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Business & Employment Immigration

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For foreign workers trying to make their way legally to the United States, for business owners who want to hire foreign workers, or for foreign investors who want to gain permanent residency in order to expand their companies in the United States, Cole Law Group business and employment immigration attorneys in Nashville can help you choose an option that works best for your worker or investment opportunity. The following are some possible solutions available to you.

Perm / Labor Certification

A permanent labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. The DOL must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient workers in the United States that are able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment, and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The employees and members of their family may qualify for permanent residency or a “green card.”

E-1 Visa

The Treaty Trader is a non immigrant visa which allows companies and their employees (of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to work and stay in the United States in increments of up to 2 years each, in order to develop their investment. These visa holders should carry on substantial trade that involves goods, services, insurance, international banking, transportation, tourism, technology, or newsgathering activities. Over 50% of the total volume of international trade must be between the United States and the treaty country.

E-2 Visa

This non immigrant visa allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business (having 50% ownership of a bona fide enterprise or operational control through a managerial position.) These investors must have at least $50,000 to put toward their investment in the United States. They can also bring their foreign employees with them if they meet certain requirements.

H-1B Visa

The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers who have specialized knowledge (minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the specific area of expertise.) Premium Processing is now available for all petitioners seeking H-1B Visas. USCIS will determine whether or not a particular petition is subject to the FY 2018 Cap.

H-2A Visa

This is a non immigrant visa for foreign workers in temporary or seasonal nature positions who are doing agricultural work. Generally, a single valid temporary labor certification needs to be requested from the United States DOL with the H-2A petition. (A limited exception to this requirement exists in certain “emergent circumstances.”)

H-2B Visa

This visa is for foreign workers in temporary positions of non agricultural work. There is a seasonal, peak load or intermittent need for these workers. H-2B petitioners must also provide a single valid temporary labor certification from the United States DOL.

L-1 Visa

The L-1 Visa for intracompany transferees is a non immigrant visa that allows foreign workers temporary entrance and permission to work in managerial positions or as “specialized knowledge” employees. There are L1-A and L1-B classifications. These workers can adjust their status as legal permanent residents or obtain their “green card” at a later time.

O-1 Visa

This non immigrant visa is for individuals with extraordinary abilities and skills in fields such as arts, education, science, business, athletics, film, and television. This visa will allow the individual to work temporarily in the United States for the duration of a project. All people petitioning for an O-1 visa need an employee sponsor to apply.

EB-1 Visa

You may be eligible for an employment based, first preference immigrant visa if you have an extraordinary ability, such as an outstanding professor, researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. For the EB-1 visa, those with extraordinary abilities in athletics, science, or the arts do not need an employee sponsor, whereas notable executives and researchers must have an employee sponsor.

EB-2 Visa

You may be eligible for an employment based, second preference immigrant visa if you are a professional holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Employment based, second preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved individual labor certification from the Department of Labor. Aliens seeking a national interest waiver are requesting that the Labor Certification be waived because it is in the best interest of the United States. (He or she needs to meet the criteria.)

EB-3 Visa

You may be eligible for this immigrant visa preference category if you are a skilled worker (2 years or more experience), a professional who possess a bachelor degree or foreign degree equivalent, or other workers. Third preference petitions must generally be accompanied by an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor. The employer (petitioner) must file a Petition for Alien Worker, and as part of the application process, he or she must be able to demonstrate an ability to pay the offered wage as of the worker’s visa priority date.

EB-4 Visa

You may be eligible for an employment based, fourth preference visa if you are a special immigrant: Religious Workers (some of which expired on December 8, 2017), Special Immigrant Juveniles, Broadcasters, G-4 International Organization or NATO-6 Employees & their families, Armed Forces members, Panama Canal Zone employees, Certain Physicians, Afghan and Iraqi Translators, and those Afghan and Iraqi Nationals who have provided faithful Service in Support of the U.S. Operations.

EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 Visa Program allows investors in new commercial enterprises to file an immigrant petition. Upon the approval of this individual’s adjustment of Status as a Legal Permanent Resident or upon admission into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa, the EB-5 investor and derivative family members will be granted conditional permanent residence for a 2-year period, after which they have to apply to remove these conditions. The two most common petitions are listed below:

  • I-924. This form is filed by U.S. businesses who have created what is known an EB-5 regional center that can receive money from multiple foreign investors. These centers are geographically limited and can be privately or publicly run. An EB-5 regional center may be the right choice for an investor who does not want to take a direct role in managing his or her investment.
  • I-526. This petition is for immigrants who want to come to the United States to be entrepreneurs. While the amount you must invest will vary by region, the U.S. government uses one million dollars as a baseline. In some lower income areas, known as targeted employment areas, you will only need to invest $500,000. The I-526 is the better choice for entrepreneurs who want to take a hands on role in managing their investments.

P-1, P-2 and P-3 Visas

The P-1 classification allows a foreign national to come to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an individual, or as part of a group or team and at an internationally recognized level of performance. The P-2 classification allows a foreign national to temporarily perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. The P-3 classification allows a foreign national to come to the U.S. temporarily to perform, teach, or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or a part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.

R-1 Visa

This visa is for religious workers who wish to come to the United States on a temporary basis to work for a nonprofit religious organization. To qualify, the foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition.

International Entrepreneurs Parole

This parole would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole to grow their businesses in the U.S. They may be granted an initial stay of up to 2 years. This rule is currently under revision.

Call our office in Brentwood, Tennessee, at (615) 490-6020 to day to consult with a Cole Law Group business and employment immigration lawyer and determine if you are eligible for a visa. We serve clients throughout the U.S. and worldwide.

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