Coming to the United States on an employment visa is a complex matter. There are strict limits to some classifications that fall under this general umbrella. It is imperative that you understand some basic points about the program if you or a loved one is considering coming to the country using an employment visa.
There are five types of employment visas – H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, L-1A, and L-1B. The H-2A, L-1A and L-1B don’t have annual limits. The H-1B has an annual limit of 65,000 per year with another 20,000 slated for people with at least a U.S. master’s degree. The H-2B has a limit of 66,000 per year. Once these limits are reached, no more applicants are allowed to come in on this visa.
On top of the number of people who are admitted into the country on this type of visa, there are also time limits for people who are approved. There are initial approval periods and renewals; however, they all have a maximum number of years that the person can remain here.
- H-1B: 3 years initial, 6 years total
- H-2A: 1 year initial, 3 years total
- H-2B: 1 year initial, 3 years total
- L-1A: 3 year initial, 7 years total
- L-1B: 3 year initial, 5 years total
Once you decide that you want to come here on an employment visa, you have to determine the type you will need. You must also find an employer who is willing to meet the requirements set by the employment immigration programs. There are also certain limitations as to what your spouse and children can do here if they come with you when you immigrate.