This section discusses employment based immigration. If you are an Employer who wishes to hire a foreign national, you should look at the nonimmigrant employment visa. We offer a detailed discussion on the H-1B visa here.

There are 140,000 employment visas set aside every year. While the mechanics of how they are allocated can be confusing, there are five categories upon which to seek a visa based on employment:

  • Priority Workers - this includes aliens with extraordinary ability, professors and researchers and executives of multinational corporations
  • Advanced degrees or exceptional ability in sciences, art or business
  • Skilled workers – professionals with a bachelors degree or jobs requiring at least 2 years of experience
  • Special immigrants – this includes religious workers
  • “Employment Creation” immigrants - 10000 visas set aside for aliens who create a new commercial enterprise that will employ at least 10 US Citizens.

The second and third categories require, generally, that the prospective employer demonstrate that they are unable to fill the position with a qualified US Citizen (“labor certification”). This process was revamped in 2005, largely in an effort to clamp down on the so called “body shops”. As a result, the process places a considerable burden on the employer to show the need for a foreign national to fill the vacancy.

If you are an employer seeking to employ a foreign national, please contact our office so that we can work with you to determine the best approach to take. Depending on the position and the alien sought to be employed, a number of possibilities may exist.