa from U.S. Department of State. The Consular Officer first must determine if you are eligibile tom come to the United States (i.e., you are not a criminal, have not previously committed fraud, etc.) before issuing a visa to allow you to come to the United States.
After a visa is issued you may come to the United States and apply for admission. In some instances you don't need a visa and may come directly to the United States to apply for admission. When applying for admission all nonimmigrants are inspected by Citizenship and Immigration Services to reconfirm their eligibility for admission, and to determine the appropriate nonimmigrant classification.
If you are admitted you will be given a Form I-94 Departure Record that indicates what classification you have been admitted under with a specific period of time that you are authorized to remain in the country. Some employer-sponsored nonimmigrants must have a petition approved before even being allowed to applying for their visa.
The following are some of the nonimmigrant categories that allow an individual to be temporarily admitted to the United States to work:
The P-1 classification applies to an alien coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.
Aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
E-Status (Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor) is available to certain aliens from countries which have a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or its equivalent with the United States.
The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.
Certain employs of foreign based employers are eligible to be transferred to a qualifying U.S. corporation in L-1 status in order to continue their employment with the same employer in the United Statesas a manager, executives, or as an employee with specialized knowledge of the corporation.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) permits certain Canadian and Mexican professionals to enter the United States to work for U.S. employers in increments of one year.
The H-1C category applies to an alien coming temporarily to perform services as a registered nurse in a health professional shortage area as determined by the United States Department of Labor.
The R-1 classification applies to a religious worker. This is an alien coming to the U.S. temporarily to work s a minister of religion, a professional in a religious vocation or occupation, or for a bona fide nonprofit religious organization at the request of the organization, in a religious occupation which relates to a traditional religious function.
U.S. employers may petition for skilled or unskilled alien workers to meet temporary or seasonal needs in positions for which qualified U.S. workers are not available.
The H-3 classification applies to aliens (beneficiaries) coming temporarily to the U.S. to participate in a training program.
In certain cases you may also be eligible ofr a Green Card through an offer of employment.
Who is Eligible to get a Green Card through Employment?
The five categories of employment based immigration are as follows:
Business immigrants typically are sponsored by a U.S. employer based on a demonstrated need. Some business immigrants may self-petition if they meet statutory criteria for extraordinary ability in their field, or their entry would be in the “national interest".
Protections for U.S. workers are built into the system. Most business immigrant cases require Department of Labor certification that no U.S. workers are able, qualified or willing to take the position offered to the foreign national and that admitting the immigrant won’t negatively impact the wages and working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers. The only categories exempt from this requirement are those for individuals who are extraordinary or outstanding in their field, or whose presence is in the “national interest.”
To discuss possible representation regarding admission into the United States based on an employment opportunity, or to discuss referring cases involving any of these issues, feel free to contact our office.
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