Globalization has transformed the United States economy, giving businesses good reason to bring talented and knowledgeable professionals and executives to the United States. Our Atlanta immigration attorneys represent both businesses and immigrants. We can help clients obtain labor certification, business visas, permanent residence status, or naturalization. We present employment-based petitions and provide deportation defense. With partners that include a former United States immigration prosecutor and a former judge, we have unique insights into the best strategies for you or your business.
Business visas can allow you to obtain education, pursue business opportunities, travel, and engage in recreation while in the United States. If you own a business and are interested in employing noncitizens, or if you are a citizen of a different country interested in doing business or investing within the United States, there are a few different visa options available. However, acquiring business visas is easier with the help of a knowledgeable attorney. Our business visa team can help you figure out what type of visa is appropriate for you, put together the documentation required to process these kinds of visas, and advise you of any potential complications.
Every year there are many foreign nationals who need to visit the United States for business. For example, if you are a foreign national entering into a deal with an American company or the head of a foreign corporation with branches in the United States, a B-1 visa may be appropriate. Other commercial or professional activities may also qualify, such as consulting with business associates, negotiating a contract, traveling for an educational, professional, or business conference, or participating in a short-term training.
If you’d like to apply for a B-1 Visitor visa you must show: (1) you are traveling to the United States for a legitimate business purpose, (2) the duration of your stay is specific and limited, (3) you are financially able to cover the expenses of your trip, including the stay, (4) you have a residence and binding ties outside the United States, and (5) you otherwise meet the criteria for admissibility to the United States.
Another kind of visa available to businesses and foreign nationals is the H-1B Visa. This is a work visa American employers can use to hire workers from abroad who have special skills. Businesses that elect to hire H-1B employees must abide by certain rules and undergo a complex procedure. However, one benefit of this type of visa is that even though it is designated as a nonimmigrant visa, its holders may apply for and acquire a green card to immigrate. Eligible workers are those with very specialized knowledge, such as computer programmers, biotechnologists, and engineers.
The H-1B visa is only available if an employer cannot find a qualified United States worker to do the same job. The law is also intended to also protect opportunities for those within the United States workforce by capping the number of H-1B visa holders at 65,000.
The process of obtaining an H-1B visa starts with an employer. If you are an employer, you must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor. In the application, you must promise to pay the prospective visa holder the prevailing wage or the actual wage, compensate the visa holder for nonproductive time, and give him or her equal benefits to those the other similar workers at the company have. The working conditions for the H-1B worker may not adversely affect workers that are situated similarly. Other legal requirements apply, and an experienced immigration attorney can help you determine how to approach them.
If the nonimmigrant specialty worker category is not appropriate, there may be other options open to you. For example, there are also permanent residency options for foreign nationals who are investing and creating jobs.
Business immigration law can be complex and time-consuming. At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, we can help you determine the best course of action, including the type of visa that may be appropriate for your situation. With over 90 years of collective experience on both sides of immigration controversies, our Atlanta immigration lawyers are well positioned to help you with any business immigration issue. Contact us at (888) 472-5291 or online for a no-cost, comprehensive consultation.