The U.S. offers persons with exceptional skills or accomplishments a fast track to a green card. The visa category EB-1 includes those with exceptional skills in the U.S. national interests and persons with extraordinary skills. In a nut shell; famous businessmen, world-class scientists and artists qualify. Scientists and artists must demonstrate international recognition in their field. Businessmen make difficult cases. Bill Gates and the like obviously qualify. Things get tougher when the applicant is not a household name.
The primary advantage of this category is that the applicant can be self sponsored. There’s no need to have an offer of employment in the U.S. This is the only employment-based category that does not require a job offer. There is also no quota wait.
Due to unfavorable press concerning approvals for chefs and poets nobody heard of, the INS recently raised the standards. To make it simple applicants need to be on the cutting edge of their field of endeavor. And the applicant must demonstrate that his or her activities in the U.S. will have national as opposed to a local impact.
Those interested in this category should send us a resume for a free assessment. Please include the resume in the body of your Email.
Canadians looking for short term work permits should consider the NAFTA “TN” (treaty national) visa. The visa includes most professional designations. The TN visa is not designed for self employment. The visa is designed to accommodate short term employment in a professional capacity. Consultants must demonstrate that they are coming to the US to service a client, not to set up their own US business.
We can package your petition. Applicants may apply at border posts. You will be asked to show your professional credentials, proof of university education and a cover letter from the employer describing your job duties. The INS border inspector should process your application within a few hours.
If you are already in the US you can apply for TN status by mail through an INS regional processing center.
The Visa lasts one year but is renewable indefinitely. Common sense dictates that the longer you have the TN visa the more scrutiny you face at the border.
The TN visa automatically expires upon application for permanent residence. If you have a TN and want a green card, change status to H1B or E treaty status before applying for the green card. The H1B lasts for up to six years, which is generally more than enough time to process the green card.
The TN visa is only available to Canadian citizens, not landed immigrants.
The TN category offers Canadian professionals a fast track into the US. Once in the US one may consider other options for a longer term stay.
You may be thinking; “Wasn’t Mexico was included in NAFTA too?” Yes they were, and the TN visa is available to Mexican Citizens also, but they must apply through the INS Service Centers inside the United States, and are subject to longer processing times. Our Mexican clients often wonder why this is too.
H1B professionals or any one else who doesn’t work for an international organization or who does not possess exceptional skills who wants a green card invariably must seek labor certification in order to qualify for a green card.
Labor certification requires the employer to prove that no American workers are available who meet the minimum job requirements at the prevailing wage. The process prohibits employers from offering below market salaries and from creating ridiculously restrictive job restrictions in order to exclude US workers. If no US workers are available the US Dept of Labor certifies the job as being available for foreign workers.
The employer must negotiate a job description and salary with the state job service. Each state has a separate job service. The Job Service will tell the employer where to advertise the position and review the employers recruitment results. Assuming the Job Service agrees that no US workers meet the minimum job requirements, the file is forwarded to the US Dept of Labor for final approval.
With Labor Certification in hand the applicant may then apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the green card.
The process takes one to two years unless the employer has recruited for the same position during the six months period prior to the Labor Certification application. In the later case expect a one year processing time.
The priority date for green card petitions is the date of filing the labor certification. This means labor certification processing times count toward the quota waiting periods if applicable.
We utilize labor certification as a last resort. Its prudent to explore all other options before going down this road. You won’t like the process, employers hate the process, and it’s expensive. How would you like to interview job applicants you have no intention of hiring?
In order to legally work in the United States, you must have authorization from the INS. This comes in the form of a visa, or a change to a legal status which permits employment. Employment visas are generally employer specific, in other words, you cannot change employers without reapplying for permission from the INS.
Generally, the first step is to find a job. All the employment based visas require evidence of a job offer before a request for an employment based visa can be submitted.