Immigration Services

Non-Immigrant Visas

H1B -H1B is a non-immigrant visa category that allows a foreign worker to come to the U.S. and work in a "speciality occupation," which includes most professional positions. The H1B gives a foreign national permission to work in the U.S. and a status that allows her/him to lawfully remain in the U.S. on a temporary basis. Generally, the maximum period that a worker can be in the U.S. with the H1B is six (6) years, which can be granted in increments of no more than three (3) years at a time. There are exceptions to this rule that accord USCIS the authority to grant an employer's request for a worker to be approved for more than six years, but these rely upon the foreign worker's being sponsored for lawful permanent resident (commonly referred to as "green card") status.

TN -The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN Non-Immigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. There are two different types of TN status, a TN-1 for Canadian professionals and a TN-2 for Mexican professionals. It is important to note that there are slight differences between the requirements for each TN category. The main difference is that a Mexican national must obtain a TN visa stamp from a U.S. consulate before they can enter the United States while Canadian professionals can apply for their visa stamp directly at the border.

E3 Visa -The E-3 visa is a United States visa for which only citizens of Australia are eligible. It was created by an Act of the United States Congress as a result of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), although it is not formally a part of the AUSFTA. The legislation creating the E-3 visa was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on May 11, 2005. It is widely believed to have grown out of the negotiation of a trade deal between the USA and Australia. Annually, 10,500 e3 work visas are issued to Australian citizens wanting work in the USA. The e3 is similar to the H1B visa for speciality occupations. In fact, the e3 visa requirements and eligible e3 job categories are virtually identical. And the process by which you get an e3 visa begins the same way by getting hired for a job with a sponsoring U.S. employer. Unlike the H-1B, the E-3 does not require adjudication from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to the beneficiary applying for a visa at a US consulate. USCIS involvement is required only when the beneficiary is in the US and applying for a change of status to, or an extension of, E-3 status. Unless extending or changing the status to E-3, the beneficiary applies in person at a US consulate for an E-3 visa by presenting Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA) issued by the University of Washington. Departments may begin the E-3 process up to six months in advance of the employment start date.

Immigrant Visa/GC

PERM is the process for obtaining labor certification, the first step of the green card process for foreign nationals seeking permanent residence through their employment. ... The U.S. employer requests a permanent labor certification by completing an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (“ETA Form 9089”).

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker is a form submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by a prospective employer to petition an alien to work in the US on a permanent basis.

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is used by a person in the United States to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

Employer Compliances

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his/ her employment authorization. The employee must present his/her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) the employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information entered by an employer from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to records available to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires employers to examine documentation from each newly hired employee to prove his or her identity and eligibility to work in the United States. This act led to the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification requiring employees to attest to their work eligibility and employers to certify the documents presented appear to be genuine and relate to the individual. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Social Security Administration (SSA), and Department of State (DOS) records to confirm that the employee is authorized to work in the United States.

Once you have accepted an offer of employment and completed Form I-9, the employer takes the information from your Form I-9 and enters it into E-Verify. E-Verify checks the information against records available to DHS and provides the employer with a CASE RESULT.

In accordance with 8 C.F.R. § 655.760(a), employers of H-1B non-immigrants must create and maintain public access files for each H-1B employee. Employers of H-1B workers must make available for public examination certain records related to the filing of the LCA. These records must be made available to any interested party and must be available within one day of the filing of the LCA. Therefore, it is best to create the public access file at the same time the LCA filing takes place. Because the documents in the file contain sensitive salary information, the identity of the individual to whom the LCA relates need not be shown anywhere in the file. The file may be identified by a number or other confidential marking system with a cross-reference set up by the employer to identify the actual employee to whom the LCA relates. Employers of foreign nationals holding H1B, H1B1, and E-3 statuses are held to certain requirements stemming from the underlying labor condition applications (LCAs) filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). One such requirement is to maintain a file that is available for public inspection. This is referred to as the public access file (PAF).