USCIS offers temporary, also known as nonimmigrant, work visas, and immigrant work visas. Regardless of which category you are applying for, your employer usually has to act as your sponsor and provide proof that you are the adequate candidate for the position.
Temporary work visas cover a broad range of occupations, including nurses, agricultural workers, investors, representatives of foreign information media, athletes, performers, and religious workers. A widely known category is the HB-1 visa that specialty workers can apply for.
To apply for an HB-1 visa, the position you are hired for usually requires:
- Theoretical and practical application of specialized skills and knowledge
- A bachelor's or higher degree in a field related to the job duties
- The educational requirement is common in the industry in similar positions
As such, the applicant must hold the required US degree or its foreign equivalent, as well as any unrestricted license, certification, or registration to perform their job duties if applicable.
USCIS recognizes five employment-based immigrant visas:
- First Preference EB-1 for outstanding scientists, artists, educators, business executives, and athletes.
- Second Preference EB-2 for professionals with advanced degrees or abilities in the arts, sciences, or business
- Third Preference EB-3 for other professionals, skilled workers, and other workers
- Fourth Preference EB-4 for “special immigrants” like specific religious workers, retired members of international organizations, employees of US foreign services
- Fifth Preference EB-5 for specific business investors
If you currently live in the US on a nonimmigrant visa that does not include employment authorization, you usually have two options. You can request a change of status for a classification that allows you to work in the US, or you may also apply for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency. Depending on which path you pursue, you may need a qualified sponsor, possibly a US employer, to submit a petition so you can move forward with your visa application.
US citizens can petition for the following relatives to become lawful permanent residents:
- Unmarried children under 21
- Sons and daughters over 21
- Parents if the petitioner is over 21
- Siblings if the petitioner is over 21
If you are a US citizen, you can also petition to bring a non-American fiancé who currently lives abroad with a K-1 nonimmigrant visa, also known as a Fiancé visa. Similarly, you can bring a foreign spouse and their unmarried children under 21 to the US with K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visas.
Our immigration attorneys at Carr | Woodall can also assist US citizens who adopt internationally to lawfully bring their child to the US.
Dedicated legal representation can make a positive difference when you are applying for refugee or asylum status. USCIS defines an asylee as someone who requests asylum when already in the US, and a refugee as someone requesting protection while still abroad.
USCIS recognizes additional categories of individuals eligible to apply for a green card. Many of those take severe hardships into account and help certain survivors of war, trafficking, crime, and domestic abuse become lawful US permanent residents.
Other statuses eligible for a green card include:
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioner
- U visas for victims of certain crimes
- T visas for victims of human trafficking
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At Carr | Woodall, we are dedicated to helping you succeed in your immigration journey. No matter your situation, we can find the appropriate visa to apply for, so you can lawfully work and live in the United States. If you need trustworthy representation to appeal USCIS decisions or are even facing deportation, our attorneys will work with you to build your case and can represent you in and outside of court. We stay up to date with the ever-changing immigration laws, so we can handle every aspect of your immigration process. Our lawyers are committed to helping you accomplish your immigration goals.