Employment Based Matters / Non-Immigrant Petitions
At Parikh Law Group, LLC, our experienced immigration attorneys handle all aspects of employment-based petitions to ensure that employers are able to seamlessly hire and retain their employees, and that foreign workers can find reliable employment and obtain legal status to work in the U.S. Whether you are an employer, or a foreign national who is currently inside or outside the U.S., we can assist you with any of the following matters:
- H-1B Change of Status, Transfers, and Extensions as well as H-4 for dependents
- PERM Labor Certification
- I-140, Immigrant Visa Petitions
- L-1A and L1B petitions to bring individuals from your company abroad
- EB-2, National Interest Waivers
- E-3, Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia
- TN/TD, NAFTA Professionals for residents of Mexico and Canada
- I-765, Employment Authorization
- E-2 Treaty Investor
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa
Non-Immigrant Employment Visas
Non-immigrant visas are typically easier to obtain than their immigrant counterparts because they are intended to be temporary in nature. However, many people who initially come to the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa eventually adjust their status to obtain an immigrant visa (green card) at a later date. In order to qualify for an adjustment of status, however, you must first become eligible for a green card generally through employment or marriage. If you wish to adjust status, a Chicago immigration attorney can help you determine how to proceed.
One of the most common ways to enter the U.S. for employment purposes is the H-1B, a non-immigrant work visa with an annual cap of 85,000. To be eligible for an H-1B visa you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S. accredited institution, its foreign equivalent, or equivalent work experience.
Although obtaining an H-1B used to be relatively easy, it has become increasingly difficult in recent years. In fact, due to its popularity, the 85,000 cap for acceptance is now maxed out within days of the filing window opening. Considering that hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals apply for H-1B visas annually, many hopefuls are left behind each year.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to get around this annual cap, such as finding an employer who is exempt from the cap, or finding two employment sponsors, including one that is subject to the cap and one that is not. The latter is part of a process known as a cap transfer. With these types of techniques and other limited exceptions, having a skilled immigration attorney can be of immeasurable value.
The O-1 is another non-immigrant visa category but is decidedly more difficult to obtain than the H-1B due to its very high standards. The O-1 is reserved for foreign nationals with unique and extraordinary ability in their professions such as the arts, business, athletics, or science. We often equate these individuals to having Pulitzer Prize-level skills and experience.
If, however, an individual is able to qualify for O-1 visa status, they can remain in the U.S. for up to three years, with yearly renewals possible. Furthermore, many O-1 visa holders are able to use accomplishments achieved during their time in the U.S. to adjust status to an EB-1 immigrant visa.
Employment-Based Immigrant Visas
For many foreign nationals, a non-immigrant visa is the best way to get to come to the United States. If, you qualify for an employment-based immigrant visa, this is a more direct route to permanent residency. Shortly after being granted an immigrant work visa, you will receive an official Green Card, which grants you lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
There are three primary employment-based immigrant visas: EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3. The eligibility requirements of each are explained in detail below.
Undoubtedly the most difficult to obtain of the three immigrant work visas, the EB-1 first preference visa is only granted to foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities in the arts, business, athletics, science, and education. In order to qualify, you must have national and international recognition, achievements, and / or awards in one of these fields.
Outstanding professors and researchers with international recognition, and some multinational executives, may also be eligible for an EB-1 visa. Although this visa has extremely high standards, it is the preferred path to permanent residency for those who qualify. In addition to the ability to petition on your own without the need for an employment sponsor, you can avoid PERM labor certification (link to PERM page), a process intended to ensure that foreign nationals are not taking jobs from willing and able U.S. applicants.
Although the EB-2 second preference visa still has high standards, it is definitely easier to obtain than the EB-1. If you are a skilled worker with an advanced degree, you likely qualify for this type of visa. For most EB-2 applicants, the PERM process is required. However, you may be able to avoid it by obtaining a National Interest Waiver (NIW). Your Chicago immigration lawyer can help you understand this process and determine whether you are eligible.
The third preference EB-3 visa is significantly easier to qualify for than the EB-1 and EB-2. As long as you have at least two years of experience in your field, you are likely eligible. This type of visa is available to professionals and skilled workers, but it is also available to unskilled laborers.
Although the requirements for this immigrant work visa are much less strict than the other two, wait times are often much longer. Even so, about 40,000 skilled and unskilled workers become permanent residents of the U.S. with the EB-3 visa each year. The immigration team at Parikh Law Group, LLC can help you join them.
Contact an Experienced Immigration Lawyer Today
Whether you wish to come to the United States, adjust status to achieve permanent residency, avoid deportation, or become a naturalized citizen, the skilled legal team at Parikh Law Group, LLC can help. Contact our multilingual office today for a confidential consultation about your case.