Business Immigration

A Reliable Partner on Your Immigration Journey

Many businesses in southern Texas rely on immigrants to get work done. Work visas and other business-related immigration petitions can require substantial advanced planning by the employer and the employee. The Villegas Law Office, PLLC, can help you understand your business immigration options and create a plan that meets your employment needs.

H-1B Work Permits for Specialty Occupations

If your company is looking to hire a skilled worker from overseas, you may need to sponsor those employees’ H-1B work permits. A limited number of H-1Bs are issued each year to “regular” and “master” workers in certain specialty occupations, including:

  • Accounting
  • Arts
  • Architecture
  • Biotechnology
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Science
  • Social science
  • Theology

These temporary work visas can be granted for up to 6 years and may be extended. They also provide an initial entry for workers who later apply to become lawful permanent residents.

L-1 Visas for Transferring Workers

If you need to transfer workers from your company’s overseas office to a U.S. location, an L-1 visa can give certain existing employees the legal right to work in the U.S. for the same company, its affiliate, or a subsidiary. It can also be used to allow a foreign company to start up a domestic branch office.

L-1 visas are granted to foreign workers who:

  • Have worked for the sponsoring employer for at least one of the past three years, and
  • Is an executive or manager of the company (L1A), or
  • Has specialized knowledge needed for the job (L1B).

An L-1 visa is only good for one year. It can be a good option for existing employees or start-up branch executives that may later transfer to another work visa status or become a lawful permanent resident by other means.

Extraordinary Ability Work Visas

Even if you do not have an existing position or offer of employment from a sponsoring business, you might still obtain an O-1 visa. These are reserved for a small percentage of nonimmigrants seeking to work in the U.S. based on their extraordinary ability in one of these fields:

  • Sciences
  • Education
  • Business
  • Athletics

Similarly, O-1B visas are granted to artists and actors (either for television or movies). These visas require a thorough showing of the applicant’s talents, including an exhaustive résumé and proof of his or her reputation in the field.

Special Visas for Mexican and Canadian Citizens

NAFTA provides for a special TN visa that is only granted to Mexican and Canadian citizens coming to the U.S. for “professional activities,” meaning it only applies to jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or professional credentials. It can also be renewed indefinitely and may be a better option for Mexican or Canadian citizens seeking a shorter immigration process.

Contact a Business / Work Immigration Attorney

With so many options, it can be difficult to determine which work visa is right for you or your employees. An experienced immigration attorney can help you sort through the strengths and weaknesses of each choice, and create a plan that meets your employment needs.

Contact the Villegas Law Office, PLLC for professional legal assistance from a respectable and reliable immigration attorney.