Assisting Employers and Foreign Workers in Texas and Throughout the United States
If you are a foreign worker hoping to advance your career in the United States, you will need the appropriate employment-based visa. If you are a U.S.-based employer, you may wish to take advantage of foreign talent that cannot be found domestically.
At The Law Office of Yovanna Vargas, we understand the importance of business-related immigration and are committed to delivering the reliable results our clients deserve. Our Dallas employment-based visa lawyer regularly helps foreign workers from all types of backgrounds explore opportunities for coming to the United States. Our team also guides U.S. employers through the applicable application, sponsorship, and labor certification processes. We facilitate both short-term visas and employment-based green cards and can identify the immigration strategies that will achieve your career objectives.
If you are interested in permanently living in the United States, you will need to obtain a green card. This visa confers lawful permanent residency and allows you to work almost any type of job.
In most cases, you must secure a permanent offer of employment from an employer willing to sponsor you for a green card. Up to 140,000 employment-based green cards are issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) each year, and these visas are divided amongst 5 preference categories. Your qualifications and skills will determine which category you are eligible to apply under.
The employment-based immigration preference categories are:
- EB-1 Green Cards for People of Extraordinary Ability. Workers that can demonstrate that they have received recognition and acclaim for their abilities in the arts, sciences, business, athletics, or education fields can qualify for a green card without a sponsoring employer. Multinational executives and “outstanding” professors and researchers also qualify but need offers of employment. Employers do not need to seek labor certifications for employees under this category.
- EB-2 Green Cards for Advanced Degree Holders. Several types of workers may be eligible for the EB-2 visa. Workers with master’s degrees, doctorates, or foreign equivalents may apply under this category. Workers with bachelor’s degrees (or foreign equivalents) and several years of relevant professional experience are also eligible. You can use this category if you can prove you have “exceptional ability” in your chosen field. National interest waivers are available under this category for workers whose abilities are determined to be of great importance to the United States. You do not necessarily need an offer of employment to obtain a green card through a national interest waiver.
- EB-3 Green Cards for Professionals, Skilled Workers, and Unskilled Workers. Workers with bachelor’s degrees are considered “professionals,” while a worker is considered “skilled” if their job requires at least two years of training or experience. A worker is “unskilled” if their job requires less than two years of training or experience. You must have a permanent offer of employment to apply under this category, and your sponsoring employer must prove no domestic worker is available to fill your position.
- EB-4 Green Cards for Special Immigrants. Religious workers, translators, Special Immigrant Juveniles, broadcasters, and other types of workers may qualify for visas under this miscellaneous category.
- EB-5 Green Cards for Immigrant Investors. You may be able to obtain a green card if you are willing to invest at least $900,000 in a qualifying U.S.-based enterprise. Your investment must create or preserve at least 10 domestic jobs within 2 years.
Once USCIS approves your sponsoring employer’s petition and a visa is available, you can apply for your green card. If you are currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, you can seek an adjustment of status within the country. If you are abroad, you will need to complete consular processing through your home country’s U.S. embassy or consular office.
If you obtain an EB-5 green card through investment, you will receive a conditional visa that expires after 2 years. (You can remove conditions once your investment creates or preserves at least 10 domestic jobs.) Otherwise, your green card will be valid for 10 years and can in most cases be easily renewed. As a lawful permanent resident, you will be allowed to live anywhere in the United States. You also do not have to continue working for your sponsoring employer to retain your status. You may become eligible for naturalization after maintaining several years of continuous and physical presence in the country.
Our Dallas employment-based visa attorney can evaluate your circumstances and advise whether you qualify for a green card under one of the preference categories. We also know how to efficiently obtain labor certifications and can guide U.S. employers through each stage of the sponsorship process.
Temporary Employment Visas
Many foreign workers come to the United States on temporary employment visas. Many of these visas allow workers to pursue permanent residency while in the country.
Our Dallas employment-based visa lawyer can assist you with many types of temporary work visas, including:
- E-1 and E-2 Visas for Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors. To qualify for the E-1 visa or E-2 visa, you must be a citizen of a country that maintains a treaty trade agreement with the United States. You may be eligible for the E-1 visa if you facilitate trade between the U.S. and your home country. You can obtain an E-2 visa by investing a substantial amount – typically at least $100,000 – in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise. These visas can be renewed an unlimited number of times and can thus facilitate an indefinite stay in the United States.
- H-1B Visas for Workers in Specialty Occupations. This popular and competitive visa can be granted to professionals whose occupation requires specialized knowledge or a bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent). Only a limited number of these visas are issued each year. Workers with H-1B visas can stay in the U.S. for up to 6 years.
- H-2B Visas for Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers. Skilled and unskilled workers who secure offers of employment for temporary or seasonal positions can potentially obtain this visa. Applicants must demonstrate their willingness to depart the country once their visa expires, and there must be a shortage of available domestic workers. The H-2B visa is initially valid for 1 year and can facilitate a maximum stay of 3 years.
- L-1A and L-1B Visas for Intracompany Transferees. Multinational companies can use this visa to send managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge to a U.S.-based branch, office, or subsidiary. Managers and executives can qualify for the L-1A visa and can stay for up to 7 years, while employees with specialized knowledge may be eligible for the L-1B visa and can stay for up to 5 years. Transferees must have worked for their employer for at least 1 of the preceding 3 years before applying.
- O-1 Visas for Workers of Extraordinary Ability. Individuals who can prove they have been nationally or internationally recognized for extraordinary achievements in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics can qualify for this visa. Applicants must have an offer of employment in the United States. O-1 visas are initially valid for up to 3 years but can be renewed an unlimited number of times.
- R-1 Visas for Religious Workers. This visa can facilitate a stay of up to 5 years for workers who will be employed by a nonprofit religious organization.