Non-Immigrant Petitions and Visa Applications
H1-B | Work Visa
Formerly the most common work visa, the H-1B is subject to an annual numerical cap, with only 85,000 new H-1B visas made available for each fiscal year. In 2017, more than 199,000 new H-1B petitions were filed by US companies. For the last few years, USCIS has used a random selection process (a “lottery” of sorts) to select the requisite number of petitions for review and processing, while the rest are automatically rejected. Those already in H-1B status are not subject to the annual cap, and may extend their status or change employers at any time, provided the regulatory requirements are met.
For the employers, Pershman Law will work with you to demonstrate ability to pay prevailing wage and the availability of sufficient specialty occupation work. For the foreign candidates, we can assist you in determining how to submit acceptable foreign degrees or equivalent work experience.
Because of the annual cap and the requirement for a company to pay a prevailing wage or above, we can guide you through other options available for the talent you want to bring.
O-1 | Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 visa is often the best choice for artists and scientists, as well as creative employees such as graphic designers. It may also be the best option for founders or employees of startup companies who are just starting their US operations and do not qualify for L-1 or E-1/E-2.
While there are very few demands on the petitioning company, the burden of proof for the person of extraordinary ability – defined as “a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor” – is quite high.
Pershman Law advises clients on meeting the high standard of proof for extraordinary ability, and provides guidance in collecting the evidence that may be difficult to acquire. We also work with you to present the available evidence to the US immigration authorities in the most persuasive way.
L-1A / L-1B | Intracompany Transfer
The L-1 may be the best option if you already have established business operations in the US, and are transferring a CEO, senior officer/manager or an employee with proven specialized knowledge to the US from an affiliated foreign company. In certain circumstances, an L-1 may also be available to entrepreneurs who are just setting up operations in the US.
The biggest obstacle often faced by applicants for an L-1 visa is proving that their current and proposed job duties satisfy the strict and narrowly defined requirements for the “executive/managerial” or the “specialized/advanced knowledge” position. Pershman Law has an excellent track record of helping clients meet the high burden of proof to satisfy the L-1 regulatory requirements.
E-1 / E-2 | Treaty Trader / Investor Visas
Based on existing treaties with the US, nationals of certain countries can apply for the E-1 treaty trader visa to carry out substantial trade between their US business and their country of origin, or for the E-2 investor visa to build and develop a US company in which they have made a substantial investment. Along with investors, managerial and essential employees are also eligible for these visas.
At Pershman Law, we have extensive knowledge of the E-1/E-2 application review policies of various US consulates, including those with rather arbitrary guidelines. Together, we will determine whether or not your company’s business model would qualify you as an E-1 trader, or how you may meet the “substantial and non-marginal investment” requirement to file a successful E-2 application at an appropriate US consulate abroad. We will handle the application process and ensure that you meet the requirements to obtain these visas. If you are a company or an individual in a treaty country and are ready to start your US operations, or plan to bring in additional employees, this may be the best option for you.
Visitor | J-1 Internship or Training, H-3 Training
For individuals who would like to enter the United States on a non-immigrant visa, a number of options are available in addition to the work and investor visas. Pershman Law will help you determine the most appropriate visa for you, including: visitor visas that allow travel for business and/or tourism; J-1 visas that cover internships and on the job training programs; H-3 visas for training not available in your home country, and other options.