The J-1 is a very popular visa that is administered by the State Department, not USCIS.
How does it work and who qualifies for the J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa?
The J-1 visa allows individuals such as students and trainees to come to the United States to receive practical training or participate in an internship program, to gain experience in a particular field of study, and take that experience and skill set back to the country of origin. The practical training or internship program should be one that is not available in the individual’s country of origin. The J-1 cultural exchange visa program allows the foreign national to obtain experience that they would not have otherwise obtained in their home country.
The J-1 visa requires a third-party sponsor that controls and supervises the J-1 program that the foreign national will participate in, while the State Department administers the filing process of the J-1 visa. The third-party sponsor also ensures that the foreign national will return to their country of origin at the conclusion of the cultural exchange program.
What types of training programs can foreign nationals participate in with this visa type?
Foreign nationals may participate in the J-1 cultural exchange visa program as au pairs, scholars, researchers, trainees, and professionals.
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities, for a specified period of two years subject to renewal. Investment activities include the creation of a new business. Foreign nationals must invest a substantial amount of capital in a new or existing business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.
Who can get it?
Only foreign nationals from treaty nations may apply for the E-2 visa. To find out if your country qualifies, click here.
Level of Investment
Therefore, the level of investment must be such that it is sufficient to justify presence of the treaty national in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business e.g. a speculative investment in undeveloped land would not qualify, whereas an investment in a real estate development project probably would. Also, a substantial part of the investment must have been made prior to applying for E-2 status.
By now you know that the H-1B cap has been reached for Fiscal Year 2019. But what happens if you were not selected in the H-1B visa lottery?
In this post, we will discuss some alternatives to the H-1B visa that will allow you to stay and work in the United States.
The O-1 “Extraordinary Ability” Visa:
This visa type is for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, motion picture, television, or arts industries who have received national and/or international acclaim in their field. An alien on an O-1 visa may live and work in the United States for a period of up to three years.
An O-1 visa is a great visa for people in the start-up world and technology sector. This visa is for people holding an advanced degree (at least a master’s degree) who have either started their own business, have patented inventions, are leading experts in their fields, and/or have gained notoriety in their fields as evidenced by awards and other national recognitions.
TN Visa for Mexican and Canadian Nationals
The TN visa allows nationals of Mexico and Canada to work in the United States, provided their profession is on the NAFTA list. The maximum period of initial admission to the US is three years, but visa holders may apply for extensions in amounts of one year.
E-3 Visa for Australian Nationals
Similar to the H-1B visa, the E-3 classification allows Australian nationals to travel to the United States to work in a specialty occupation. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to qualify and must work in a specialty occupation often associated with the STEM occupational fields. The E-3 visa is issued for an initial period of no more than 2 years, with extensions granted in 2-year increments.
These occupations have been repeatedly denied over the years during H-1B filing season.
Marketing Manager: It is very difficult to receive an approval with this occupation because USCIS has claimed that on the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), the occupation of marketing manager does not require the individual to have a specific degree or a bachelor’s degree at all.
Business Development Manager: This occupation falls under the Market Research Analyst category. We have seen quite a few denials associated with this occupation within the past 2 years. It is difficult to receive an approval for market research analysts, and the rate of requests for evidence issued for this occupation have increased tremendously.
Legal Technical Writer/Technical Writers: We have seen increasing denials associated with this occupation since the last filing season. Extensions have also proved difficult to receive for this occupation. The common reason for denying this occupation is also that the OOH does not require the individual to have a specific degree or a bachelor’s degree at all.
Computer Programmer: Based on recent memos issued by USCIS it is very difficult to receive an approval for this occupation because USCIS does not think that a bachelor’s degree is required for this position.
Financial Analyst for Business: We have seen denials for financial analysts seeking to work for a business that isn’t involved in the financial sector. This applied in a situation where the beneficiary was seeking a financial position within a large restaurant. In this situation, USCIS has questioned whether the degree is a specialty occupation because although the position requires a bachelor’s degree, within the restaurant industry it is not common to require a degree for the position.
Sales Positions: It is very difficult to receive an H-1B for a sales position. We would recommend reconsidering applying for the H-1B visa, or changing your position based on your job description.
Arts and Fashion: Positions that are not specifically geared toward fashion design or graphic design are increasingly scrutinized by USCIS.
If you have questions regarding your H-1B position, please contact our office for a free consultation.
0:18 – Tip number 1: Make sure make sure that your education matches the job that you’re applying for.
1:08 – Tip number 2: Make sure that the job itself requires a degree.
1:50 – Tip number 3: Understand what is the salary that is required to be paid for this position.
2:38 – Tip number 4: Make sure that the application that is filed is highly organized.
3:55 – Tip number 5: Send the application to the correct address.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses his top tips for filing a successful H-1B visa this H-1B season.
Remember that USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2019 cap on April 2, 2018. The filing period is expected to end on April 6, 2018.
Step One: Make sure your education matches the job duties required by the employer who will be sponsoring your H-1B petition. If your degree is unrelated to the position, you will not qualify for the H-1B visa, unless you have extensive work experience directly related to the position. It is very difficult to gain approval if your degree is not related to the position you will be filling.
In this video, our client Raluca from Romania speaks about her unique experience working with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Our law office specializes exclusively in immigration and nationality law. We work with a broad range of clientele including entrepreneurs, investors, business visitors, foreign workers, U.S. employers, asylees, students, athletes, performers, families seeking to immigrate their family members and much more. Throughout the years, we have established a proven track record of success and a high level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal industry. Contact our office today to schedule your free first time consultation.
For more information about the services we offer please visit our website.
We would like to wish you and your families happy holidays and all the best in the new year. What are your new years resolutions? We would love to hear them. Thank you for trusting our office to handle your immigration needs. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer please visit our website. To schedule a free first time consultation, please contact our office.
In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick sits down with international business students studying at INSEAD, a graduate business school in France. Jacob asks them a burning question: Despite all of the obstacles foreign workers face in immigrating to the United States, and the President’s hard-line stance on immigration, are foreign workers still interested in living and working in the United States? Click here to join the conversation.
Why do you want to live and work in the US?From INSEAD 🇫🇷 France
In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the most popular visa options for hospitality workers. For more information just keep on watching.
The top visas used by Hotels and Restaurants to bring foreign workers to the United States are the J-1, H-3, H-2B, L-1, E-2, TN, and H-1B visas. Whether transferring employees between international properties or employing management trainees, immigration is an integral part of the hospitality industry. The appropriate visa type will largely depend upon the foreign worker’s qualifications and the type of position the worker will be occupying.
The J-1 visa
The J-1 visa is a cultural exchange program between the United States and foreign countries bringing foreign workers to the United States. There are 2 types of J-1 visas. The first category is a trainee J-1 visa. To qualify the trainee must have at least 5 years of experience working in the position or a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with at least 1 year of experience. Workers who come to the United States on a J-1 trainee visa, may work in the United States for a hotel or restaurant for a period of 18 months. The J-1 trainee visa allows the foreign worker to develop their skills, gain experience, and return to their home countries taking those skills with them. The second category is for interns, who are in school in their home country or have recently graduated, and have less than 1 year of experience. Interns may come to the United States for a 1 year period to train in a hotel or restaurant. The work and travel category of the J-1 allows foreign workers to come to the United States for up to 4 months during the summer time. The J-1 visa is generally an easy visa to obtain. It takes approximately 6 weeks for this visa to get approved by the Department of State.
The Treaty Investor Visa (nonimmigrant E-2 classification) is intended for nationals of a foreign country with which a qualifying Treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or a similar agreement exists with the United States.
Nationals (individuals or companies) of countries with such Treaties with the United States can obtain visas to work in the USA in order to develop and direct their investment with the USA. E-2 visa is for individuals coming to the U.S. to invest a substantial amount of capital or to direct and develop the business operations of an entity in which the individual has already invested funds.
Do Franchises qualify for E2 Investor Visa?
Yes, most franchises will be a good fit for this type of visa, however not all franchises will qualify. For example, in order for the application to be successful, the investor must assume an active role in the management of the franchise business. If your franchise meets this requirement, then it is possible for your franchise to qualify for the E-2 visa.
Secondly, the franchise must create jobs for U.S. workers. The investor must hire U.S. staff and employees to fill various roles within the franchise. The investor must also hire management staff with the appropriate experience to fill certain key positions in the business.The investor must also ensure that he is involved in some sort of decision making role within the franchise business’s organizational structure.
Third, the amount of money that is required to secure the franchise must be reasonable in order to obtain the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $50,000 or less will likely not satisfy the investment requirements of the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $100,000 or more are more likely to be successful in satisfying such requirements.
Does the investor Need to Buy the Business Before applying for an E-2 Investor Visa?
Establishing a business in the United States is regarded as a key requirement for buyers that are applying for an E-2 visa.
The best course of action is to place the monies that will be used to purchase the business in an escrow account in the United States. In the visa application it is possible to state that the purchase of the business is contingent on the approval of the E-2 Visa and will be finalized once the approval is obtained. It is also important to get all the documents from the Franchise processed, so that a full package can be presented to the US Immigration when filing for the visa application.