Florida Hiring Foreign Nationals Attorneys
Helping Employers Hire Foreign Workers in Florida
At Brown Immigration Law, we understand that hiring foreign nationals can be a complex process. Our Florida team is here to help you navigate the process and ensure that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations. We have extensive experience working with employers of all sizes and in a variety of industries. Our experienced lawyers can help you understand your options and guide you through the process of hiring foreign workers.
How to Choose the Right Work Visa
Employers must determine the appropriate visa category for the worker based on their qualifications, job type, and intended duration of stay.
Here are several common types of work visas in the United States that employers can use to hire foreign workers:
- H-1B Visa:
- For: Specialty Occupations requiring specialized knowledge (e.g., IT, engineering, science).
- Requirements: Requires a job offer from a U.S. employer and the employee's qualifications (usually a bachelor's degree or equivalent).
- Duration: Initially granted for up to 3 years, extendable to a maximum of 6 years.
- L-1 Visa:
- For: Intra-Company Transferees moving from a foreign company to a U.S. branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
- Requirements: Requires the worker to have worked for the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the preceding three years.
- Types: L-1A for managers/executives, L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.
- Duration: L-1A is initially granted for up to 3 years (extensions up to 7 years), L-1B for up to 5 years (extensions up to 7 years).
- O Visa:
- For: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement in fields like sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, etc.
- Requirements: Demonstrating extraordinary ability or achievement in the field of expertise.
- Types: O-1A for individuals with extraordinary ability, O-1B for individuals with extraordinary achievement in arts or entertainment.
- Duration: Initially granted for up to 3 years, extensions available in 1-year increments.
- TN Visa (NAFTA):
- For: Citizens of Canada and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- Requirements: Requires a job offer in a profession listed in the NAFTA agreement.
- Duration: Granted in 3-year increments, renewable indefinitely in 3-year increments.
- E Visa (E-1/E-2):
- For: Treaty Traders (E-1) and Treaty Investors (E-2) from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S.
- Requirements: Involves substantial trade (E-1) or investment (E-2) between the U.S. and the treaty country.
- Duration: Can be granted for up to 2 years initially, with extensions available.
- J-1 Visa (Exchange Visitor Program):
- For: Participants in approved exchange visitor programs, including students, researchers, professors, and other categories.
- Requirements: Requires sponsorship through an exchange program designated by the U.S. Department of State.
- Duration: Varies based on the program and category.
- H-2 Visas (H-2A/H-2B):
- For: Temporary Agricultural Workers (H-2A) and Non-Agricultural Workers (H-2B) for seasonal or temporary work when U.S. workers are not available.
- Requirements: Need for temporary or seasonal workers and meeting specific criteria.
- Duration: Generally, up to 1 year with possible extensions.
Each visa category has its specific eligibility criteria, application process, and limitations. Employers need to assess the requirements carefully and select the most suitable visa category based on the job role, the candidate's qualifications, and the company's needs.
Additionally, some visas, like the H-1B, require the employer to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
Our Florida attorneys can help you choose the right work visa for your employee. We can help you understand the eligibility requirements for each type of work visa and determine which one is right for your employee.
How to File a Petition with the USCIS
Employers must file a petition with the USCIS to sponsor a work visa for a foreign employee. The petition must be filed with the appropriate USCIS service center.
There are several forms that employers may need to file to sponsor a work visa:
- Form I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
- Form I-140: Petition for an Alien Worker
- Form I-526: Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
Submit the completed petition along with the necessary supporting documents to USCIS. If approved, the foreign worker receives a Notice of Action (Form I-797) indicating approval.
If the worker is outside the U.S., they need to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. They must attend an interview at the consulate, provide required documentation, and undergo medical examinations if needed.
Our team can help you file a petition with the USCIS. We can help you gather all the necessary documentation and ensure that your petition is complete and accurate. We will also keep you updated on the status of your petition and let you know when it has been approved.
Compliance & Reporting
Employers must ensure that the terms of employment, including job roles, compensation, and work conditions, comply with the requirements specified in the approved visa petition. They maintain records and documentation related to the foreign worker's employment, including any changes in employment status or location.
Employers must also adhere to the terms and conditions of the visa, including the specific job role approved by the USCIS. They need to notify the employer and USCIS of any changes in personal information, such as address or marital status.
Furthermore, if there are any significant changes in the employment status of the foreign worker, such as changes in job roles, location, or termination of employment, employers report such actions to USCIS.
Failure to comply with visa regulations or reporting requirements can result in serious consequences. For employers, it may lead to penalties, fines, or restrictions on the hiring of foreign workers in the future. For employees, non-compliance can result in visa revocation, deportation, or being barred from re-entry into the U.S.
Brown Immigration Law can guide employers and employees on how to adhere to the terms and conditions specified in the approved visa, ensuring both parties understand their responsibilities to maintain compliance. We can also help in preparing and filing visa renewal or extension applications, ensuring all necessary documentation is accurate and submitted within the required timelines to prevent status lapses.