U.S. and Canadian Immigration Lawyer
Helping business clients and investors
with immigration issues
Non Immigrant Visas
H1B Visa - Fifth Quickest, Easiest and Cheapest Visas
This is where things get more complicated. In the United States, when there is no cap on the quota the H1B visa is best. To be eligible for an H1B visa you must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in some specialized area (for example, not just a BA but an engineering degree or a BA in geography,) and the job you are being offered requires not less than a person with that degree to do it. For executives who do not have a bachelor’s degree, you can engage an evaluator who may be able to provide an evaluation of your work experience that equates it to an American bachelor’s degree. Usually three years of work experience in a specialized field is the equivalent of one year of an American bachelor’s degree. So if you have been working as a manager or executive for 12 years you probably qualify. With this visa the employer must not only offer you a job, but he or she must also pay you what the Department of Labor determines is the prevailing wage rate as set by regular wage surveys that Department publishes. The first step is therefore to obtain the approval of the Department of Labor for a Labor Condition Application (LCA) which certifies that you are being offered the prevailing wage and that there are no labor strikes or lockouts affecting your employer company. Following Department of Labor approval the employer must apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration service for you as an employee. The cost is several thousand dollars in government processing fees. The visa, if issued is for three years (assuming no visa cap which has been a problem for this visa for the last two years). It can be renewed for another three years and longer where an application for permanent residence has been filed. Timing is a few weeks to several months. For more details contact us.
As for Canada, usually a similar process is involved. One applies to service Canada (also called Human Resources and Skills Development Canada HRSDC) for a labor market opinion (LMO). There is also a prevailing wage requirement here. The LMO certifies that there are no Canadian workers ready, willing and able to take this job. Following the LMO a work permit application must be filed usually at a Canadian Consulate outside Canada.
Timing on such applications runs a few months but the government fees are minimal. However like the H1B visa in the United States, in Canada the employer must show that he or she undertook Canadian recruitment efforts to get the LMO. For more details on these work visas contact us.