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Businesses - A Primer on US Immigration and Visa Lawyers


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In an ideal world, everyone would be allowed to work or live wherever they wanted to. That's actually the case in some parts of the world. Most Europeans are free to settle and work in other countries belonging to the European Union. Things are different here in the United States where a Byzantine labyrinth of rules and regulations pretty much forces foreign nationals to use a U. S. immigration and visa lawyer if they want to work or stay here. While historically immigration has been a major source of population growth and diversity to this nation, and the inscription at the Statue of Liberty beckons to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, " today's reality is quite different for non-residents of the United States.

That's because immigration has become a major political issue. The United States continues to be a desirable place to live and work that can benefit from immigration, but in the modern global economy it is no longer feasible to have completely open borders. The question then becomes who is allowed to come here and work here, and that is not an easy one to answer. On the one extreme side are the millions of illegal immigrants who simply avoid dealing with the law, on the other extreme people who have done everything right and may have a compelling reason to be here, and still cannot even get a visa.

The latter case is especially frustrating for highly educated professionals who seek to work here and whose contribution to the U. S. economy would be entirely positive, or for executives and professionals who for a variety of reasons need to be transferred within international companies. There are special visa classes for these cases (the H-1B Visa and the L-1 Visa), but the rules and conditions are so complex that there are specialized H-1B visa lawyers to help applicants with the process.

What are those visas? An H-1B visa allows well-educated and credentialed foreign nationals to work in the U. S. if they have a sponsoring employer in the United States and fulfill a number of other requirements. L-1 visas, on the other hand, are for managers, executives, or people with special knowledge who have worked abroad for a non-US company for a certain period of time and now seek to temporarily transfer to a U. S. -based subsidiary of that foreign organization. Again, there are numerous caveats and requirements that can change at any time.

You may have also heard of “PERM, " which is a method used by the United States Department of Labor to issue labor certifications. The idea here was for the government to make sure that companies do not try to sponsor foreign nationals when they could as well hire a US citizen for the job. A PERM labor certification therefore sees to prove that there are no qualified U. S. citizens who could fill the position. The primary difference between H-1B and L-1 visas, and entry via labor certification is that the former are for temporary employment whereas the latter are of more permanent nature with the goal of receiving United States permanent resident “green card. " The process is complex and lengthy, and generally handled by green card lawyers.

These are complex and ever-changing areas of business immigration law, and the bottom line is that most foreign nationals who seek to work in the United States, on a temporary or permanent basis, need the services of a U. S. immigration and visa lawyer.

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about U. S. Immigration and Visa Lawyer.


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