Immigration Through Employment

Most work immigration is done through the L-1 visa, which allows its holder to seek employment in the US. It also allows the visa holder’s spouse to work, and permits any children to go to public schools. The visa does not change citizenship, but it can pave the way for an immigrant to get their green card.

These visas are given to employees of companies that are expanding into the US and need to transfer workers there. There are two main types of work visas, the L-1A and the L-1B. The former is for those in managerial positions and can be used for seven years, and the latter is for all other positions and can be used for five years. When the L-1 expires, the employee has to leave the US immediately and must wait a year before applying for another visa.

People can apply for L-1 visas in two ways. The main way is through an individual application, which gets evaluated by the USCIS to determine the immigrant’s eligibility to work in the US. Companies wishing to relocate to the US can in some cases apply for a ‘blanket’ L-1 visa; the USCIS may preapprove the company to move employees to the country, and each person must only submit paperwork to the US consulate or embassy to gain entry.

The work visa application process involves submitting forms to the USCIS, and the provision of documents that prove the company meets all requirements to get a blanket visa. The application can be denied if the USCIS thinks that the company doesn’t intend to keep operating in the US, or if they believe that an applicant is ineligible.

If a person’s visa application is approved, they can bring their families to live with them. An L-1 holder’s spouse also gets a visa, if they can provide a marriage certificate. When the spouse gets a visa, they can apply for a Social Security number and seek work. Children under 21 are eligible for L-2 visas, which allow for the attendance of public schools.

© 2016 · SGK Law