Boston Business Immigration Attorney
As a business or company, regardless of your size, you might need to fill a position with a talented employee resident of another country. To accomplish this, you must apply for the appropriate nonimmigrant or immigrant visa on behalf of the employee you intend to hire.
The United States offers several visas to allow foreign workers in a specified position to legally live and work in the U.S. for either a limited period of time in the case of a non-immigrant visa, or permanently, in the case of an immigrant visa or employment based residency petition. Either way, our experienced business immigration attorneys can help you determine the most appropriate visa application for your prospective employee.
In addition, our attorneys can help your business effectively prepare your employment-based non-immigrant and/or immigrant visa petitions. These petitions will oftentimes present different challenges for the company and our experienced business immigration lawyers can help you address these challenges whether it be evaluating job descriptions, identifying the most appropriate job title or SOC code for a position, obtaining the appropriate prevailing wage for the job, providing advice as to the optimal manner in which to fulfill the mandatory recruiting requirements, and managing the process from beginning to end to obtain an approval.
If you need assistance to obtain an employment-based visa for a potential or current employee, please contact us at (617) 303-2600, and make a consultation appointment with one of our business immigration attorneys.
U.S. Visas that Our Business Immigration Lawyers Can Help Employers Obtain
Our business immigration attorneys have experience assisting employers in obtaining all types of non-immigrant US visas for foreigners who are coming on a temporary basis for a specific period of time or purpose. The non-immigrant visa applications we can help businesses with include H-1B, E (E-1, E-2), L, O, P, TN and R Visas. Our business immigration lawyers can also assist with corresponding derivative visas for the immediate family members of the primary beneficiary of the abovementioned visas.
At FitzGerald Law Company, we work closely with employers to identify and minimize potential issues and resolve them before preparing your applications and supporting documentation. This will help us make sure that your case is optimally prepared to obtain approval and will make the experience less stressful and time consuming for you and your company.
H-1B Visas (for Professional Employees in Specialty Occupations)
An H-1B visa allows a company to hire a foreign person with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in work experience to work in the U.S. If the position the foreigner will fill requires such preparation, and the employer agrees to pay the individual the prevailing wage for such a position in the location of employment.
Under an H-1B visa, the person will be in non-immigrant status, meaning that they will not be residing permanently in the U.S. However, the individual may apply for permanent residency afterward. This is appropriate for someone who has a specialty job offer in the U.S. requiring a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in relevant work experience.
E Visas (for Treaty Investors and Traders)
The E-1 and E-2 visa categories were designed to give effect to trade and investment treaties between the U.S. and foreign nations, providing reciprocal benefits to the citizens of the nation signing such a treaty. The U.S. Department of State publishes a list of the countries with whom the U.S. has a treaty that provides for either an E-1 Visa, an E-2 Visa, or both. (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/treaty.html) Essentially, these E Visas facilitate commercial interaction between the U.S. and other treaty countries.
E-1 and E-2 visas may also be granted to employees of a qualifying company who engage in the duties of an executive or of a supervisor, or is an employee who has special qualifications that are essential to the efficient operation of the business, pursuant to 8 CFR § 214.2(e)(3). The employee must have the same nationality as the principal E-1 or E-2 visa holder and ownership of the entity must be at least 50 percent of persons in the United States having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining E-1 / E-2 Visa status or who, if not in the United States, would be classifiable as treaty traders or treaty investors.
Our business immigration attorneys can help you determine if your company meets the requirements to apply for an E-1 / E-2 Visa.
E-1 Visas (for Trade and Commerce with the U.S.)
An E-1 Visa may be issued to individuals who are citizens of a nation that has a trade treaty with the United States, if they are coming to the United States solely to carry on or engage in substantial trade, which is not limited to the trade of products or goods but also includes the trade in services or in technology. As noted above the E-1 Visa may also be issued to an essential worker pursuant to 8 CFR § 214.2(e)(3). In addition, the trade, however, must be principally between the United States and the foreign state of which the individual is a national.
“Substantial” with reference to trade for an E-1 Visa, means trade involving numerous transactions that began prior to the filing of the E-1 application. Trade “principally” between the US and the qualifying foreign state means that at least 50% of the total amount of trade conducted by the E-1 Visa applicant, their company or employer, must be between the United States and the treaty nation.
E-2 Visas (for Investors in the U.S.)
An E-2 Visa may be issued to individuals who are citizens of a nation that has an investment treaty with the United States, if they are coming to the United States to solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested or if they are actively in the process of investing a “substantial” amount of capital.
The definition of “Substantial” with reference to investment is at the discretion of the Secretary of State. In exercising this discretion, the Secretary of State may assess whether the value of the investment is substantial as a percentage of the fair market value of the enterprise, or as a percentage of the capital usually required to establish the specific type of business, per the visa application.
In order to be “substantial,” the investment enterprise must not be considered “marginal,” meaning it must have the capacity in the present or future to provide income more than a living wage to the investor and their family.
The investment must be with investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable, in an amount sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The investment must be a real operating enterprise, an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Similarly, uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security, like a residential property for the investor, are not considered an investment. The investment must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
The E-2 Visa applicant must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise, are not permitted. The individual must be the principal investor coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise receiving the E-2 investment funds, or an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.
L-1 Visas (for Employees Transferring within a Company)
L-1 Visas are non-immigrant work visas for an executive or managerial position (L-1A) or employees in a specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B), who are being transferred from a foreign company to a U.S. affiliate, subsidiary, branch, or parent of the foreign company. The executive, manager, or employee must have been working with the foreign company for one year of the last three years before the visa petition is filed with USCIS. The U.S. company may be a new entity that the foreign executive, manager or employee is coming to open.
There are no limits to the number of L-1 visas that the U.S. Immigration Service can issue per year, and petitioning companies do not have to obtain a prevailing wage approval or file any documents with the Department of Labor.
L-1 visa holders may possess dual intent, the intent to return to their country as a non-immigrant or the intent to remain in the U.S. as a Legal Permanent Resident, which allows them to apply for permanent residency concurrently with the L Visa application.
L-1A visa holders, executives or managers, do not need to obtain a labor certification in order to apply for permanent residency, however, most L-1B visa holders will generally require an approved Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to qualify for status as a Legal Permanent Resident through their employment.
Our business immigration attorneys can help you apply for the visa that is appropriate to your situation.
O Visas (for Immigrants with Outstanding Abilities)
An O Visa is a non-immigrant visa that USCIS may grant to an individual who has extraordinary abilities or achievements in the areas of sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics (O-1A) or who has had extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry and received national or international recognition (O-1B). This requires evidence that the individual has obtained level of expertise indicating that they have arisen to the very top of the field worldwide. An O-2 Visa may be issued to individuals accompanying the O-1 Visa holder during the time they are in the U.S., and an O-3 Visa can also be granted to the spouse and single children who are under 21 years of age.
TN Visas (for Mexican and Canadian Professionals)
TN visas permit Canadian and Mexican citizens in certain professions to be admitted to the US on a temporary basis to work for one or more employers.
Qualifying professions for a TN visa are specified in the NAFTA agreement (North American Free Trade Agreement) and they include scientists, engineers, nurses, dentists, architects, accountants, pharmacists, therapists, economists, lawyers, nutritionists, veterinarians, and teachers (see TN visa qualifying professions).
Most of the TN eligible professions identified by NAFTA require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and experience is not a substitute for the degree, if one is required. For some professions, experience may be required in addition to the bachelor’s degree (see list of professions with minimum education requirements and alternative credentials—Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA Chapter 16).
TN visas may be extended indefinitely in increments of up to 3 years, as long as the employee still has the job and has maintained their nonimmigrant status. The process to obtain TN status can be different if you are a Canadian or Mexican national.
R Visas (for Religious Workers)
An R visa is for noncitizens coming to the U.S. temporarily to work part-time as a minister or in a religious vocation or occupation. To qualify, a nonimmigrant must be employed by one of the three categories of religious organizations listed below:
- A non-profit religious organization in the United States
- Religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption
- A non-profit organization that is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States
The individual being sponsored must have been a member of a religious denomination with a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years immediately before filing the petition, and must be qualified for the position being offered.
If the person being sponsored is employed by a religious institution, our Boston business immigration attorneys can help your organization apply for an R Visa.
Our Boston Business Immigration Attorneys Can Help
If you are trying to bring a foreign national to the U.S. to work for your business, our business immigration attorneys can help your company explore the different visa options available for your employees and how to apply. For a case consultation, contact FitzGerald Law Company at (617) 303-2600.