Can I get My Employee a Work Visa?
One of the most frequently asked questions our immigration attorneys here at Guest & Gray get is employers asking, “is there a way, I can get papers for my employees?” Ever since the federal government resumed sending out “No Match” letters we have received even more such calls. While it is sometimes possible for you as an employer to assist an employee in obtaining work authorization, it's really important to understand that there really is not a universal work permit. What we refer to as a “work permit” is an employment authorization authorization document that only belongs to certain categories of immigrants.What is a Work Permit?
An I-765 employment authorization document (“EAD”), otherwise known as a work permit, is a type of document issued work authorization for individuals with pending green cards (pending status adjustments to legal permanent resident), and asylees and refugees, and those on U Visas. The EAD is also available to certain non-immigrant statuses that allow work with permission, such as F-1 student visa holders, or M-1 visa holders. The EAD allows them to work anywhere they want, doing any job they want, for as many or as few hours as they please. In other words, it allows them to choose the employment that works for them, just like a citizen or green card holder would. Now, once these same individuals receive their green card, they are authorized to work anywhere they want, just like a US citizen, so long as their green cards are valid.
This type of document however, is not available to all other types of visa categories. The only other way to become authorized to work in the United States is to have a specific visa whose terms authorize you to work for a specific employer. These other type of visas are part of an immigration system that's very complex, and can seem daunting. Here at Guest & Gray we have experienced Immigration attorneys who are familiar with the ins and outs of the immigration system, and knowledgeable about every kind of work visa. We can help walk you through the options and get your employees the help they need.What Kinds of Work Visas are There?
For the purpose of this conversation, let’s say there are three basic kinds of work visas, First, there are immigrant visas or visas on which green cards can be based, Such as your L-1A intra-company transfers; your R-1 temporary nonimmigrant religious worker visas; your EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-4 visas; along with O-1 visas, or HB-4.
There are also temporary work visas and seasonal work visas. The last two categories may seem like they are the same, but there's a clear difference between non-immigrant work visas and seasonal work visas. Temporary work visas are visas that do not provide the opportunity for you to permanently emmigrate here, but allow you come here for a year to several years at a time such as the TN visa. Many of them also offer the chance to change to a status with a green card later. Seasonal work visas on the other hand, are ones that are only available for certain seasons of the year or certain times of year when the employer's business traffic is heaviest, like the H2-A and H2-B.
The immigration system indefinitely complicated, and can seem daunting. Here at Guest & Gray, we have experienced business and immigration law attorneys who know how to help find the best fit for you, your business, and your employees. Contact us today, so one of our experienced attorneys can get started in assisting you decide which of these visas is the best option.