Orlando Employment Immigration Attorneys
Temporary workers and permanent resident workers help to build and maintain The United States. Employment-based immigration is, without a doubt, beneficial to the country, but it is a difficult and often overwhelming process.
If you are an employer or a foreign national interested in employment-based immigration, the legal team at Brown Immigration Law is here to help. Our Orlando employment immigration lawyers can provide you with the knowledge, insight, and genuine dedication to support your goals.
What Is Employment-Based Immigration?
Any foreign citizen has the opportunity to live and work in the United States. Depending on their abilities and the type of employment they engage in, employment immigration actions can differ drastically. To break down this pathway to immigration, it is best to view the process in two separate categories:
- Non-immigrants who work temporarily in the country
- Immigrants who live and work in the U.S. as permanent residents
Temporary Non-Immigrant Workers
Non-immigrants can apply for temporary work visas if they demonstrate valuable skills, education, or training. In order to gain lawful entry and employment authorization, temporary non-immigrant workers must have an employer sponsor them and file a petition on their behalf. Beyond this, there are numerous procedures and requirements to be provided. Non-immigrant workers also need to be classified into a specific visa category of temporary workers, which ultimately determines how an issue will be handled.
Non-Immigrant Temporary Worker Classifications
Depending on the skills of a worker, their industry, and other unique circumstances, foreign citizens may be granted one of the following visas:
- B-1 - For temporary business visitors in the United States for a business related activity or purpose. This includes attendance at professional conventions, meetings, training and others.
- E-1 and E-2 - Non-immigrant classifications that allow nationals of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation to be admitted. E-1 visas are for individuals who conduct international trade. E-2 visas are for investors who make substantial investments in a U.S. business.
- F-1 – For foreign students who attend an academic institution, language training program, seminary or conservatory. Applicants must meet specific requirements, including acceptance at a school, sufficient funds, preparation for their education and intent to leave the United States upon program completion.
- H Visas - H visas encompass several separate classifications of foreign citizens who engage in a specific type of employment:
- H-1B visas for individuals in a specialty occupation, which requires highly specialized skills and knowledge and higher education completion. This classification also includes fashion models and government research and development employment.
- H-2A visas are for seasonal agricultural workers.
- H-2B visas are for temporary or seasonal nonagricultural workers.
- H-3 visas are classified for non-immigrants who receive training in the United States.
- I Visa - Granted to non-immigrant representatives and employees of foreign media. This classification includes film crews, journalists and others.
- J Visa - Granted to foreign nationals who are accepted into a certified Exchange Visitor Program. J Visa recipients are expected to return to their home countries after completing their program.
- L Visa - For foreign citizens who transfer within a company. Applicants who, within the previous years, have been employed in another country continuously for one year and transfer to a branch, parent affiliate or subsidiary of their same employer in the U.S. are eligible.
- O Visa - Granted to foreign individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture or television industries.
- P Visa – For internationally recognized athletes and athletic teams. Members of internationally recognized entertainment groups and artists or entertainers who are part of a culturally unique program may also qualify.
- Q Visa – For foreign citizens who come to the United States as participants in an international cultural exchange program. Their work can involve practical training, employment, and education about their home country's history, culture, and traditions.
- R-1 Visa – For temporary religious workers who are employed at least 20 hours per week by a non-profit religious organization in the U.S. This classification also covers workers of any religious denomination in the United States, including ministers and other religious vocations.
- TN / NAFTA Visa - The North American Free Trade Agreement allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to enter the United States for professional business activities. Applicants must be working professionals with appropriate qualifications, such as lawyers, scientists, teachers, engineers, and others.
Permanent Immigrant Workers
Workers who prove that they have a sufficient combination of skills, education, and work experience may be able to live and work permanently in the United States. The USCIS reports that roughly 140,000 immigrant visas are available each year. Depending on a foreign national's abilities, educational background, and expected contributions, applicants are classified into five categories that vary according to preference:
- First Preference (EB-1) Priority Workers - includes individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; and multinational managers or executives. Priority workers must demonstrate their accomplishments, achievements and abilities to contribute to the United States. Priority workers can file immigration petitions on their own, while outstanding professors and researchers and multinational managers or executives must have employers file a petition on their behalf.
- Second Preference (EB-2) - Second preference status is given if they are members of professions holding advanced degrees or if they are individuals of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, EB-2 applicants must obtain an approved labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Third Preference (EB-3) - Third preference will be granted to professionals, skilled workers and other unskilled workers. Professionals are individuals with U.S. baccalaureate degrees or a foreign equivalent, skilled workers are individuals with two years of work experience or training, and other workers are those with less than two years of training or experience. All EB-3 workers must obtain labor certification and have a permanent, full time job offer.
- Fourth Preference (EB-4) - EB-4 is for "special immigrants" Including religious workers, broadcasters, physicians, armed forces members, Panama Canal Zone employees, retired NATO-6 employees and their spouses and children, international organization employees, Iraqi or Afghan translators and Iraqis who have assisted the United States.
- Fifth Preference (EB-5) - Also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, EB-5 preference is granted to foreign nationals who significantly contribute to the U.S. economy and U.S. job creation. Eligible applicants must have invested $1 million, or $500,000 in a specified employment sector, in a commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.
As families are an inevitable part of the immigration process, our firm makes it a point to complete the necessary actions and obtain the appropriate visas for relatives of permanent workers. If your case involves additional family members, our legal team will use our skills to help families immigrate together.
Labor Certification Process
Labor certification means foreign citizens must have an arrangement with a U.S. employer who will sponsor them and obtain approval from the DOL. It verifies that there are insufficient available and qualified workers to fill the position offered to a foreign national and verify that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect wages or working conditions of other U.S. workers employed in similar positions.
Processing Times and Priority Dates
Employment-based immigration involves numerous procedures, deadlines and government agencies. These agencies are governed by statutory and regulatory guidelines and receive a consistent flow of applications and issues. Thus the processing times of immigration cases can be backlogged.
In most cases, there is often little that can be done to expedite an immigration process. Our Florida immigration lawyers will provide all clients with a thorough understanding of their immigration issue, as well as what to expect in each step of the process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also provides USCIS processing time information on their website, including specific details about the processing times of specific immigration cases, and information about the status of your case.
Contact Brown Immigration Law to learn more about your immigration status in the Orlando area.
Focused on the Needs of Orlando Employers and Workers
The entire legal team at Brown Immigration Law understands the significant contributions skilled and educated foreign workers make in the United States. As a result, we take pride in our ability to facilitate the immigration needs of employers and employees throughout the country and the state of Florida. Our highly regarded legal team is comprised of talented Orlando attorneys like Erin Brown and Kelly Sanchez, who have the well-rounded skills and experience needed to meet the unique needs of clients.
To learn more about how we can assist you with obtaining a non-immigrant temporary worker visa, contact our Orlando employment immigration lawyers today.