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Professional Workers Visas for IT/Computer Professionals, Engineers, Scientists, Health Professionals, Accountants, and Teachers: H-1B Visa
H1B Attorney Denver
Obtaining an H-1B visa can be one of the most advantageous visas for professionals and people with bachelor’s degrees, master’s, Ph.D.s or other advanced degrees: they are relatively quick to obtain, can last more than six years, and allow you to keep working on an H-1B while you apply for permanent residence.
An H-1B visa essentially requires the following:
Typical H-1B visa holders include accountants, engineers, computer systems analysts, teachers, doctors, marketing managers, but any employment that fits within the definition of “specialized knowledge” can be eligible.
Unlike some other types of visas, an H-1B visa has some unique employer obligations that attach once an H-1B is filed/issued:
1. Employer must pay the prevailing wage or higher
2. Employer must pay the training fee of $750 if 25 or less employees or $1,500 if more than 25 employees; and additional filing fees
3. Employer must be aware of keeping the H-1B employee in same/similar position, wages, and location unless an amendment of the H-1B is filed due to changed circumstances
In addition, Congress regulates how many H-1B visas can be granted in each fiscal year (Oct .1–Sept. 30). The cap is now 65,000 per year. An extra 20,000 visas were created for those professionals who have earned a master’s degree in the United States. Certain H-1B employees are EXEMPT from these numerical limitations.
Duration of H-1B Status
An H-1B visa is granted in three-year increments for a total of six years. If a foreign national has applied for permanent residence before his/her fifth year of H time accrues, it is possible for him/her to extend that H-1B until the residence process is complete.
H-1B visa holders are eligible to bring a spouse and dependent children (unmarried, under 21) under H-4 visas, merely based on the principal employee’s grant of H-1B status. H-4 visa holders are here for the same allotted time the H-1B holder is. H-4 visa holders are NOT eligible to work.
If you wish to work on an H-1B visa in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States, contact Denver immigration attorney Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us at 303-322-2117.
Exchange Visitor Visa for Nannies, Au Pairs, Scholars, and Researchers: J-1 Visa
Denver Colorado Immigration Attorney Visitor Exchange J Visa
J-1 Exchange Visitor visas are for temporary visitors who are employed temporarily as scholars, trainee/intern, teachers, nonacademic specialists, foreign doctors, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors, summer students in a work/travel program, nannies, and au pairs.
All J-1 applicants must have a U.S. sponsor, typically a university or a large organization that does not directly employ the J-1 person but acts as an umbrella sponsor for the direct employee.
Only organizations that have been designated by the U.S. Department of State as sponsors are authorized to issue the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS-2019), which is the basic document to support an application for an exchange visitor visa (J visa). For a designated sponsors list, please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s website. If you are a U.S. organization interested in becoming a sponsor, you can also find more information on the U.S. Department of State website.
Sponsors will screen and select prospective exchange visitors based on the criteria set forth in the governing regulations (22 CFR Part 62). In addition to meeting one of the above categories, the J-1 holder must also have:
Nannies and Au Pairs
Denver Colorado Immigration Attorney Visa Nanny
Obtaining a J-1 visa to become a nanny or au pair in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States is a great way to experience the United States and earn an income. Nannies or au pairs must be between 18 and 26 years of age to participate.
To be eligible, nannies or au pairs must be proficient in spoken English and must be a secondary school graduate or equivalent. They must also complete at least six hours of academic credit or its equivalent at an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution unless in the EduCare program.
Childcare cannot exceed 10 hours per day, and a maximum of 45 hours per week. Au pairs are paid for their work according to the Fair Labor Standards Act as interpreted and implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor. Host families are required pay up to $500 toward the cost of the au pair’s required academic course work. Host families and au pairs must sign Host Family-Au Pair Agreements prior to the au pair’s placement in the host family’s home. In the event of questions regarding refunds or other adjustments, host families and au pairs should refer to their agreements. The Department of State does not have jurisdiction over contractual obligations.
Au pairs may not be placed:
The EduCare component of the au pair program is for foreign nationals providing childcare for school-aged children. The EduCare participant must complete an educational component of at least 12 semester hours of academic credit or its equivalent. EduCare is only for families that require childcare before and after school. EduCare au pairs may not be placed with families that have preschool children except if other full-time childcare plans have been made.
The EduCare au pair may work no more than 10 hours per day, and a maximum of 30 hours per week. Au pairs participating in the EduCare component receive 75 percent of the weekly rate paid to non-EduCare participants. EduCare au pairs must complete a minimum of 12 hours of academic credit or its equivalent during the program year. The host family is required to provide (up to) the first $1,000 toward the cost of the au pair’s required academic course work. Please refer to the regulations for details.
For a list of U.S. Department of State qualified sponsors for au pairs, please see http://eca.state.gov/jexchanges/index.cfm?fuseaction=record.list&cat=2.
Duration: 12 months. An extension of 6, 9, or 12 months may be granted in certain cases, but contact your sponsor organization or an immigration attorney about program extensions.
Colorado Immigration Attorney Scholars J Visa
The purpose of the J-1 visitor program is to foster the exchange of ideas between Americans and foreign nationals and to stimulate international collaborative teaching, lecturing, and research efforts. The exchange of professors and research scholars promotes the exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment, and linkages between research and educational institutions in the United States and foreign countries.
Eligibility: An individual may be selected for participation in the Exchange Visitor Program as a professor or research scholar subject to the following conditions:
Location: Professors or research scholars must conduct their exchange activity at the site of activity identified in SEVIS, which may be the location of the exchange visitor program sponsor or the site of a third party facilitating the exchange with permission of the Responsible Officer. An exchange visitor may also engage in activities at other locations if such activities constitute occasional lectures or consultations as defined below.
Occasional Lectures: Professors and research scholars may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations, if authorized to do so by his or her sponsor. Such lectures and consultations must be incidental to the visitor’s primary program activities. If wages or other remuneration are received by the exchange visitor for such activities, the exchange visitor must act as an independent contractor.
Duration: A professor or research scholar may be allowed to participate for the length of time necessary to complete his or her program, provided such time does not exceed five years.
Location: The short-term scholar shall participate at the conferences, workshops, seminars, or other events or activities as stated on his or her Form DS-2019. A participant may also lecture or consult at institutions not listed on the Form DS-2019 if his or her Responsible Officer issues a written authorization of such activity.
Duration: A J-1 short-term scholar visa is normally issued for four-month periods with a maximum six months allowed.
If you wish to study/work on a J visa in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States, contact Denver immigration attorney Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us at 303-322-2117.
J-1 Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement:
Denver Colorado Immigration Attorney J Visa Waiver
Depending on the circumstances, J-1 visa holders and their family members may be subject to a two-year home residence requirement, which limits that person’s ability to change status to a different type of temporary visa in the United States and to apply for permanent residence (green card) until either the two-year residence requirement is fulfilled by returning to the home country or last country of residence or applying for a waiver.
The following J-1 aliens are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement:
1. Those who are financially supported by their home government, the government of their last residence, or the United States government;
2. Those whose skills have been determined by the United States Information Agency to be in short supply in their home countries, aka the “Skills List”; or
3. Those whose exchange programs involve graduate medical education or clinical training. The requirement is fulfilled by the alien’s return to, and actual physical presence in, the home country for a period of two years; this presence may be cumulative and not continuous. The “home country” is defined as the country of nationality, or the country where the alien last had a residence.
There are waivers available for the physical presence requirement but it is always recommended to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney about whether one is actually subject to the requirement and if so, what waivers will be most applicable.
To obtain a J waiver, contact Denver immigration lawyer Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us or at 303-322-2117.
Waivers for J-1 Visa Holders: No Objection, Interested Government Agency, Extreme Hardship, Conrad (Physicians Only)
Denver Colorado Immigration Lawyer J Visa Waiver
Waivers or pardons of the two-year home country physical presence requirement are possible under the following circumstances:
The two-year home residence requirement also applies to any J-2 spouse or dependent who accompanied or followed the J-1 to the United States during the exchange program that subjected the J-1 to the requirement.
Determining which waiver or waivers are most applicable to your situation should prompt you to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer about your situation. Contact Denver immigration attorney Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us at 303-322-2117.
Visa for Cultural Exchange Trainee or Worker: Q-1 Visa
Colorado Immigration Attorney Q Visa
The Q visa is a temporary visa that allows foreign nationals up to 15 months to participate in an international exchange program “for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the country of the alien’s nationality.” The person can be employed or receive training on this visa for a U.S. employer that sponsors him or her.
To qualify, the following things must be proven:
Q Visa Tips and Facts
If you wish to work in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States and have questions about the Q visa, contact Denver immigration lawyer Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us at 303-322-2117.
TN Visas for Mexican and Canadian Professionals
Denver Colorado Immigration Lawyer Attorney TN Visa
TN or Treaty NAFTA visas were created from the North American Free Trade Agreement to allow nationals from Canada and Mexico with specific professional skills to enter the United States. The TN visa used to be granted in increments of one year but has now been extended to three-year increments. There is no limit on how many times a person can renew a TN visa. However, a TN visa holder must show intent to return home to his or her home country and thus, maintain ties to the U.S.
TN status is available only to Canadian and Mexican citizens who have job offers from U.S. employers in the United States. It is not available to noncitizen residents of Canada or Mexico, nor is it available to Canadians or Mexicans wishing to engage in self-employment. TN status is available for 63 specific professions. Each profession has its own specific requirements and should be reviewed by an attorney to determine eligibility. To qualify for a TN, the offered position must fall within the listed professions, and the Canadian or Mexican citizen must meet the specified requirements.
TN Tips and Facts:
The following professionals are permitted on a TN Visa:
TN Design and Architecture Visas: Architect, Graphic Designer (Web Designer), Industrial Designer, Interior Designer, Land Surveyor, Landscape Architect
TN Hospitality Visas: Hotel Manager
TN Engineer Visas: Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Aeronautical, Biomedical Engineer, Agriculture, Automotive
TN Medical Visas/Health Professionals: Dentist, Dietitian, Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States), Nutritionist, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Physician (teaching or research only), Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist, Psychologist, Recreational Therapist, Registered Nurse, Scientific Technician/Technologist, Social Worker, Veterinarian, Vocational Counselor
TN Science Visas: Agriculturist (including Agronomist), Animal Breeder, Animal Scientist, Apiculturist, Astronomer, Biochemist, Biologist, 8/ The term “Biologist” includes the profession of Plant Pathologist. Chemist, Dairy Scientist, Entomologist, Epidemiologist, Forester, Geneticist, Geochemist, Geologist, Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States), Horticulturist, Meteorologist, Pharmacologist, Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada), Plant Breeder, Poultry Scientist, Soil Scientist, Zoologist
TN Professor/Teacher Visas: Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution), College Professor/Teacher, Seminary Professor/Teacher, University Professor/Teacher
TN Other Professionals Visas: Lawyer/Attorney, Librarian, 5/ The term “Mathematician” includes the profession of Actuary. An Actuary must satisfy the necessary requirements to be recognized as an actuary by a professional actuarial association or society. A professional actuarial association or society means a professional actuarial association or society operating in the territory of at least one of the parties.
Urban Planner (including Geographer)
If you wish to obtain a TN visa to work in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States, contact Denver immigration attorney Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us at 303-322-2117.
Immigrant Visas (Green Cards) for Foreign Workers
Green Card Attorney Colorado
A foreign national can obtain permanent residence through employment. There are five basic categories or “preferences” as referred to in immigration law which either allow a worker to “self-petition” or require a US employer to sponsor them. Within these categories, some petitions may require labor certification and others will not.
Those petitions that do not require a US Employer and do NOT require a procedure called Labor Certification are:
The following petitions require a US Employer but do NOT require a procedure called Labor Certification:
The following petitions require a US Employer and Labor Certification:
What is Labor Certification (PERM)?
Colorado Immigration Attorney Labor Certification
Labor Certification is a procedure through the US Department of Labor that requires the US employer to determine if any US workers are able and willing to do the job. It essentially means the job must be advertised to the US public. The procedure is also referred to PERM;
Petitioning for the Foreign Worker (I-140)
If you wish to work in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States permanently and have questions about the green card process, contact Denver immigration lawyer Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us at 303-322-2117.
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