There are several types of employment based immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. First, a nonimmigrant business visa is a temporary visa which will permit someone to live and work in the US. H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, L-1, O-1, and TN visas are some of the employment based nonimmigrant visas. For these visas, an employer must sponsor the alien for the visa. The alien can only work for the sponsoring employer as well.
There are other types of employment based nonimmigrant visas where the alien is actually sponsoring the visa such as an E-1 or E-2. These are treaty investor and treaty trader visas where the alien may invest or trade with a treaty country.
For the immigrant visa side, employers can sponsor virtually anyone for employment based visas. There are advanced degreed professionals down to unskilled workers who an employer may sponsor. These visas are subject to a quota system in which a priority date is given to an application. Every month a visa bulletin is released and the priority dates are listed for each category. In most employment based categories, the visas are current meaning the processing times are not that long. Several countries have a long history of backlogged quota categories such as India, the Philippines and China.
Aliens of extraordinary ability may sponsor themselves for immigrant visas. This is a great path for someone who has demonstrated international or national acclaim in a specific field. The fields can be anything from the arts, to athletics to business.
The immigration team at Brodzki Jacobs & Brook has over 27 years of experience in business immigration and offers consultations by telephone or in the office.