Foreign nationals seeking temporary employment in the U.S. have a range of nonimmigrant visa options. The U.S. sets limits on the number of nonimmigrant workers admitted each year. Navigating the U.S. nonimmigrant worker entry process can be intricate, so starting early is crucial.
Contact Hanlon Law Group, P.C. in Pasadena, CA today to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney about temporary work visas.
Department of Labor Certification
Before hiring certain nonimmigrant workers, employers must first obtain approval from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This applies to categories like H-1B (specialty occupations), H-2A (temporary agricultural workers), and H-2B (skilled and unskilled temporary workers). Employers must provide evidence of:
- Their need for foreign workers.
- Efforts to recruit U.S. workers.
- Assurances that hiring foreign nationals won’t negatively impact American workers.
Only after DOL certification can employers petition the USCIS.
Before applying for a temporary worker visa, the prospective employer must submit a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (form I-129) to the USCIS. Given the potential for long processing times, it’s advisable for employers to file early. Currently, petitions can be submitted up to six months before the expected work commencement date.
Temporary Worker Visas
USCIS petition approval doesn’t guarantee visa issuance or U.S. entry. Like other nonimmigrant applicants, workers must still apply for a visa at their local U.S. embassy or consulate and attend an interview. Most will also need to demonstrate their intention to return home after their U.S. stay, through evidence like family ties or permanent residence.
Spouse and Child Visas
Temporary workers’ spouses and unmarried minor children can also apply for nonimmigrant visas. It’s generally best to submit all nonimmigrant visa applications simultaneously. The primary visa applicant should be prepared to prove they can financially support their family in the U.S. Note: with few exceptions, spouses and children may not work in the U.S. or they risk deportation.
Extending Temporary Worker Visas
Each temporary worker category has a set duration for U.S. stays. If work isn’t completed before this time runs out, an extension can be sought from the USCIS. After the extension expires, temporary workers must return home and stay for a specific period before reapplying for a temporary work visa.
Need assistance with temporary worker visas? Call (866) 227-5527 or contact us online to speak with an experienced immigration attorney at Hanlon Law Group, P.C. in Pasadena, CA. We’re here to guide you through the process and provide expert advice tailored to your situation.