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Employment Based Non-immigrant Visas

Temporary Employment Visas

Our lawyers at Benavides and Serrano are experts in the numerous classifications of visas for non-immigrant individuals seeking to work in the United States on a temporary basis. The common characteristic is that each of these visas is for a limited, designated period of time. Thus, the foreign national must depart the United States at the expiration of the maximum period of stay or seek another lawful immigrant status if eligible.  The issuance of each visa type is dependent upon the purpose of the foreign national’s travel and scope of work to be performed while in the United States. Some visas have a numerical annual cap and all have specific eligibility requirements.

Some of the more common temporary employment visas are indicated below – our Houston Immigration Lawyers can assist you with any kind of Temporary Employment Visa.

  • H-1B Persons in Specialty Occupation This visa classification applies to a foreign national who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation (one which typically requires a Bachelor’s degree) or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. The basic requirement for approval of an H-1B petition by United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is to show that the job involves a specialty occupation. This is generally defined as a job requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a specialist field. There is an annual limit of 65,000 aliens who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. As many as 20,000 additional H-1B slots are available to graduates of U.S. Master’s degree (or higher) programs. If a license is required to perform the duties, then the beneficiary must also have the appropriate license. The validity period of this visa is up to 3 years increment of up to 3 years for a maximum period of 6 years.
  • H-2A Seasonal Agricultural Workers –This visa program allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature USCIS may approve a petition for this visa category on your behalf if you are a citizen or national of a designated country. If you are a citizen or national from a non-designated country, USCIS may approve a petition on your behalf if it is determined to be in the United States’ interest. The validity period of this visa is same as validity of labor certification, with maximum of 1 year. Maximum validity period is up to 3 years
  • H-2B Temporary or Seasonal Nonagricultural Workers – permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the U.S. and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent basis. USCIS may approve a petition for this visa category on your behalf if you are a citizen or national of a designated country. If you are a citizen or national from a non-designated country, USCIS may approve a petition on your behalf if it is determined to be in the United States’ interest. This visa is granted for the same validity of labor certification, with maximum of 1 year. Same as validity of labor certification (increments of up to 1 year). Total stay limited to 3 years
  • H-3 Trainees (other than medical or academic)- This visa type also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children with a numerical limit of 50 visas.  Special Education Training-up to 18 months. Other Trainee-up to 2 years Special Education Trainee-total stay limited to 18 months. Other Trainee-total stay limited to 2 years.
  • L Intracompany Transferees- This type of visa is available to those who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity; the L-1A visa for a foreign national that is coming to existing office is valid for up to 3 years and for a new office it is up to 1 year. Increments are issued up to 2 years with a maximum period of up to 7 years. An L-1B visa is valid up to 3 years for foreign nationals that are coming to existing office and up to 1 year for a new office.  There is one increment of up to 2 years for a maximum period of 5 years.
  • O-1 Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement- in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field. This visa is valid for up to 3 years and issued at increments of up to 1 year.
  • O-2 Persons Accompanying an O-1- are visas to assist in an artistic or athletic performance for a specific event or performance.
  • P-1 Individual or Team Athletes, or Members of an Entertainment Group- that are internationally recognized (25,000); and their support personnel Individual athlete. These visas are valid for up to 5 years. Athletic groups and Entertainment groups visas are valid for up to 1 year. For Individual athletes visas are issued in increments of up to 5 years with a maximum period of 10 years.
  • P-2 Artists or Entertainers- who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program; and their support personnel Individual athlete-up to 5 years with a maximum period of 10 years. Athletic groups and Entertainment groups-up to 1 year. Athletic groups and entertainment groups-Increments of 1 year
  • P-3 Artists or Entertainers who perform under a program that is culturally unique; and their support personnel Individual athlete-up to 5 years with a maximum period of 10 years. Athletic groups and Entertainment groups-up to 1 year.
  • Q-1 Participants in an International Cultural Exchange Program- for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the alien’s home country. Visa is valid for up to 15 months.
  • R-1 and R-2 (dependent family members of an R-1)- is for persons seeking to enter the United States (U.S.) to work in a religious capacity on a temporary basis. Religious workers include persons authorized, by a recognized employing entity, to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy of that religion, and workers engaging in a religious vocation or occupation. The visa is valid for up to 3 years given at increments of up to 2 years with a maximum period of up to 5 years.

Petition Filing Process

United States employers that seek to retain the services of foreign workers on a temporary basis  must file a Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker on form I-129 along with the applicable filing fees. The form may also be utilized to extend or change the status of certain non-immigrants. Petitions should be filed as soon as possible, but no more than 6 months before the prospective employment begins. If petition if filed is not timely filed the adjudication process may not be completed in time and the visa may not be ready at the time the foreign national is expected to commence employment.

Visa Application Process

Once the petition is approved, the employer or agent is sent a Notice of Approval. Approval of a petition does not guarantee visa issuance to an applicant. Applicants must also establish that they are admissible to the U.S. under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

If the prospective worker (beneficiary) is outside of the country, an application for a visa must be filed at the U.S. Consulate. This can only be done so after the USCIS has after the USCIS has approved the Petition and sent notice to the consulate in the foreign national’s country.  Foreign nationals should be keenly aware that approval of an I-129 Petition by USCIS does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Consulate must also issue a visa stamp in the foreign national’s passport and thereafter at a port of entry Customs and Border Patrol officials will determine admission and authorized period of stay.

Contact the Houston immigration attorneys at Benavides & Serrano PLLC to assist you in file a petition for a temporary work visa.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation 713-222-2828

Benavides & Serrano, PLLC 2180 North Loop West Suite 310 Houston, TX 77018 Phone 713-222-2828 Fax 713-222-2832

The Houston Immigration Lawyers at Benavides & Serrano, PLLC, in Houston, Texas, represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including:

Houston, Galveston, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio, Laredo, Austin, San Marcos, Dallas, Denton, Plano, Lubbock, Midland, Anahuac, Beaumont, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, Kingsville, and Katy and other communities in Harris County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Chambers County, Liberty County, Jefferson County, Waller County, Kleberg County, Nueces County, and Walker County.