Obtaining the appropriate visa for work purposes would seem like a fairly simple task; however, it actually can be quite challenging. When one needs an employment visa, there are a lot of steps involved in the process, which can make the whole thing rather confusing. This column will try to address some of the things immigrants who are looking to come to California or elsewhere in the United States for work may need to know about employment-based immigrantion.

It is believed that approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrantion visas are made available every fiscal year. These visas are given to those who qualify under one of five preference categories: E-1 through E-5. In some cases, spouses and children may also be granted visas as well.

Before one can apply for an employment visa, one’s employer must obtain what is known as labor certification. This may be granted by the Department of Labor if the employer can show that the foreign candidate is best for the position that is being filled. After this certification is awarded, the employee may then file the documents necessary to seek a work visa for his or her priority category, which include a passport, photographs, application, financial information and a medical exam form.

When it comes to obtaining an employment visa, it can take time. There are, unfortunately, only so many granted every year so the earlier in the fiscal year one applies, the better the chances that it will be granted. It is not just about timing, though, as application errors are a big reason for visa denials. Foreign nationals who are trying to enter California or elsewhere in the United States for work can seek assistance from experienced immigrantion attorneys in order to ensure that they have met the necessary requirements and that their applications are error free.

Source: travel.state.gov, “Employment-Based Immigrant Visa”, Accessed on Aug. 10, 2016