Immigration Services for Employers

From Zollinger Law

If you are an employer seeking to temporarily or permanently hire foreign national workers, you will need to familiarize yourself with the immigration process and how it affects your business and employees. In order to employ foreign citizens, you must first file a sponsorship petition for each employee, stating that you have guaranteed this person a position at your company for the duration of the visa for which they’ll be applying.

This may at first glance seem like a simple process, but many employers find that it can become quickly become more complicated than they bargained for. Before you try to negotiate the intricacies of immigration law on your own, contact us at Zollinger Immigration Law. Our firm is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, however we provide legal counsel regarding immigration clients for business clients throughout the United States.

The immigration services we provide to employers include, but are not limited to:

Obtaining Temporary (Non-Immigrant) Visas

  • B-1 Visa – These are issued to foreign persons who are only visiting for pleasure, not employment. B-1 visas are generally issued for no more than 90 days.
  • B-1/OCS Visa – These are issued to crewmembers of internationally owned vessels that operate in the Gulf of Mexico or on the Outer Continental Shelf for over 29 consecutive days.
  • E-1 and E-2 Visas – An E-1 visa is issued to a citizen of an approved country who does a significant amount of trade with the United States, specifically enough to justify that the majority of trader and/or their employees’ work happens in the United States. An E-2 visa is similar, but applies to foreign-born individuals and entities making significant investments in the United States.
  • H-1B Visa – These are issued to non-immigrant workers who provide services in specialty fields, and are contingent upon employment in the workers’ specific fields.
  • H-2A Visa – These are temporary work visas issued to agricultural workers.
  • H-2B Visa – These allow U.S. agents and employers to bring over foreign workers for temporary employment in a non-agricultural field.
  • H-3 Visa – These are issued to non-immigrant individuals participating in trainee or educational exchange programs.
  • J-1 Visa – This exchange visitor visa extends temporary residence to individuals participating in work- or study-based programs, such as a medical residency or research.
  • L-1 Visa – Companies with employees and presences in the United States and abroad may obtain this temporary visa to allow their foreign employees to work in their U.S. locations.
  • O-1 Visa – These are issued to individuals with extraordinary abilities to allow them to work in the United States on a temporary basis.
  • P Visa – These are granted to artists, athletes, and entertainers performing in the United States.
  • R Visa – An R visa is issued to a religious worker to allow them to work temporarily in the U.S.
  • TN Visa – Under NAFTA, the TN visa allows citizens of Mexico and Canada to work temporarily in the United States.

Establishing Permanent Residency

If you would like to hire a foreign citizen for a full-time position at your company, you will want to be familiar with their permanent residency options, such as:

  • EB Visas – EB stands for Employment-Based. An EB-1-1 may be issued to a worker with extraordinary abilities in such fields as science, medicine, the arts, education, or research. EB-1-2 visas are specifically given to individuals with exceptional abilities in research and/or professorship. EB-1-3 visas are extended to multinational managers and executives.
  • EB-2 and EB-2 NIW Visas – Individuals holding advanced degrees in their fields are most often eligible for EB-2 visas. An EB-2 NIW is issued if it can be shown that the worker’s presence is in the nation’s interest. If the individual is granted an EB-2 NIW, the employment contingency of the EB-2 is waived.
  • EB-3 Visa – These are issued to skilled workers and professionals in fields which require a minimum of 2 years’ experience.

Addressing Other Immigration Concerns for Employers

As an employer of foreign citizens, you will need to be familiar with a bit more legislation to ensure that you are operating within the law. For example, in accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, you are prohibited from hiring or referring undocumented aliens. You must also verify the identities and employment authorizations of all of your employees. You’ll do this by completing and filing I-9 forms on all of your employees. To ensure that you are in compliance with U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services, you should conduct internal I-9 audits at least once per year.

We can walk you through all of the employer sanctions that apply to you and your business and assist you in maintaining the proper documentation for all of your employees to ensure that you are in compliance with all immigration laws affecting your business, yourself, and your employees. Call Zollinger Immigration Law today at (504) 799-2244 for a consultation.