The B-1 visa is for foreigner visitors to the United States who are coming for temporary business and professional activities that benefit a non-U.S. employer. Typical activities that are eligible for the B-1 visa include:
Applying for a B-1 visa is a straightforward process as long as applicants meet the eligibility criteria. The criteria to be eligible for a B-1 visa include:
Although the B-1 visa is a straightforward process, applicants can encounter pitfalls that jeopardize their visa. These situations include unintentionally declaring an intention to stay beyond the duration of the B-1 visa. The B-1 visa does not grant visa holders work authorization to work for companies in the United States like local employees. Companies with B-1 holders must avoid unauthorized employment liability.
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard helps clients apply for B-1 visas and comply with regulations. We specialize in B-1 visas for multinational corporations as well as startup and small- to medium-sized businesses that plan to invite foreign employees to the United States.
The E-1 (treaty trader) and E-2 (treaty investor) visas allow nationals of a treaty country (a country with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation) to come to the United States to engage in international trade and investment.
E-1 visas require that the treaty trader must be involved in “substantial trade” with the United States. Under the E-1 visa, eligible trade includes:
The “substantial trade” standard takes into consideration the transactions between the treaty country and the United States which includes the monetary value and other measures.
E-2 visas require that the treaty investor must have invested, or intend to invest, a substantial amount of capital, including funds and assets, in a “bona fide enterprise” in the United States. The capital is placed at risk with the goal of generating profit and at risk of loss if the investment fails.
The E-1 and E-2 visas can be granted for a maximum of 2 years and can be renewed indefinitely.
Typically, the E-1 and E-2 visas are designated for foreign employers. However, employees of these foreign-owned companies are also eligible for the visas if the employees are of the same nationality of the employer (i.e. from the same company) who is applying for the E-1 and E-2 visas. Employees must also be executives or possess special qualifications to be eligible.
The E-1 and E-2 visas are desirable alternatives to H-1B and L-1 visas because the costs associated are lower and the E-1 and E-2 visas allow visa holders to bring their families to the United States. Spouses of E-1 and E-2 visa holders can apply for work authorization, allowing them to participate in the local workforce.
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard specializes in E-1 and E-2 visas for multinational corporations as well as startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard has successfully prepared petitions for many E-1 and E-2 clients. We have worked with U.S. embassies around the globe to help clients establish and maintain their E-1 and E-2 visas.
Specialty Occupation Workers
The H-1B visa is for United States-based employers looking to hire temporary foreign workers to perform professional, high-skilled jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree. Typical specialty occupations that are eligible for the H-1B visa include:
The H-1B visa is the most common work visa in the United States. This visa has a cap of 65,000 visas per year, with an additional 20,000 visas for individuals who hold a master’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. university.
The H-1B visa has some complexity to the filing process because it requires a Labor Condition Application (LCA) and most years has undergone a lottery system due to the numerical cap on the number of visas issued each year.
The H-1B is approved for a maximum of three years with a possible extension, allowing visa holders to stay in the United States for up to 6 years, except in special circumstances.
The H-1B visa holders’ spouse and children are allowed to live and study in the United States but they are not authorized to work for local companies in the United States.
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard specializes in H-1B visas and helps clients navigate the H-1B process as well as comply with regulations to avoid unauthorized employment liability. Every year, we file many H-1B visas for multinational corporations as well as startup and small- to medium-sized businesses that plan to hire foreign employees. We help our clients maintain their I-9 employment eligibility verification to ensure that all employees on H-1B are maintaining valid status to comply with regulations. We also help clients maintain their Public Access File (PAF) to meet the Department of Labor’s regulations to meet employment-related immigration compliance.
Professionals from Australia
The E-3 visa applies only to Australian nationals who are coming to the United States to work in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is a high-skilled job whose duties require “theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge”. Applicants should also have at minimum a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent.
An E-3 visa, like the TN for Canadian and Mexican nationals, is an excellent way for Australians to come work in the United States without having to deal with the H-1B lottery or the L-1 process. It is a simpler visa to apply for and has a higher chance of being approved.
To qualify for the E-3 visa, applicants must:
The E-3 visa is also attractive for Australians because E-3 visa holders can bring their families to the United States. Spouse, but not children, of E-3 visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization to join the local workforce.
At the Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard, we are big fans of the E-3 visa because it simplifies the work visa process for Australians significantly compared to other visa categories. We represent many multinational corporations as well as startups in applying for E-3 visas to bring skilled employees to fill gaps in their organization that Americans are unable to fulfill. We take pride in clients we have helped to attain the E-3 visas in a wide variety of industries and occupations.
The O-1A and O-1B visas are for foreign individuals with extraordinary abilities in the science, arts, education, business, athletics, or motion picture and television industry who have risen to the top of their field. The O-1 classification requires that these individuals are recognized by peers and press nationally and internationally as experts in their field.
The O-1A visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics, not including the arts, motion picture or television industry. Examples of applicants who qualify include the following profiles:
The O-1B visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or the motion picture or television industry. Examples of applicants who qualify include the following profiles:
Applying for a B-1 visa is a straightforward process as long as applicants meet the eligibility criteria. The criteria to be eligible for a B-1 visa include:
The O-1A and O-1B visas are popular because they can be the fastest method for foreigners to come to the United States for work if the individual possesses extraordinary abilities because the O-1 classification is not subject to limitations such as the H-1B cap or the L-1 requirement that the individual has worked for at least one year for a foreign branch of a U.S. company.
The O-1 classification is eligible for up to 3 years. The O-1A and O-1B visa holders can bring their assistants to accompany them for specific events or performances as well as their families.
The O-1A and O-1B visas require a strong case to demonstrate that the individual is recognized for extraordinary ability. Typical evidence used to support O-1A petitions include nationally and internationally recognized prices and awards, serving on as judges on respected industry panels, and membership in professional trade associations.
The L-1A and L-1B visas allow a United States company to transfer an executive or manager from a foreign office to one of its office in the United States.
L-1A visas are for executives and managers in the foreign branch. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate that they are able to make decisions without much oversight (executives) or are supervisors and control the work of other professional employees and manage the organization (manager).
L-1B visas are for employees with specialized knowledge related to the organization’s operations. Specialized knowledge includes expertise about an organization’s:
L-1A and L-1B visas are popular among multinational corporations, particularly management consultancy and IT consultancies. These corporations often prefer the L-1 classification because it does not require a Labor Condition Application (LCA) as the H-1B visa does and there is no numerical cap on number of visas issued annually. Also, multinational corporations often qualify for blanket L-1 visas, allowing them to apply for the transfer of a group of employees rather than filing individual applications.
To be eligible, the applicant must have worked for the foreign branch for at least 1 year within the last 3 years.
L-1A and L-1B visa holders are allowed an initial stay of up to 3 years with the possibility of extension of increments of up to 2 years. The maximum limit of the L-1 visas is 7 years. The family members are allowed to join L-1A and L-1B visa holders in the United States. Spouses of L-1A and L-1B visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization, allowing them to participate in the local workforce.
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard specializes in L-1A and L-1B visas for multinational clients. Not only do we file L-1A, L-1B and blanket L-1 petitions, we also help organizations navigate the complexities of merges and acquisitions as well as other restructuring events that inevitably impact visa compliance. We also help clients establish their first office in the United States and navigate the visa process to avoid unauthorized employment liability.
The Department of Labor determines which occupations are classified as Schedule A occupations. These occupations are designated as such because there are not enough U.S. workers, qualified, willing, and able to fill these positions.
Filing for a green card under the Schedule A occupations classification has the advantage of bypassing the labor certification process which saves an employer a significant amount of time. It is also exempt from the annual quota restrictions in the EB-3 classification.
Examples of Schedule A occupations include:
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard is an experienced law firm that has helped many clients attain permanent residency in the United States. We routinely help clients prepare their application for green cards to under the Schedule A occupations classification and offer rigorous analysis to ensure the highest chances of success.
The TN visa applies only to professionals who are Canadian and Mexican nationals. The TN visa is based on the special North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for Canadians and Mexicans to come to the United States for temporary work in a professional, high-skilled occupation.
Examples of professionals eligible for the TN visa include:
The TN visa, like the E-3 for Australian nationals, is an excellent way for Canadians and Mexicans to come work in the United States bypassing the H-1B lottery and the L-1 process. It is a simpler visa to apply for and has a higher chance of being approved.
To qualify for the TN visa, applicants must:
The TN visa holders’ spouse and children are allowed to live and study in the United States, but they are not authorized to work for local companies in the United States.
At the Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard, we apply for many TN visas every year. We are big fans of the TN because it simplifies work visa process for Mexicans and Canadians significantly compared to other visa categories. We take pride in clients we have helped to attain the TN visas in a wide variety of industries and occupations.
The employment-based, second preference visa National Interest Waiver (EB-2 NIW) is a visa for foreign individuals with exceptional ability who hold an advanced degree. The NIW is a priority classification that allows individuals to speed up the process to receive a green card. This is possible because the NIW allows the employer to bypass the the Labor Certification process, significantly reducing the time and cost required.
The standard to qualify for the NIW is extremely high. The employer must demonstrate that the individual has exceptional ability and whose employment greatly benefits the United States. There is a significant preparation involved to construct a strong case to address the 3 standards to meet the NIW requirements.
The NIW also allows self-petitioning which means that individuals do not need an employer to sponsor their green card.
To be eligible, individuals must meet strict criteria to demonstrate that it is in the nation’s interest that the individuals be allowed to permanently work in the United States. The criteria include factors such as:
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard specializes in the NIW. We have many years of experience to help clients prepare the strongest possible case to speed track their NIW petitions to USCIS. We work with multinational companies, startups and self-petitioning individuals to collect the evidence that best documents their professional achievements to attain a green card through the NIW classification.
The employment-based, first preference visa (EB-1) is a visa for foreign individuals with exceptional abilities, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager.
The EB-1 is a priority classification that allows individuals to speed up the process to receive a green card. This is possible because the EB-1 allows the employer to bypass the the Labor Certification process, significantly reducing the time and cost required.
Within the EB-1 classification are three categories:
The EB-1A visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics who are recognized nationally and internationally for their ability. The EB-1 also allows self-petitioning which means that individuals do not need an employer to sponsor their green card.
The EB-1B visa is for internationally recognized professors and researchers who have outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. The individual must have at least 3 years of experience teaching or researching in that academic area. The individual must also be entering the U.S. to pursue a tenure track at a university.
The EB-1C visa is for multinational managers and executives who have worked for their employer for at least 1 year within the past 3 years and are entering the U.S. to continue working for that organization.
The standard to qualify for the EB-1 visa is extremely high. The employer must demonstrate that the individual has exceptional ability and whose employment greatly benefits the United States. There is a significant preparation involved to construct a strong case to convince USCIS to approve the green card.
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard specializes in applying for the EB-1 visa on behalf of multinational companies, startups, universities, and self-petitioning individuals. We have many years of experience to help clients prepare the strongest possible case to fast track their EB-1 petitions to USCIS. We help our clients determine whether they qualify for the EB-1 classification, build their portfolio, prepare their petition, and submit the evidence required to prove their professional achievements to attain a green card.
The Program Electronic Management Review System (PERM) labor certification process is the first step in most cases of employment-based green card applications. The goal of the PERM labor certification process is to verify to the Department of Labor that there are no U.S. workers who are qualified, willing, available, and able to fill the position for which the foreign worker is being sponsored. The law states that the U.S. employer permanently hiring the foreign worker must not adversely affect U.S. workers.
The PERM must be filed for EB-2 and EB-3 visa cases, except for the EB-2 NIW which can bypass the PERM with adequately justifications for why it is in the national interest to do so.
EB-2 is an employment-based, second-preference visa available for professionals with an advanced degree or an individual with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
EB-3 is an employment-based, third-preference visa available for skilled workers, professionals and other workers. EB-3 requires individuals to work permanently in a job for which “qualified workers are not available in the United States.” Skilled workers must have at least 2 years of job experience. Professionals must have a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. Other workers may include unskilled labor which is not temporary or seasonal in nature. The key to EB-3 is that there are no other U.S. workers able to fulfill the position.
The PERM process has many requirements including:
Immigration Law Office of Claire Degerin-Ricard is an experienced law firm that has worked with many clients to file PERMs. We have many years of experience to help clients navigate the complex PERM process and to build the strongest case possible to USCIS, while complying with standard and regulations set out by USCIS and the Department of Labor. We help clients prepare careful and detailed cases, especially in preparation for audit files to ensure that the correct procedures are follow
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