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Herndon, VA Professional Work Visas Lawyer

Navigating Employment-Based Immigration in Fairfax County

The United States offers a range of temporary nonimmigrant visas for professionals in various fields who wish to work temporarily in the U.S. While these nonimmigrant visas will only allow a person to live and work in the United States temporarily, they can help ensure that qualified professionals and other workers will be able to maintain employment, and they may provide a pathway to eventual permanent residence and Green Cards. The different categories of nonimmigrant employment visas have specific requirements, and immigrant workers and their employers will need to understand the steps that must be followed during the visa application process.

At The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC, we have a great deal of experience representing clients in immigration cases and helping immigrants apply for and receive visas and Green Cards. We understand the options that are available for different types of workers, the requirements that apply to employers who wish to sponsor employees for visas, and the procedures followed when submitting forms and supporting documentation to immigration officials. With our assistance, both employers and employees can benefit from employment-based visas.

Categories of Temporary Work Visas

There are numerous different categories that may allow immigrant workers to live and work in the United States. These include:

  • H-1B visas for specialty occupations: This visa is designated for professionals who work in fields that require a bachelor's degree or a higher degree, as well as specialized knowledge and experience. Common fields where workers may qualify for H-1B visas include IT, finance, engineering, and healthcare. The H-1B visa is valid for three years and can be extended to six years, with possibilities for transitioning to permanent resident status if sponsored by an employer.
  • E-1 and E-2 visas for treaty traders and investors: People from countries that have commerce and navigation treaties with the U.S. may qualify for nonimmigrant visas. E-1 visas are for people who trade goods and services between the United States and their home countries, while E-2 visas are for people who invest capital in U.S. businesses or enterprises. Both visas are generally valid for two years, and they can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain requirements are met.
  • H-2A and H-2B visas for temporary or seasonal workers: Agricultural workers may receive H-2A visas, while H-2B visas may be available for those in non-agricultural industries requiring temporary help, such as hospitality or construction. These visas are meant to be used for short-term or seasonal work. They will generally be valid for the duration of the labor need, up to one year, but they can be extended in increments up to a total of three years.
  • L-1 visas for intracompany transferees: For employees of international companies transferring to a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same company in the U.S., L-1 visas provide temporary nonimmigrant status. Executives and managers of these companies may qualify for L-1A visas, and employees with special knowledge related to a company's products, services, or procedures may receive L-1B visas. L-1 visas allow workers to stay in the U.S. for one year if they are establishing new offices or three years in other situations. Two-year extensions may be granted, with L-1A visa holders being allowed to remain in the U.S for a maximum of seven years and L-1B visa holders being allowed to stay for a maximum of five years.
  • O-1 visas for people with extraordinary abilities: People who have attained high levels of acclaim in their fields may qualify for these visas. O-1A visas are for people who have risen to the very top of their fields in the areas of science, athletics, business, or education. O-1B visas are for people who have extraordinary achievements in the motion picture or television industry. O-1 visas are generally issued for the time necessary to participate in an event or activity, up to a maximum of three years.

Qualifications and Application Process

To qualify for these visas, applicants must meet specific criteria set out for each category, which often include proving professional qualifications, demonstrating the temporary nature of the work, and, in some cases, showing international recognition or extraordinary ability. Employers will typically be required to obtain a labor certification, and for certain types of visas, they may need to demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker will not limit the opportunities available to other workers in the United States.

Contact Our Herndon, Virginia Employment Visa Attorneys

Navigating the complex landscape of U.S. immigration laws and determining how they apply to employers and employees can be daunting. At The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC, our immigration lawyers can help address issues related to eligibility, documentation, and certification. We can help prepare and submit visa applications and address any issues that may affect an employee's ability to obtain authorization to work in the U.S. We can also help determine when foreign workers may qualify for Green Cards through employer sponsorship. For experienced legal assistance with immigration-related concerns, contact our firm at 571-441-2233 and set up a free consultation.

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