If you are an international worker looking to come to the United States for employment, you will likely need a work visa to do so. The process of obtaining a work visa can be complex and sometimes overwhelming, which is where an immigration lawyer can come in handy.
An immigration attorney is a legal professional who specializes in helping individuals navigate the immigration process. They can provide guidance and representation for a variety of immigration issues, including obtaining a work visa.
A work visa is a legal document that allows you to stay and work in the United States. A work visa allows you to live and work in the country for a specific period (usually five years), after which you must return to your home country or apply for a new visa to allow you to stay in the U.S. for a longer period.
Some of the ways an immigration lawyer can help you with a work visa include the following.
Providing information on work visa types available
There are several types of work visas available, each with its own requirements and qualifications. One of the things an immigration attorney can help you with is determining which type of work visa is most suitable for your situation and guiding you through the application process.
For example, the H-1B visa allows foreigners to work in the U.S. for a maximum period of six years. It is a temporary visa issued to applicants who want to work in occupations that usually require advanced degrees. Other visa types include the EB-1A, EB-2, and EB-3 visa types, and they also have specific requirements for eligibility.
Initiation of the work visa application process
Another way an immigration lawyer can help you with a work visa is by assisting you with the application process. This may involve helping you prepare and gather and prepare the necessary documentation, such as a resume, letters of recommendation, and proof of employment.
For a work visa application process to begin, you must have an offer of employment from a US-based company. This employer will be charged with obtaining approval from the Department of Labor before requesting the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
An immigration lawyer can also guide how to complete the online visa application form (Form DS-160) and ensure that all necessary information is provided accurately and on time.
Representation after the interview
The next step after application varies for different individuals based on the discretion of the U.S. Embassy or the consulate in the home country of the applicant. Sometimes, an interview comes next, and a non-refundable application fee is usually paid.
To prepare for this interview, your immigration attorney will guide you on what documents to bring with you. These documents include the receipt of the application fee payment, your passport, a copy of your application form, and even the receipt number of the petition filed by your prospective employer for a non-immigrant visa (Form I-129).
Furthermore, your immigration lawyer can guide you on how to answer the interview questions. Often, there is a lot of anxiety leading to the interview. This is usually because you do not know what to expect at the visa interview. Your immigration lawyer can help you stave off any mistakes by prepping you before the interview.
They can equally provide representation if your application is denied. If your application is denied, an immigration lawyer can help you understand the reasons for the denial and advise you on your options for appeal or reapplication.
Renewal or extension of work visa
Depending on the type of work visa you applied for, these visas do expire. The length of time each visa type stays valid also varies with types.
For applicants who opt for any non-immigrant work visa, the visa issued will eventually expire. If you want to continue working in the United States, you will have to renew your work visa after ensuring you meet all the requirements for extending your visa status.
An immigration attorney can assist with renewing or extending your work visa. They can also help if you encounter any issues or complications during the process.
Offering of legal counsel on compliance
Once an immigrant or employee has been granted a work visa, it is important to adhere strictly to the requirements and/or restrictions of the visa. It behooves your immigration lawyer to impress on you the need to comply with all the conditions of your work visa.
Where the conditions are not clear or stated in simpler terms, your immigration lawyer can explain them to you. The valuable legal counsel provided by your immigration attorney will help you maintain your work visa status and comply with any legal requirements or restrictions associated with your visa.
This legal advice involves providing you with ongoing support and guidance as you navigate the complexities of your new life as an immigrant. In the event you fail to comply with any of the conditions, your immigration lawyer can also help you with the steps you need to take to prevent the revoking of your work visa.
Exploration of other work visa options
Most work visas are broadly grouped into non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas. If, for any reason, your employment situation changes or you reevaluate your long-term plans and want to change your visa type, your immigration attorney can help you with that.
They can also help you explore other immigration options if your work visa situation changes or if you wish to pursue permanent residency or citizenship.
An immigration lawyer can be an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a work visa in the United States. They can provide guidance and representation throughout the process, ensuring that you have the best chance of obtaining and maintaining a work visa.
If you are an international worker looking to come to the United States for employment, consider working with an immigration lawyer to help make the process as smooth and successful as possible. You can also increase your chances of obtaining a work visa when you work with an immigration lawyer.