Employment Immigration

Alexandria Employment Immigration Attorney 

Trusted Legal Assistance for Employment Immigration in Annandale, Virginia 

Employment immigration is the process of bringing someone to the United States to live and work, either temporarily or permanently, based on their profession. There are many different types of employment visas, including both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. It’s important that you determine the type of employment visa you need before beginning the application or sponsorship process. 

At Escobar Law Offices, we can assist you with all aspects of employment-based immigration. We help foreign workers and U.S.-based employers navigate the visa application and sponsorship processes, from deciding which type of visa to apply for to submitting the necessary paperwork and preparing for the immigration interview. Our Alexandria employment immigration attorney, Janet A. Escobar Ntwadumela, provides compassionate, personalized counsel and fights tirelessly for her clients. 

Request a consultation with Attorney Janet today; call (866) 846-7730 or submit a secure contact form here on our website. 

Types of Employment Visas

There are numerous types of employment visas, most of which are divided into four primary categories:

  • Temporary nonimmigrant visas
  • Permanent immigrant worker visas
  • Student and exchange visitors
  • Temporary business visit visas

Each of these types of visas is available to different types of applicants, and each allows the holder to do different things.

Some of the most common types of employment-based visas include:

  • H-1B Visas: The H-1B visa program is designed for individuals who possess specialized knowledge or skills in a particular professional or academic field and hold a college degree or equivalent work experience. These visas are limited to a residency cap of three years. It is important to note that employers must demonstrate that they have attempted and failed to fill the position with a qualified American worker before sponsoring an individual for an H-1B visa. Additionally, the number of H-1B visas issued each year is subject to a cap set by the US government, which has led to a highly competitive application process.
  • H-2A and H-2B Visas: The H-2A and H-2B visas were established to permit temporary seasonal or peak-load agricultural and non-agricultural workers to enter the United States. The H-2A visa specifically applies to agriculture-related positions, while the H-2B visa is for non-agricultural job opportunities. These visas are typically issued for a period of time that does not exceed one year. It is vital to note that these visas are reserved for temporary foreign laborers, rather than permanent residents of the United States seeking employment.
  • L-1A and L-1B Visas: L Visas are a type of visa designed for foreign individuals who are temporarily transferring within a company where they are currently employed. The L visa is divided into two subcategories: L-1A and L-1B. The former is meant for executives and managers, while the latter is for those with specialized knowledge that is crucial to the company's operations.
  • EB-1 Visas: TheEB-1 visa is designed for individuals who possess exceptional skills and talents in various fields, such as business, academics, research, athletics, arts, and sciences. One of the most attractive features of this visa is that it does not require labor certification, which makes it relatively easier to obtain. Moreover, family members of EB-1 visa holders can also benefit from this visa by applying for admission to the U.S. on E-14 or E-15 immigrant status, based on the approval of the I-140 (green card) form. This means that such family members may also be able to live and work in the U.S. along with the primary visa holder.
  • EB-2 Visas: EB-2 visas serve as a gateway for professionals who possess an advanced degree or foreign equivalent, or those who have at least a decade’s worth of experience in a specific field. Additionally, individuals coming to work in areas that are critical to the national interests of the United States may be eligible for this visa. However, labor certification is mandatory for all categories except the latter. It is also noteworthy that family members of eligible candidates can also come along with them to the United States via the E21 or E22 forms, provided they have an approved I-140 (green card) form.
  • EB-3 Visas: Individuals who have a bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent may qualify for the EB-3 visa category. Skilled and unskilled laborers who have received a non-temporary employment offer from a U.S. employer are also eligible to apply for this visa. However, obtaining labor certification is mandatory for each category within the EB-3 program.
  • F-1 Visas: F-1 visas cater to academic students who are attending accredited academic institutions. These visas ensure that students can work while they are enrolled in an academic institution, provided they maintain an active course of study. During the student's first academic year, they are not allowed to work off-campus; however, on-campus employment may be accepted with restrictions. Furthermore, after the first year, F-1 students are entitled to engage in three different types of off-campus employment. These include Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), which can be pre-completion or post-completion, or STEM OPT (available exclusively to students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
  • B-1 Visas: B-1 visas are for those conducting limited, short-term business in the United States. These demand a specific period of time and are usually given for a one- to six-month period, with a possible extension of an additional six months. It is rare for these visas to extend beyond one year. The family members of B-1 visa holders are not eligible to travel under these visas; they must obtain their own B-1 visas to travel.

This is not a complete list of available employment visas. Our Alexandria employment immigration attorney can help you review available visas based on your circumstances. We recommend that you reach out to Escobar Law Offices today to schedule a consultation.

Changing Employers While on an Employment-Based Visa

Navigating the intricacies of employment-based visas can be complex, especially when considering a change of employers. For individuals holding such visas, understanding the regulations and procedures is crucial to ensure compliance with immigration laws. Whether you can change employers while on an employment-based visa depends on various factors, including visa type and specific circumstances.

H-1B Visa

For those on an H-1B visa, transferring employment to a new employer is possible, but it requires certain steps to be followed. The new employer must file a new H-1B petition on behalf of the visa holder, which must be approved by USCIS before the individual can commence work for the new employer. During this transition period, it's important to maintain legal status to avoid any immigration issues.

L-1 Visa

Similarly, individuals on an L-1 visa may change employers, but the new employer must file a new L-1 petition. This petition must demonstrate the qualifying relationship between the new employer and the entity that sponsored the original L-1 visa. Like with the H-1B visa, approval from USCIS is necessary before beginning work with the new employer.

Employment-Based Green Card Applicants

Those in the process of obtaining a green card through employment sponsorship face different considerations. While changing employers is possible, it may impact the green card application process, especially if the new job is not similar to the one outlined in the initial labor certification.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Given the complexities involved, individuals considering changing employers while on an employment-based visa should seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney can assess the specific circumstances, advise on the best course of action, and navigate the legal requirements to ensure a smooth transition while maintaining compliance with immigration laws.

How Our Employment Immigration Lawyer Can Help 

At Escobar Law Offices, we can help you navigate the employment immigration process, regardless of whether you are a foreign worker seeking an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa or an employer looking to sponsor an alien worker. Our attorney has nearly a decade of experience and has helped thousands of clients work to achieve their American dreams. 

We look forward to hearing from you and sharing how we can assist you with your immigration matter. Get in touch with us today to schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with Attorney Janet.

You can reach us online or by phone at (866) 846-7730.

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