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What to Know About Visas for Employees

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The United States has three categories of green cards for employees. Generally, if a company wants to sponsor someone for a green card, they have to show that there are not any Americans who can do that job.

This means that, if an employer wants to sponsor someone for a green card, they have to post the job, accept all domestic and international resumes, a do a good faith evaluation of the credentials to see if there is any American citizen or a green card holder who can do the job. If not, they might be able to get an employee a green card.

There are certain exceptions. For example, if people are Nobel Prize winners or the top of their field, they can self-petition for a green card, but this is relatively rare. Below we outline the different types of employment visas.

Employment-Based Visa Categories

For traditional employer/employee visas, there are several categories based on preference. EB-3 visas are for people with bachelor’s degrees while EB-2s are for people with master’s degrees or higher degrees. There is also a visa called the investor visa, the EB-5 visa, which allows people, if they have enough money, to invest in the United States and earn a green card by starting a business.

H-2B Visas

There are seasonal visas called H-2B visas, which are for people who work in seasonal jobs such as in landscaping, on farms, or in hotels.

People who come on the H-2B program are often subject to abuse. Part of the H-2B program requires the employer to put these people up in housing. However, that housing is often atrocious.

H-1B Visas

On the skilled worker side, the H-1B program allows people with a higher degree, a specialty degree, to get a job working at an American company. To be able to obtain this type of visa, the employer has to prove this person has a specific skillset. For example, many H-1Bs are taken by software developers who work for big companies or professors.

There is no cap on the number of visas available to universities but every other industry has caps. 65,000 are available for people with a bachelor’s degree and 20,000 are available for people with a master’s degree which means 85,000 visas total are available. Since about 200,000 people applied last year, this is a highly competitive program.

All applications for H-1B visas are submitted on April 1st. They then run a lottery on the applications. If a person’s number is chosen and they prove the case, they get the three-year work visa. If they are not chosen, they either have to go back home or find another way to stay.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of abuse in the H-1B program. For example, many H-1Bs are taken up by staffing companies.

Get Help from an Immigration Lawyer

If you are trying to come to the United States for work, it is important to consult an experienced professional. Call the Hacking Law Practice, LLC to discuss your situation.