Unites States immigration law seeks to encourage foreign business entities and investors to locate operations in the U.S. to create jobs for U.S. workers and help build the economy generally. The law is very complicated, confusing and often contradictory. Understanding the different types of available business visas and how they function and interact is a critical component in ensuring a successful business experience in this country. This pamphlet will not make you an immigration expert nor does it substitute for legal advice which can onlybe individualized consultation with an immigration lawyer
Most business people intend to come to the United States for a relatively brief period of time. Even if the office or facility is intended to be permanent, most expect that the foreign worker will be employed in the U.S. temporary. In such cases, a nonimmigrant visa is sufficient. The United States, like most countries restricts most employment to domestic labor and the availability of employment for foreign workers is tightly controlled. It is necessary, therefore, to match the right worker with the right immigration classification and ensure that the proper procedures are followed in obtaining that classification.
Briefly stated, those classifications are as follows:
INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE: This classification allows the foreign business entity to transfer key personnel from the foreign office to a related office in the United States. In its simplest manifestation, Toyota, seeks to transfer its Director of Marketing from its head office in Japan to its related office in the USA. In order to comply with U.S. immigration requirements, the following criteria must be met:
- The US and foreign companies must both be owned and controlled by the same entity or individuals
- The individual being transferred must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year prior to the transfer and
- The transferred employee must have been employed as a manager or executive OR as a person of specialized knowledge.
The US company can be a start-up operation that has been in business for less than one year but in these instances, it will only approve the transfer for one year. Before the year is over, the company show sufficient growth to justify the need for the transferred employee or any extensions will be denied.
- Treaty Trader
- Treaty Investor
- Professional Worker (H-1B)
- Labor Certifications, the PERM Process (EB 2, EB 3)
- Multinational Executives (EB1)
- Immigrant Investors (EB5)