HELPING CLIENTS GLOBALLY
Employment-Based Immigration Lawyer
Visas for Foreign Nationals Coming to Work in the U.S.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) places a lower priority on employment-based immigration than it does on family immigration. While the U.S. immigration system is generally favorable toward allowing loved ones to reunite, there is greater resistance to immigration that could deprive U.S. workers of jobs available in this country. Comparisons of immigrant visa data reflect this prioritization.
Whereas the INA provides up to 480,000 visas per year for the purposes of reuniting family members who have been separated by immigration to the United States, only slightly more than one-third of this allotment is allocated for employment-based immigration.
The 140,000 available employment visas are divided up into five categories:
- EB-1 priority workers
- EB-2 professionals holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability
- EB-3 skilled workers, professionals and unskilled workers
- EB-4 special immigrants
- EB-5 immigrant investors
Nearly 120,000 of the available employment immigration visas are reserved for the first three categories, with each one receiving 28.6 percent of the total number. The fourth category receives 7.1 percent, with the remainder going to the immigrant investor category.
In most cases of employment-based visa petitions, the employer who is sponsoring the immigrant applicant is the person who initiates the application process by sponsoring the applicant and obtaining a labor certification from the Department of Labor. Obtaining labor certification involves proving that the employment position cannot reasonably be filled by hiring from the local labor market, and it is a requirement that serves to protect U.S. workers from losing jobs to foreign nationals.
Once labor certification has been secured, the employer can then fill out a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Foreign Worker, which is then submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. After this has been approved, the prospective immigrant takes the next step by applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country. Employment visas are in such high demand that the allotted yearly quota is often exceeded. Spillover applications are each assigned a priority date, and the applicants then each given a visa in chronological order as the visas become available.
Speak with a Virginia Employment Immigration Lawyer
At Fayad Law, P.C., we understand how important it is for you to achieve a swift and efficient resolution to your immigration case, and whether you are an employer seeking to fill an important position or a worker hoping to come to the United States, our Virginia immigration lawyers are ready to help you. We can assist parties from around the world with the preparation of petitions and other paperwork, in addition to expediting cases and representing clients when meeting with immigration authorities. If you are in the U.S., you can meet with us at one of our offices in Fairfax or Richmond, Virginia.
Introduction To Fayad Law, P.C.
Have questions about your rights? Ready to discuss your
immigration case? Contact Fayad Law, P.C. now.
What Sets Fayad Law, P.C. Apart?
English, Arabic, French,
Russian and Spanish
Record of Success
You Stay Informed
at All Times
We Strive for Client
FAQs - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are dozens of different types of visas available under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), but they can all be placed in one of two categories: immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The former is for individuals who are hoping to establish permanent residency with a green card and perhaps even to pursue the path to naturalization and citizenship. The latter is for those who are only planning a temporary visit to the United States, such as for the purpose of conducting business or attending school.
The INA sets limits on the number of people who will be permitted to immigrate to the United States each year using certain types of visas, while other visas are unlimited. Family immigration visas for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are available on an unlimited basis, while there are annual quotas set for the relatives of lawful permanent residents and extended family of citizens, with a maximum quota of 480,000. The number of employment immigration visas is limited to 140,000 per year.
Pathways to citizenship include service in the United States military and adoption, but a large percentage of all people who become citizens do so through the process of naturalization. The basic qualifications for naturalization include:
- Living in the U.S. as a permanent resident for 5 years (or 3 years for a spouse of a U.S. citizen)
- Being at least 18 years of age
- Living within the state where you will apply for citizenship for at least 3 months prior to the application date
- Being physically present in this country for at least half of the past 5 years
- Maintaining continuous residence in this country from the date you submit your application for naturalization
- Being able to read, write and speak English
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. government and civics
It is also necessary to supply evidence that you are a person of good moral character and are attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. We can assist you with proving these factors, as well as preparing your petition and helping you get ready for the tests.
In June of 2012, the Obama Administration directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin applying a policy that is referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under deferred action, DHS is exercising discretion in its execution of the laws concerning deportation and removal of immigrants who are illegally present in the United States. Deferred action is not a change to the existing law, but is instead a change in the way that the law is being applied. You may qualify for relief under DACA if you were younger than 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday, have continuously resided in this country since June 15, 2007 and are either currently in school or have already graduated from high school or earned your general education development (GED) certificate, among other criteria. With deferred action, you may be able to avoid being deported, though it does not grant any change of immigration status.
In its review of immigrant visa petitions, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) weighs factors related to the ties that the prospective immigrant has in the United States and the reasons why he or she wants or needs to come to live in this country. For example, a family immigration petition will not be approved unless the foreign national has immediate relatives such as a spouse, mother or father, child or sibling already living here as a citizen or green card holder. An employment immigration petition is more likely to receive approval if the applicant has a job offer in this country and is coming to fill a position that cannot reasonably be filled from the local labor market. A foreign national who is fleeing persecution in his or her home country may be granted an immigrant visa as a refugee or asylee.
There are many strategies for challenging a removal action. If the proposed deportation is based on a criminal conviction, it may be possible to appeal the conviction in order to have it overturned. Another option is to petition for cancellation of removal, a type of immigration relief which is available to people who are of good moral character and whose deportation would subject a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident to extreme hardship. The key to success in stopping deportation is to take immediate action by hiring a Virginia immigration attorney from our firm as soon as possible. Contact us now at Fayad Law, P.C. for a confidential consultation and to let us get started on your case!
Fayad Law, P.C. maintains offices in Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia. We work with individuals, families, and businesses across the world, providing them with assistance in resolving the legal issues involved with helping their loved ones and employees to immigrate to the United States. We work directly with foreign nationals living abroad, guiding them through the process of obtaining immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for entry to the U.S.