August 29, 2023

Can I Sponsor a Foreign Worker in the US?

Stephanie Dy, Attorney at Parikh Law Group

As a business owner, you might find yourself in need of highly skilled workers from abroad. You’ve heard of employer sponsorship, but may be unsure what that entails or whether it’s possible for your company. Fortunately, Parikh Law Group, with its renowned team of Chicago immigration attorneys, is here to help. 

In this article, we’ll provide you with essential information on sponsoring a foreign worker in the US and provide general information to guide you through this process.

Sponsoring a Foreign Worker in the US

When it comes to employer sponsorship for employment in the US, there are two primary paths: Nonimmigrant visas employment sponsorship and Immigrant visas employment sponsorship.

Nonimmigrant Visas Employment Sponsorship

Nonimmigrant visas are for temporary workers who will be in the US for a specific purpose and period. Some common nonimmigrant visas for employer sponsorship include:

  • H-1B: For individuals in specialty occupations requiring specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • L-1: For intra-company transferees in managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge positions.
  • O-1: For individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

Immigrant Visas Employment Sponsorship

Immigrant visas, on the other hand, lead to permanent residence or a green card. They are often more desirable for both employers and foreign workers, but they can also be more complex and time-consuming. Common immigrant visas for employer sponsorship include:

  • EB-1: For individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, or multinational managers and executives.
  • EB-2: For individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
  • EB-3: For skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.

Requirements To Sponsor a Foreign Worker

To sponsor a foreign worker, an employer must meet specific requirements, such as:

  • Offer a job: The employer must provide a legitimate, full-time job offer to the foreign worker.
  • Prevailing Wage: The employer must pay the foreign worker the prevailing wage for the position, typically determined by the Department of Labor.
  • Labor Certification: For some visa categories, the employer must obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor, proving that there are no available US workers for the position.
  • I-140 Petition: The employer must file the I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

How Long Before the Foreign Worker Can Immigrate

The time it takes for a foreign worker to immigrate to the US depends on the visa category and other factors, such as the worker’s nationality and USCIS processing times. Nonimmigrant visas are generally faster to obtain, often taking several weeks to a few months. Immigrant visas, however, can take anywhere from several months to several years, depending on the visa category and the worker’s priority date.

How About the Foreign National’s Family?

When sponsoring a foreign worker, you may wonder about their family members. In most cases, the foreign worker’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old are eligible for derivative visas. These visas allow them to accompany or join the foreign worker in the US. The specific visa type depends on the principal visa holder’s category.

Common Mistakes Employers Make When Sponsoring a Foreign Worker

Sponsoring a foreign worker for a work visa in the United States can be a complex and time-consuming process. There are many rules and regulations to follow, and mistakes can cause significant delays or even lead to the application being denied.

Here are some common mistakes employers make when sponsoring a foreign worker in the US:

  • Not understanding the visa requirements
  • Not providing accurate information
  • Failing to meet the wage requirements
  • Not properly completing the application
  • Failing to maintain accurate records
  • Not providing adequate training and support
  • Not seeking professional assistance from immigration attorneys

Sponsor With the Help of Our Immigration Attorneys

Sponsoring a foreign worker in the US can be a complex and time-consuming process. However, with the right guidance from the experienced Chicago immigration attorneys at Parikh Law Group, you can successfully navigate the process and secure the skilled workers you need to grow your business.

Take the first step towards securing the talented foreign workers you need by contacting Parikh Law Group today. We will be happy to answer your questions, assess your case, and provide the guidance you need to move forward confidently.