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Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant Visas

In today’s competitive global business environment, United States companies are increasingly looking to hire foreign nationals with specialized skills, expertise, and language skills, to help them compete in the global marketplace. When hiring foreign nationals, employers have numerous visa options available. Therefore, when hiring foreign workers, it is essential for companies to work with an experienced immigration lawyer who can provide employers and their employees with guidance on how to achieve both their short-term and long-term business immigration needs.

The Pittsburgh based office of Hartzman Law Firm, LLC, specializes in helping employers and employees navigate the complexities of business immigration. Our principal immigration attorney, Daniel Hartzman, is an experienced business immigration lawyer who has helped numerous employers and employees meet their business immigration needs. Daniel has helped a variety of companies around the country, from start-up businesses, to Fortune 500 companies, obtain nonimmigrant visas for their employees.

Main Nonimmigrant Visas Categories

While there are many types of nonimmigrant visas, the four most common visa categories sought by employers include: (1) H-1B visas; (2) L-1 visas; (3) O-1 visas; and (4) TN visas.

H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa category is the most common nonimmigrant visa sought by employers. An H-1B visa allows a company to hire a foreign national to temporarily work in a “specialty occupation”. A job is considered a specialty occupation if the type of position normally requires at least a bachelor’s degree. In order to quality for an H-1B visa, an employee must possess a bachelor’s degree, a foreign equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, or work experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the employee’s degree must be in a field relevant to the job. H-1B visas are initially granted for a period of three years. Workers may generally remain in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years.

L-1 Visas

L-1 visas allow a United States employer to transfer workers employed abroad to the United States. In order to be eligible for an L-1 visa, the foreign worker must have been employed abroad for one of the previous three years by a branch, subsidiarity, affiliate, or parent company of the United States employer in either: (1) an executive capacity; (2) a managerial capacity; or (3) a position where they obtained specialized knowledge. In addition, the employee must be coming to the United States to work in: (1) an executive capacity; (2) a managerial capacity; or (3) a position requiring specialized knowledge. L-1 visas are initially granted for a period of three years (L-1 visas for new offices are granted for an initial period of one year). L-1A visa holders (employees working in an executive or managerial capacity) can be granted extensions for two years at a time up to a maximum limit of seven years. L-1B visa holders (employees working in a position that requires specialized knowledge) can be granted extensions of up to two years at a time up to a maximum limit of five years.

O-1 Visa

O-1 visas are available to individuals who possess “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, business, education, and athletics. In order to qualify for an O-1 visa, an individual must be able to demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim in their field. In addition, the individual must be coming to the United States to work in their field of extraordinary ability. O-1 visas are initially granted for a period of three years. O-1 visas may be extended for one year increments as long as the individual continues to work in their field of extraordinary ability.

TN Visa

The North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) permits certain Mexican and Canadian professionals to work in the United States. To qualify for a TN visa, a Mexican or Canadian citizen must be entering the United States to work in a profession listed in Appendix 1603.D1 of the NAFTA. Examples of professions that qualify for a TN visa include: (1) accountants; (2) engineers; and (3) scientists. TN visas are initially granted for a period of three years. TN visas may be extended for as long as the individual continues to work in their profession.

Contact an Experienced Pittsburgh Based Business Immigration Attorney Today

If you are an employer or employee in need of a nonimmigrant visa, Hartzman Law Firm is here to help. If you would like to learn more about how Hartzman Law Firm can help you meet your business immigration needs, please call us at (412) 495-9849 or contact us online. We offer free consultations in person, by phone, and by secure video conferencing. Weekend consultations are available by request.

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