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How do employer-sponsored visas work?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | Employment Immigration

People who are coming to the United States sometimes rely on an employer to sponsor them. This is a complex undertaking that requires both immigrant and employer to take specific steps.

It’s critical for both sides of the matter to understand their responsibilities and rights so they can move through the process with minimal stress. It may behoove them to have a legal representative to help them with each step so they’re fully prepared.

Labor certification requirement

This critical first step involves the employer obtaining a labor certification from the Department of Labor. The process requires demonstrating that there aren’t qualified U.S. workers available for the specific job and that hiring a foreign worker won’t adversely affect the wages and conditions of U.S. workers in similar roles.

Petitioning USCIS

Following the labor certification, the employer must file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This step involves verifying the employer’s ability to pay the offered wage and confirming the foreign worker’s qualifications.

The sponsorship process for temporary work visas

The employer must file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) with USCIS, detailing the job offer and the foreign worker’s qualifications. Once the petition is approved, the foreign worker applies for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. This step includes a visa application, background check and interview.

With a visa in hand, the worker can enter the U.S. and commence employment. The duration of their stay is determined by their visa category. Some allow for extensions on the person’s stay. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to learn more.