What Businesses Need to Know about Work Visas in the U.S.

If you are bringing in new people for your company, you’ll want to make sure that the candidates you bring on board are authorized to work in the U.S. Usually, the best method to employ foreigners in the country is to get a work visa. Some of these visas are:

H1-B Visa

This visa is an authorization provided by the U.S. government for a foreign national to enter and work for a U.S. company. That individual should work in a field that requires specialized knowledge. He/she must be someone who meets the job requirements that the company was unable to find from a U.S.-based worker. Apart from a skilled worker, the visa applies to the project workers of the Department of Defense cooperative research and development and fashion models.   

An individual with an H1-B visa can stay in the country for a maximum of six years. The visa initially is valid for three years from the start of a person’s employment. The holder has the option to extend the validity period for another three years. The foreign worker at the expiration of the maximum period of stay must either obtain a different visa status (ex. F-1 or O visa) or leave the country. 

The application for an H1-B visa involves a US company sponsoring an applicant. The employer will pay for the visa fees and submit the necessary documents to bring the foreign national to the country. 

TN Visa

This visa category is available to citizens of Mexico and Canada. It permits foreign nationals to work in the U.S. for up to three years. Unlike the H1-B visa, the holder can have the TN visa repeatedly extended without limit. This is an easy visa option for companies who want to hire a Canadian or Mexican.

L-1 Visa

An L-1 visa, also known as intra-company transfer, allows a U.S. company to temporarily move a worker from one of its foreign offices into another office in the country under the same employer. This visa category comes in two types: L-1A and L-1B.

L-1A is for executives and managers who adhere to the criteria defined by the USCIS. An L-1A status is good for up to seven years.

L-1B, on the other hand, is for employees who perform work that requires specialized knowledge. This means that they either have exceptional experience of an organization’s services or products or advanced knowledge of their company’s processes. An L-1B visa is valid for up to five years.

The regulations and rules governing visas can be complicated. If you’re thinking of applying for a work visa and have plans to become a U.S. citizen, consult with the attorneys of Magnolia Immigration Law to discuss your case. Dial 321-558-2555 for a free 20-minute consultation.

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