Glossary of Common Immigration Terms Nonimmigrant – individual from foreign country who has the intent to visit the U.S. on a temporary (non-permanent) basis Immigrant – individual from foreign country who has the intent to stay permanently in the U.S.
F-1 Students Student enrolled in full time course of study at U.S. educational institution Paperwork prepared by school Work eligibility in limited circumstances Curricular Practical Training Optional Practical Training – 1 year of employment following graduation
OPT 12 months is standard term Additional 17 month extension is available if student has STEM degree and employer is enrolled in E-Verify OPT Students can complete an I-9 based on documents provided by their school
H-1B – Specialized Professionals Position must be “specialty occupation” Job must require and individual must have a bachelor’s degree in the area of specialty or a related field 6 years Additional extensions become available, if certain threshold steps are made in the green card process on behalf of the individual
H-1B – The CAP Limited number of H-1B visas available each fiscal year If you plan to hire someone who will need sponsorship, application must be filed by April 1 for October 1 start date Lottery
H-1B Portability Employees in H-1B status must work for the sponsoring employer in the position subject to the application But, the employees are portable, meaning they can work for a new sponsoring employer New employer must file a petition for change of employer and get a receipt notice before new employment may begin
Green Card Process Three steps to the green card process: Labor Certification: Employer tests job market to see if there are any U.S. workers willing and able to do the job Form I-140: Employer requests permission to sponsor employee for employment based green card Form I-485: Employee files green card application
Green Card Process The demand exceeds the supply Backlogs have been created – particularly for foreign nationals from China and India For backlogged category, the wait can easily exceed 4 or 5 years
Part 2: Strategies for Hiring or Sponsoring Foreign Nationals
The Most Critical Question: Why sponsor a foreign national for work authorization?
Four Approaches to Sponsorship Long Term Vacancies Senior/High Level Positions Specific Skills Ad Hoc
The Strategy Questions What is the internal protocol? What is the nonimmigrant strategy? What is the temporary to permanent strategy?