How Do I Apply for a Work Visa?

An immigration lawyer can help you get a work visa in the United States.

There are multiple reasons foreign workers wish to work in the United States, but to do so legally, you must go through the process of petitioning for a work or employment visa. There are several types of visas that allow you to work in the United States, either temporarily or permanently. However, regardless of the type, getting a visa involves filling out complicated forms and providing detailed information about your work history, your life in your home country, and your purpose for working in the United States. In addition, work visas come with varying conditions, requirements and authorized time periods of stay.

The system is complicated, and going about it incorrectly can result in denial of your work visa application by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Fortunately, there is help available from an immigration Lexington visa lawyer experienced in aiding employers and potential workers and immigrants with their employment visa applications. For expert guidance in Kentucky, consult a seasoned Kentucky H1B visa lawyer to navigate the intricacies of the process smoothly.

If you are a non-citizen in the United States attempting to apply for a work visa, the immigration attorneys at Carman Fullerton, PLLC are fully prepared to handle all the requirements and legal hurdles involved and advocate on your behalf. Having proper representation by our dedicated Lexington immigration lawyer can help ensure everything is done correctly to give your application the best chance of success.

Everyone’s situation is different, so call us today to discuss your individual circumstances and get started fighting for the work visa you deserve.

Call Carman Fullerton, PLLC today at 859-971-0060.

How to get a Permanent Work Visa in the USA

Our immigration attorney can help you obtain a permanent work visa.

The holder of a permanent employment visa has many rights and protections under the law. These visas never expire, and a holder can bring their spouse and minor children into the United States. According to USCIS, the United States issues only about 140,000 of these employment-based immigration visas per year for noncitizens (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. To be eligible, you need the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience.

There are five employment-based immigrant visa categories for permanent workers, and people with greater skills and talents have higher priority. Applicants must demonstrate their abilities in their areas of expertise. The categories include:

First Preference EB-1 If you have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.
Second Preference EB-2 For workers who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.
Third Preference EB-3 For professionals, skilled workers, and other workers.
Fourth Preference EB-4 For “special immigrants,” including certain religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, noncitizen minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of noncitizens.
Fifth Preference EB-5 For business investors who invest in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.

When you contact our employment visa lawyer, we will evaluate your set of skills to see which category you may fit into and proceed accordingly.

How to get a Temporary Work Visa in the USA

Our work visa attorneys can help you file a nonimmigrant petition on your behalf with USCIS so you can work temporarily in the United States.

There are a variety of temporary employment visas, for categories that include investors, intracompany transfers of executives and managers, agricultural workers, free trade treaty professionals, participants in cultural exchange programs, and individuals who possess special skills in athletics, education, research, or art.

The H1-B visa is the most commonly applied for temporary visa. This visa is for people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability. Under this program, employers sponsor workers who have special skills that are relevant to the job to temporarily fill a position for which U.S. workers are not available. To qualify, you must have a concrete U.S. job offer and an academic degree. H-1B visas are subject to an annual quota system and are highly competitive.

Our visa lawyers can help you determine which temporary visa program is right for you.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Work Visa?

The amount of time it takes to get a work visa varies, depending on the type of visa and the circumstances involved.

For example, approval for temporary nonimmigrant visas might take a few weeks to several months, but immigrant visas can take years to get approved. The U.S. government considers each applicant on a case-by-case basis, in the order that they are received. Depending on the category and application process, there may be several U.S. authorities involved, including the U.S. consulate, the USCIS, and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and each step means additional time.

While a simplified application procedure may take 3 to 5 weeks to get processed, the regular application for work visas via the USCIS and the U.S. consulate takes several months. There may be seasonal delays in processing as well.

In any case, the sooner you contact our attorneys, the sooner we can start working for you.

Is it Hard to Get a Work Visa in the U.S.?

The degree of difficulty involved in getting a U.S. work visa depends on the type of visa, the circumstances, and whether you have an employer willing to hire you.

In most situations you will not be able to get a work visa to the USA unless a U.S.-based company wants to employ you and is willing to sponsor an H-1B visa for you. You must have special skills or education and expertise that an employer cannot find among available American citizens, such as having an advanced degree or speaking a foreign language. Also, employers would have to prove that they cannot find available workers with these skills in the U.S. Your skills will need to be evaluated against available specialty positions which qualify for H-1B employment. If you encounter challenges navigating the complexities of U.S. immigration law, consider consulting a reputable Lexington student visa lawyer to guide you through the process seamless

However, some types of visas, such as B-1 temporary business visas, are easy to get. B-1 visas are for people temporarily participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, such as:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short-term training.

How Long Does a Work Visa Last?

Factors such as your current immigration status and the type of visa you have determine how long your visa can last.

No one will be given a work permit that lasts longer than their permitted stay in the United States. However, some applicants may renew their work permits if their stay has been extended or lasts longer than the original work permit did. Temporary U.S. nonimmigrant visas have dates upon which an employee must depart the U.S. listed on the I-94 arrival/departure record.

For H-1B temporary workers in specialty occupations, the departure time depends on the validity period of the labor condition application and the proposed period of employment, plus a period of up to ten days before the validity period of the H-1B petition begins and ten days after it ends. In general, you will initially be granted up to a three-year stay, with extensions allowed up to a maximum total stay of six years, with exceptions. Once you have your H-1B, any time you spend outside the U.S. is added on to and extends your three years.

Let Our Work Visa Attorney Help you

The Kentucky immigration lawyers at Carman Fullerton, PLLC are here to help people who are seeking to work in the U.S. We know the laws, the system, and the best approach to take to increase the chances of your visa application being successful. We are here to answer your questions and concerns and to start working on your employment visa right away.

Call Carman Fullerton, PLLC today at 859-971-0060 to GET HELP NOW.

Attorney Kirby J. Fullerton

Mr. Fullerton’s practice is focused on immigration law. He speaks Spanish, and represents clients in cases before the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He began his career practicing criminal defense, and understands how matters in criminal courts can affect a client’s immigration status. [Attorney Bio]