Category Archives: Work Visas

H-1B1 VISA

H1B1 WORK VISA FOR CHILE AND SINGAPORE PROFESSIONALS

American employers may be willing to sign the paperwork for an H1B1 work visa  for professional employees who are citizens of Chile or Singapore.

Certain professionals (those with a 4 year college degree, or the equivalent)  granted an H1B1 visa are allowed to enter the USA temporarily to work for 18 months at a time, but only if they are hired for a job that is considered a “specialty occupation.”

How Do I Get an H1b1 Visa?H1B1 work visa chile labor condition application lca

There are 2 ways:

1. Make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy outside of the USA.  Show the Consular Officer the correct documents.  Ask for an H1B1 visa (the process takes about 2-3 weeks) ; or,

2. If you are already inside the USA in legal status (not ESTA Visa Waiver) ask the American employer to mail a request to the USCIS for an H1B1 visa.  It will take the USCIS 4-6 months to process the application (no expedite is possible) and you cannot start working until it is approved. Most American employers do not wish to wait, so this option is not chosen every often.

For my first H1b1 Visa, can I go to a U.S. Embassy that is not in my Home Country?

Sometimes. The best way to find out is to email the U.S. Embassy you wish to go to and ask. Most of  the times you will get an email back that ways “you can make an appointment, but we cannot guarantee your success” and then you will have to decide whether you want to give it a try.

For my second H1b1 Visa, can I go to a U.S. Embassy that is not in my Home Country?

Yes, there is a higher chance of success, but unfortunately there is no guarantee.  However, the U.S. Embassies that are not in your home country are more comfortable granting a second H1B1 visa if another U.S. Embassy already granted you one previously.

What Are Specialty Occupations for H1b1 Visas?

Specialty occupations for H1b1 visas are usually jobs that require a 4 year college degree at the minimum. However, there are some exceptions:

  • Business persons who do not possess a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, but who will engage in the professions of: for Chileans only – Agricultural Managers, and Physical Therapists, and for both Chileans and Singaporeans – Disaster Relief Claims Adjusters; or,
  • Foreign nationals from Chile and Singapore who are Management Consultants who hold a baccalaureate degree in other than their specialty area.

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 “I just wanted to check in with you to let you know the H1B1 visa application at the Embassy went well and I’m back in the USA on my H1B1 visa! So thank you ever so much for your help during this process.  You were so incredibly helpful and clear with what needed to be done and it was such a painless procedure as such. “

Dr. NM from Singapore, Veterinarian
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As an experienced Immigration Attorney, I can help with the following:

  • Educational Evaluation (to prove work experience is equal to a college degree);
  • Labor Condition Application (LCA);
  • New H1B1-Visas;
  • Transfer from an H4 Visa to an H1B1 Visa;
  • Transfer from an F-1 Student Visa to an H1B1 Visa;
  • Extension of an existing H1B1 Visa;
  • Transfer from a B1/B2 Visa to an H1B1 Visa; or,
  • Transfer from a TN visa to an H1B1 Visa.

Spouses and children (unmarried children under the age of 21) who wish to live in the U.S. with the H1b1 Visa professional worker can also get an H4 visa.

What is the exact definition of an H1B1 Visa specialty occupation?

The definition of “specialty occupation” for an H1b1 Visa is one that requires:

  • A complex job that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; AND,
  • A Bachelor’s or higher degree (equivalent to an American 4 year college degree) that matches the job – for example, a finance degree for a financial analyst, an engineering degree for an engineer job, a DVM for a veterinarian position, etc).

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Does my American employer need to get an LCA (Labor Condition Application) certified on my behalf for an H1B1 Visa?  How?

Yes. American employers  must obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor.  Most American employers do not know how to get an LCA certified, and hire American immigration attorneys to do it for them. We are often hired by American employers to get an  LCA certification (also known as an ETA 9035E or 9035E ) on the employer’s behalf.

Can my family accompany me if I get an H1B1 Visa?

Yes, the spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of H1B1 Visa holders are eligible for dependent H4 visa status. The dependent spouse and children of an H1B1 non-immigrant do not have to be Chilean or Singaporean Citizens to be eligible for H4 status.

May spouses of H1B1 Visa holders work?

Regrettably, spouses and children are not authorized to work while in the U.S. in H4 visa status, but they are permitted to study.

Is there a cap (annual numerical limit) on the number of H1B1 Visas issued each year?

The Chile & Singapore Free Trade Agreement requires that the USCIS reserve 6,800 H1B visas for eligible citizens of Chile and Singapore.  H4 dependents (spouses and children) are not counted toward this annual limit, nor are H1B1 extension applications. We do not expect that the annual limit of H1b1 visas will be reached (at least so far it has never been reached).

What are the employer’s obligations for H1B1 Visa sponsorship?

The salary offered to the H1B1 Visa worker must be high enough to meet the Department of Labor’s prevailing wage requirements for the job offered in the geographic location where you will work.  The employer must also keep a special “public access” file that includes your salary information at the workplace that is available for public inspection.

How long is my H-1B1 Visa valid? 12 Months or 18 Months?

The Department of State tells the U.S. Consulates abroad to issue an 18 month visa sticker for H1B1 visas.  The purpose of the H1b1 visa stamp (sticker in passport) is to allow a person to enter the USA in H1B1 visa status. THE H1B1 ENTRY ALONE DOES NOT GRANT WORK AUTHORIZATION.

When an H1b1 visa holder enters the USA, the American immigration officers at the airport or border can only give an I-94 entry record expiration date that allows 12 months entry at a time (or less if the H1b1 stamp in the passport, the LCA, or the passport itself expires sooner). There is a special law (see below) that restricts each entry of an H1B1 visa holder to 12 months or less.

Here’s another way to look at it: an H1B1 visa holder must have 3 things:

    • (1) H1b1 visa stamp (sticker in passport that allows entry);
    • (2) valid I-94; AND
    • (3) valid LCA

in order to have work authorization.  And, keep in mind that an H1B1 visa holder needs paystubs to prove they are working (and therefore not “out of status”).

The 12 month rule creates a dilemma for the H1B1 visa holder.  They have an H1B1 visa stamp in their passport and an approved LCA for 18 months, but only have an I-94 for 12 months. The H1B1 visa holder is only allowed to stay in the USA until the I-94 or LCA expires – whichever expires sooner.

SOLUTION:  If the I-94 is going to expire (but the H1B1 visa stamp and LCA are still valid) the H1B1 visa holder is expected to exit the USA and re-enter (can be done on the same day) using their valid H1B1 visa stamp and valid LCA to re-set the I-94 expiration date and get another 12 months (or whatever they have left on the LCA).

But Wait, I Thought H1B1 Visas were Valid for 18 Months, Not 1 year?

h1b1 visa singapore chileThe validity of an H1B1 visa (the sticker in the passport) refers to the time in which an applicant may apply to enter the USA at a port of entry for admittance into the United States.  The 18 month H1B1 visa sticker in the passport has no bearing on the length of time for which the alien may be admitted.

All the H1B1 sticker does is tell the immigration officers at the port of entry that you can ask for an H1B1 visa.  Then, the immigration officers will decide how long to let you stay in the USA (the rules say no longer than 12 months at a time, see below).

The port of entry officers decide how long the entry to the USA should be by looking at their rules, and they stamp the “real” expiration date (which often differs from the H1B1 visa stamp expiration date) on a page in the passport.  Sometimes, in addition to stamping the real expiration date in ink on a passport page, they also put that date in the I-94 Entry Download online system that reflects the same expiration date on it.

The H1B1 visa holder is not supposed to stay in the USA or work in the USA after the expiration date that was decided upon by the immigration officer at the port of entry – no matter what the H1B1 visa stamp (sticker in passport) indicates.

In other words, even though the H-1B1 visa stamp (sticker put in the passport) are normally valid for 18 months, the validity of the H-1B1 visa expiration date stamp that an applicant gets at a port of entry (a) cannot exceed the validity period of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) AND (b) can only be for a maximum of a 1 year period.  If the LCA expires prior to 12 months, the validity of the H1b1 visa stay is supposed to expire when the LCA expires (even if it is less than 12 months).

What is the Designation for the H1B1 Visa on my online I-94 Entry Record?  How Do I Download My I-94 Entry Record?  What If the I-94 Designation is Wrong?

“HSC” is the designation for an H1B1 visa holder for the I-94 system. The I-94 online system does not have enough room to input “H1B1” so the CBP designated “HSC” for H1B1 visas.  However, many airport officers do not know this, and they put H1B instead.  If this happens, it is a good idea to ask the CBP office that is closest to you to make a correction.

Where are these Rules the Immigration Officers at the Port of Entry Use Regarding the 12 Month Length of Stay for H1B1 Visas?

There is a 600 page rule book that the Immigration Officers at the American port of entries (airports and land borders) use called the Inspector’s Field Manual. The “CBP Inspector’s Field Manual ( IFM)”  §15.4 lists all of the nonimmigrant visa classifications and their periods of admission.  On pages 153-154 it states:

“Terms of admission: Admit H1b1 initially for a maximum of one year”

“Notations on I-94 Front: H-1B1, (date to which admitted); I-94 Reverse: Occupation and employer”

“The admission, extension of stay, or change of status may not be for a period longer than 1 year, even if the relevant provision of 8 CFR 214.2 would ordinarily permit the alien’s admission for a longer period.”

Is the H1B1 Visa Renewable?

H-1B1 visa status is renewable indefinitely, provided that you are able to demonstrate that you do not intend to remain or work permanently in the U.S. (i.e., no green card pending). There are two ways to renew; either (a) the employer can mail in the renewal 4-6 months ahead of time, or (b) the H1b1 visa holder can ask for a new one at a U.S. Embassy outside of the USA.

The  Chile or Singapore citizen may be asked to prove “residence” in their home country at any time.  Provided the Chile or Singapore citizen is able to demonstrate that they do not intend to remain or work permanently in the United States, the H1B1 Visa can be renewed either through the mail or at a U.S. Consulate abroad.

Can I work for multiple employers with my H1B1 Visa?

Yes.  However, each H1B1 Visa is employer specific. It is possible to apply for multiple employers’ names + LCA numbers on your H1B1 visa stamp (sticker in passport) in order to work for multiple American employers at the same time.  In order to get two employers’ names + LCA number on one H1B1 visa stamp (sticker), you would present two LCA’s and two job offer letters from the two employers. You will ask the Consular Officer to put both names be put on the H1B1 Visa stamp (sticker).

Many Consular Officers do not know this is possible, and you may have to ask for a Supervisor.  It is helpful (to the Consular Officers) if an abbreviation of the employer’s name is indicated on the job offer letter (practically speaking, if both employer’s names are too long they simply won’t fit on the sticker).

Even then, your passport may be returned to you with only one employer’s name on it. It is up to you whether to stick around and ask for a corrected sticker.  According to AILA (American Immigration Lawyer’s Association),
if you presented a valid LCA and job offer letter for each employer, even if both employer’s are not listed on your H1B1 visa stamp (sticker),  your H1B1 visa status in the USA and your work authorization for both employers are valid.

Please note that this policy is subject to change at any time and is only based on verbal communication with the American government and is not specified in the laws.

Can I change H1B1 Visa employers?

Yes, but in order to work for a new employer, you must either (a) ask your new employer to sign and mail an application and request an I-797A Approval Notice and the H1B1 Visa must be approved before you start work; or (b) go to a U.S. Embassy outside the USA and ask for another H1b1 Visa Stamp (sticker) in your passport with the new employer’s name and LCA number on it, and re-enter the USA.

Some of my clients have tried to go to the border of Canada or Mexico and ask that the I-94 records be changed to reflect the new employer’s name/LCA number, but the border officers would not do it. They ended up flying to a U.S. Embassy outside of the USA to get their new H1b1 stamp.

Does the first H1B1 Visa Have to be Issued by a U. S. Consulate/Embassy?

No, an I-129 application may be mailed to the USCIS to change status to H1B1 Visa if the applicant is already in the USA in a different visa status (but status change is not allowed if you are in the USA in ESTA visa waiver status).

Can I Apply for an American Green Card While in H1B1 Visa Status?

Sorry, no.  Some visas allow a visa holder to apply for an American green card and others do not.  When a work visa is a “dual intent” visa, the visa holder is allowed to pursue permanent residence (a green card) while being in temporary visa status.

For example, one of the  “dual intent” visas is called the H-1B Visa.

Visas like the H1B1 Visa, E-3 Visa for Australians, as well as the TN Visa for Canadians and Mexicans, are “single intent” visas and that is why the applicant has to demonstrate residence abroad and why simultaneous application for a green card is not supposed to occur.

May I be self-employed under the H1B1 Visa?

No, you must work for a US employer.

What if I am a Permanent Resident of Chile or Singapore?

Only Chilean or Singaporean citizens are eligible as H1B1 applicants. However, the H1B1 Visa worker’s spouse and children do not have to be citizens of Chile or Singapore.

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danielle nelisseCall Danielle Nelisse at (619) 235-8811 in  San Diego, California if you want to discuss legal representation for your immigration case – there is no charge for a brief telephone call or email questions.

When you call the office, just ask to speak to Danielle Nelisse.

Email danielle@immigrationworkvisa.com or call (619) 235-8811 or (877) 884-6644 to ask about your case at no charge.

SEND INQUIRY EMAIL:  danielle@immigrationworkvisa.com

 

E-3 VISA

E-3 WORK VISA FOR AUSTRALIAN PROFESSIONALS

The E-3 work visa requires the presentation of an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) and a specialized E-3 Job Offer Letter, and they can be complicated.

It was recently reported that 1 in 10 Australians applying for a specialty occupation E-3 visa to work in the United States are being rejected by American authorities, who are turning away people in less-sophisticated roles trying to dodge the immigration rules.

e-3 visa australia lca

“Specialty occupations” are jobs that require the equivalent of an American 4 year college degree.  For example, in the USA, a veterinarian technician is not a job that typically requires a 4 year college degree so it is not viewed as a “specialty occupation” job.

Can I Apply for an E-3 Visa if I am Already in the USA?

There are 2 ways to apply for an E-3 visa, and both involve the American employer filing and signing some documents for you.

  • An Australian citizen can present the American employer’s documents at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy abroad (either in Australia or in other countries outside America) and request a 2 year E-3 visa; or,
  • An American employer can mail a request to the American government to change your visa status to E-3 visa status if you are already in the USA so long as you did not enter using the ESTA Visa Waiver Program which does not allow a change of status.  However, a person cannot start work for the American employer until the request to change to an E-3 visa is approved.
  • If you already work for an E-3 employer in E-3 visa status, that employer can mail a request to the American government to request that your E-3 visa status be extended.  You are allowed to keep working while the request is pending.  NOTE: work authorization is not allowed if you are changing employers or adding an employer).

If An American Company Offers Me an E-3 Job, Does That Mean That They Will Automatically Get Me an E-3 Work Visa? Will They Know What to Do?

I am afraid not. Most American employers do not know how to fill out the documents for an E-3 work visa because it is not commonly done. There are many people in the USA from all different countries that are authorized to work without any special paperwork, so the American employer may assume that you are applying because you are already authorized to work.

Do I Have to Demonstrate That I Have Australian Residence to get the E-3 Work Visa? 

Yes. Australian residence is not proven merely by showing one’s Australian passport and birth certificate. Australians who apply for an E-3 visa are supposed to be able to prove they have “ties to Australia.”

The type of E-3 Visa Evidence that can be helpful to prove “Ties to Australia” includes, but is not limited to:

  • Close family ties in Australia (this is often a verbal proof and is easily verified by US consular officials)
  • Significant asset ownership proof like mortgage document for home, car, business, etc.
  • Bank statements with account history
  • Australian tax returns
  • Australian Driver’s License
  • Australian credit cards
  • Proof of voting in Australia
  • Australian annual pension report

However, when you attend your E-3 Visa interview it is always good to have proof of Australian residence just in case.
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“I appreciate your services and it’s been a breeze working with you. You are very detail oriented and efficient.  I will definitely recommend your legal services to my friends and if I should need any further assistance with immigration services, I will return to your law firm because you have shown me that you’re highly experience.”

Kelly L., Sydney, Australia (working legally in New York in E-3 visa status) 2016

“Thank you so much for all of your help and hard work with regards to my E-3 visa.  I am so glad I found you when I did, my poor friend is still waiting for his E-3 visa.  I look forward to working with you once again in the future.”

Ryan T.,  Perth, Australia (working legally in California in E-3 visa status) 2013
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e-3 visaWhat is the definition of a specialty occupation for the LCA?

The definition of “specialty occupation” is one that requires:

  • A complex job that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; AND,
  • A Bachelor’s or higher degree (equivalent to an American 4 year college degree) that matches the job – for example, a finance degree for a financial analyst, an engineering degree for an engineer job, a DVM for a veterinarian position, etc).

The LCA is the document that confirms that (a) the job is registered as a job that requires an American 4 year college degree; and (b) that the employer pledges to pay the prevailing wage as determined by the USA Dept. of Labor (DOL).

When filing the LCA with the DOL, the American employer is officially recording their company information as well as the position and salary they will be paying.

Where do the Consular Officers Look to Find Out if My Position requires a 4 year bachelor’s degree and therefore is a specialty occupation?

Most of the consular officers check the online listing from the Dept. of Labor called the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) to see if the job you are requesting an E-3 visa for requires a 4 year bachelor’s degree.  However, the OOH is not the only place they are allowed to look.

Does my American Employer need to get an LCA (Labor Condition Application) certified on my behalf for an E-3 Visa?

Yes. American employers  must obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) after registering their federal tax id number with the DOL.

Can my Family accompany me if I get an E-3 Visa?

Yes, your spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) are eligible for dependent visa status. The dependent spouse and children of an E-3 non-immigrant do not have to be Australian Citizens to be eligible for E-3D status (E-3 dependent visa).

May Spouses of E-3 Visa holders work?

Yes. E-3 spouses are entitled to work in the United States if they apply for a Employment Authorization Document (EAD). After admission to the United States in E-3D status, they may apply for an EAD through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It generally takes about 3 months for USCIS to approve the work permit, which will allow them to work anywhere (even without a college degree), for multiple employers, and for their own business.  E-3D visa holders are also eligible to attend school either full-time or part time.

Is there a Cap on E-3 Visas?

WEBSITE.BBB.RATINGYes.There is currently an annual limit of 10,500 E-3 Visas. E-3 dependents (spouses and children) are not counted toward this annual limit, nor are E-3 extension applications.

We do not expect that the annual limit will be reached (at least so far it has never been reached). The E-3 visa annual quota has usually reached 3,000 – 4,000 since its inception in October 2005.

Can you Direct Me to the “E-3 Processing Guidelines?”

The ” Processing Guidelines for E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Workers and Employment Authorization for E-3 Dependent Spouses” has a lot more details.

More rules are found in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM).

What are the American Employer’s obligations for E-3 Visa sponsorship?

  1. Pay the salary to the E- 3 employee that is listed on the LCA.
  2. Issue paystubs to prove the salary paid matched the LCA.
  3. Issue a W-2 to the employee at the end of the year (not a 1099).
  4. Maintain a “Public Access” File at the worksite in case immigration inspectors make a surprise visit.
  5. The employer is allowed to terminate the services of an E-3 visa employee at any time for any reason. However, due to the immediate loss of legal status,  if the 2 year E-3 visa time period is not up yet, the DOL requires that the employer offer to pay the employee’s plane ticket (“reasonable costs of return transportation due to early termination“) back to Australia (this can be a time limited written offer made to provide evidence that the employer made a good-faith effort to satisfy its obligation).

How long is the E-3 Visa valid?

The Department of State and DHS have agreed to a 24-month maximum validity period for E-3 visas. At the present time, the E-3 may be renewed indefinitely but the Australian citizen may be asked to prove Australian residence at any time. Provided the Australian citizen is able to demonstrate that they do not intend to remain or work permanently in the United States, the E-3 can be renewed either through the mail or at a U.S. Consulate abroad.

How do I add multiple employers with my E-3 Visa or renew my E-3 Visa?

It is possible to renew an E-3 visa and also to work for multiple American employers at the same time.  There are a couple of different ways to renew an E-3 Visa or add multiple employers:

  • An E-3 applicant can ask the Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Australia to issue a new E-3 visa with one or more employers’ names and LCA numbers on the E-3 Visa stamp in their passport by presenting an LCA and Job Employment Letter from each employer.  Please be aware here are reports of U.S. Embassies in countries other than Australia that do not know how to add multiple employers.  There are blog articles on the internet from E-3 visa holders describing their E-3 renewal successes at U.S. Embassies other than in Australia (mostly Canada, Bahamas, Barbados or Mexico); or,
  • If the E-3 applicant is already in the U.S. on an E-3 Visa working for the first employer, they can choose to mail an I-129/LCA + supporting documents + fee to the USCIS to request a renewal and/or request a second employer be added. Most E-3 visa holders do not choose this option because it is taking the USCIS 6-8 months to approve the mail in requests, and the E-3 visa holder cannot work beyond the expiration date of the original E-3 visa (or for the second employer) until they receive an approval notice in the mail.

Is a 3 Year Bachelor Degree from Australia Equal to a 4 Year Bachelor Degree From America? Can My Work Experience Be Added?

A 3 year bachelor degree from Australia is no longer equal to a 4 year bachelor degree from America for E-3 visa purposes.  A 3 year bachelor degree from Australia must be combined with 3 years full time work experience (in the same field as the degree) in order to be “certified” as  equivalent to a 4 year American bachelor degree for E-3 visa purposes.

Can the Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy “Certify” that my Work Experience + my College is Equivalent to an American 4 Year Bachelor Degree?

No, they are not trained to evaluate education or work experience.  There are private American educational equivalency companies that issue “equivalency certificates” that are accepted by American immigration officials. The Consular Officers at the U.S. Embassy are not trained to evaluate E-3 applicants’ education or work experience, so the certificate is required. The fees of the education evaluators range from $80 – $500 for an educational evaluation certificate, which does not expire and can be used multiple times.

Do all E-3 Visa Have to be Issued by a U. S. Consulate/Embassy in Australia?

Sometimes.  If the applicant is asking for their first E-3 visa at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy it is normally best to ask for it at a consulate/embassy in Australia.  However, some consulates/embassies in Canada are starting to get more comfortable with issuing the first E-3 visa (best to email them first and ask).  I am also hearing reports that some Australians have had luck getting an E-3 visa stamp in their passport from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.  But if the U.S. Embassy in Mexico/Canada or elsewhere says no, you would have to fly to Australia to go to the U.S. Embassy in Melbourne or Sydney.

Another alternative is to apply for an E-3 visa through the mail, if the applicant is already inside the USA.  An application may be mailed to the USCIS to change an Australian’s status to E-3 Visa if they are already in the USA (but not in ESTA visa waiver status).

Can I Apply for an American Green Card (Permanent Residence) While in E-3 Visa Status?

Sorry, no. Some temporary visas allow a visa holder to apply for an American green card and others do not.  When a temporary visa is a “dual intent” visa, the visa holder is allowed to pursue permanent residence (a green card) while being in temporare-3 visay visa status.

For example, one of the  “dual intent” visas is called the H-1B Visa.

Visas like the E-3 Visa for Australians, the H-1B1 Visa for persons from Chile/Singapore, as well as the TN Visa for Canadians and Mexicans, are “single intent” visas, which requires that the applicant prove residence in Australia — and why application for a green card is not supposed to occur.

May I be self-employed under the E-3 Visa?

No, you must work for a US employer.

What if my Employer Requires that I have an American State License?

If you don’t have your American State license yet (such as a license to practice veterinary medicine), make sure you have evidence to show the Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy that you will be obtaining your license within a reasonable time after entering the USA in E-3 visa status.

How do I apply for an E-3 Visa?

You may make your appointment for an interview at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy abroad using the DS-160 online form as soon as you have all the documents prepared by your American employer.  As mentioned above, it is also possible for the American employer to apply through the mail for a change of status to E-3 Visa status if you are already in the USA in another valid visa status (but not ESTA Visa Waiver status).

How long does it take to apply for an E-3 Visa?

It depends upon how long it takes your American employer to prepare their portion of the documents, which include providing you with company information, a certified Labor Certification Application (LCA), an E-3 job offer letter, and job description showing that a college degree (the same one you have) is the minimum requirement.

  • If applying from outside the USA, the wait times for an E-3 Visa interview at each U.S. Consulate/Embassy varies. It may take 2-4 weeks to get an interview appointment. Generally, the E-3 Visa is issued two to ten days after the E-3 Visa interview (though, again, this varies).
  • If applying for an E-3 Visa from inside the USA through the mail, applications submitted  generally take 6-8 months to be approved. At the present time, there is no Premium Processing (expediting the application within 15 days) option available for E-3 Visas.

danielle nelisseDoes Your Employer Need Assistance from an E-3 Visa Lawyer with the LCA Filing, E-3 Visa Job Description, and E-3 Visa Job Offer Letter?

Call (619) 235-8811 or email Danielle Nelisse, an E-3 visa lawyer, at danielle@immigrationworkvisa.com to discuss your E-3 Visa at no charge.  Kindly read this blog article carefully before calling.
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UPDATE: BLOG ARTICLES ABOUT GETTING E-3 VISA RENEWED IN MEXICO CITY:

Getting our E3 Visas Renewed in Mexico City!
http://www.limaechoecho.com/2011/11/e-3-visa-renewal-in-mexico-city.html

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TN VISA

TN WORK VISA FOR CANADIAN AND MEXICAN PROFESSIONALS

The TN Visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the United States under a treaty called ” NAFTA” (the North American Free Trade Agreement). This treaty created special economic and trade relationships between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Many employers and employees hire a TN visa attorney to assist with the process.

Unfortunately it is strictly interpreted by the American border immigration officers that only the 60 jobs that are listed on the  Nafta Professionals List (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TN_status)  are eligible for TN Visas.

For a position to quality for TN visa status, the position is supposed to involve “business activities at a professional level”  and this is defined as “those undertakings which require that, for successful completion, the individual has a least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional in a profession set forth in Appendix 1603.D.1.” 8 C.F.R. § 214.6 (c).

Mexicans or Canadians who meet the requirements for a TN Visa may be granted a temporary, nonimmigrant TN visa in the United States for a period of one year  (Mexican nationals) to three years (Canadian national) at a time.

Professionals of Canada or Mexico may obtain a TN Visa to work in the U.S. under the following conditions:

  • Applicant is a Citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  • Profession is on the NAFTA PROFESSIONS LIST;
  • Job Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
  • Mexican or Canadian applicant has an offer to work for a U.S. employer;

and,

  • Canadian or Mexican citizen has the qualifications of the profession (qualifications are listed on the NAFTA PROFESSIONS LIST.

Spouses and children (unmarried children under the age of 21) who wish to live in the U.S. with the TN Visa professional worker can get a TD visa. The TN Visa worker’s spouse and children do not have to be citizens of Mexico or Canada.

Spouses and children cannot work while in the U.S., but are permitted to study.

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“Danielle, I picked up my TN Visa today at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, and I crossed the border to the states around 6 p.m. I had to get my new TN I-94 Card at San Ysidro secondary and they asked me everything all over again, but they weren’t picky about anything, just doing their job.

They liked your organization on the TN Visa files, that helped a lot! I ‘m about to let my employer in San Diego know that I got the TN Visa and that I am ready to start work  this Thursday. Thanks for all your hard work!”

P.R., Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, March 2010

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TN VISA BORDER TIPS FOR MEXICAN NATIONALS (CANADIANS DO NOT NEED TO GO TO U.S. CONSULATE BEFORE GOING TO BORDER):

  • The TN Visa is a very subjective visa so be prepared for both the U.S. Consulate interview in Mexico as well as the border interview.
  • Dress professionally, be respectful and do not lose your temper or get fed up (even if you are required to wait a long time at the border).
  • It is up to the discretion of the U.S. Consular Officer in Mexico whether you qualify for a TN Visa – do not give them reasons to deny you.
  • You may not be allowed to use your cell phone inside the U.S. Consulate in Mexico or at secondary inspection at the border.
  • Bring proof of ties to either Mexico, as well as all other required documents.
  • Bring cash to pay for the TN Visa at the U.S. Consulate in Mexico.

Can I Get a TN Visa to Work for My Own American Company?

The TN Visa is not available if you set up your own business in the United States and then sponsor yourself for a TN Visa. Unfortunately, the regulations specifically do not allow self-employment for TN Visa holders, unless you perform services for a U.S. entity.

TN Visa holders may not be sole owners of, or hold a controlling interest in, their sponsoring companies. If you are seeking to invest in a business in the United States, you may want to consider the E-2 Treaty Investor visa category instead of the TN visa.

danielle nelisse

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