What Issues Should You Consider if You Are a Skilled Worker Thinking About Migrating to the US?
America provides many great employment opportunities for skilled workers willing to move from a foreign country to accept a job with a US business. Skilled labor migration is beneficial to workers, businesses, and the US economy. The influx of talented employees fills job openings and ensures companies can stay competitive and up-to-date with new technology and techniques.
But reaching the end goal of immigrating to the US based on your employment skills can be tricky. Although many types of skilled workers are in high demand, getting an employment-based visa can still be challenging and time-consuming. If you are a skilled laborer considering taking a job in the US, you should reach out to an immigration law firm today. Weldon Law Group, PLLC can help you understand the process, the timeline, and unique issues you may encounter during your visa application.
Who is a Skilled Worker?
Skilled workers perform jobs that require specialized training or experience. An untrained individual would be unable to fill the skilled worker’s position, which makes the job opening more difficult to fill. Labor migration of skilled workers is sometimes necessary for a business or industry because the US may not have enough workers who possess the relevant skills to meet the demand for employees.
While some skilled workers may have exceptional abilities or degrees that qualify them for Eb-1 or Eb-2 visas, it isn’t necessary to be a brain surgeon, CEO, or professor to get a skilled worker visa. The Eb-3 visa category provides immigration options to skilled workers who meet these criteria:
- At least two years of job experience, training, or education to meet the requirements for the position listed on your labor certification. Relevant post-secondary education may also qualify.
- Ability to perform a job that is seeking workers due to an inability to find qualified US employees.
- Possession of a permanent, full-time job offer from a US employer.
Can You Get a Work Visa Without an Employer?
Most skilled workers must have their visa sponsored by their employer and provide evidence of a full-time employment offer to be eligible for immigration. However, an O-1 visa category exists for uniquely qualified individuals with extraordinary abilities. Under an O-1 visa, you can come to the US to work temporarily, based on your own skills, without an employer’s sponsorship.
However, these types of visas are highly limited:
- O-1A visas: Granted to individuals who are demonstrably at the top of their field in science, education, business, or athletics.
- O-1B visas: Granted to individuals with extraordinary arts or performance abilities or who have garnered exceptional acclaim and achievements in the television or motion picture industries.
Are There Immigration Benefits if You Are a Skilled Worker?
You’ve worked hard to gain the necessary skills for your job, and taking a position in the US can help you advance your career goals. Skilled workers may see a variety of advantages in immigrating, including:
- Expanded employment opportunities
- Higher and more secure income
- Lifestyle improvements
- Education opportunities for children
- Safer working conditions
- Opportunities for further education or training
Additionally, skilled workers can seek visas for their family members who wish to immigrate with them, such as their spouses or minor children. Bringing your family to the US can open up new opportunities and experiences for them as well, such as education or future employment.
What Difficulties Can You Face in the Immigration Process?
For skilled workers, the immigration process can be complex and requires proper documentation and careful planning from both you and your employer. Before you can even begin figuring out the logistics of an international move and adjusting to a different culture and workplace, you must carefully navigate the necessary steps to receive your work visa. Your employer must obtain a labor certification, prove that they are able to pay your future wages, and petition for your visa to begin the process. You will need to provide valid proof of your qualifying education or training, along with any other requested documentation.
You should be aware when applying that processing times for employment-based visas can vary and may be lengthy. Backlogs may also exist for certain types of visas. An experienced work visa lawyer can explain the timeline for your specific circumstances and will help ensure you avoid any unnecessary delays due to incorrect paperwork or missing documentation.
Do You Have Visa Options if You Don’t Want to Live in the US Permanently?
Not every skilled worker wants to make a permanent move to the US. For those who want or need to take a temporary job in their field in the US, their employer may be able to seek a non-immigrant work visa to allow them legal entry for a set period to perform their job. Overstaying a temporary work visa can have serious consequences, so it is vital to clearly understand the limitations of your entry to the US and the requirements for renewing your visa if needed.
There are multiple categories of temporary work visas. Some are limited to nationals of particular countries or are meant for individuals in specialty occupations. It is best to consult a knowledgeable immigration lawyer to get accurate information about which category is appropriate for your skills and situation.
How Can a Florida Immigration Lawyer Assist You?
While there are many great opportunities for skilled foreign workers who wish to immigrate to the US, obtaining a visa can be a complex process. Even determining which visa category you are eligible for is often confusing. Whether you are a skilled worker or an employer, an immigration lawyer with experience applying for work visas can simplify the process and help you reach your employment goals.
If you have questions about immigrant or non-immigrant work visas, Weldon Law Group, PLLC can provide the clear, helpful guidance you need. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free strategy session to evaluate your situation and learn about your next steps: 904-204-3420.