Several visa categories are available to employers seeking to hire a foreign national. These include the H-1B “specialty occupation” category, the L-1 intra-company transferee visa, the NAFTA Professional TN work permit, and the E Treaty visa, among others.
We assist employers in assessing the appropriate visa options to obtain and maintain work-based visas. For example, the H-1B visa applies only to occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent for entry-level work such as pharmacist, engineer, software engineer and financial analyst, to name a few. In contrast, the TN category applies only to Canadian and Mexican citizens in the specific professions listed in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Similar specific restrictions apply to all of the various visa categories.
Our firm handles the conversion from temporary work visas to permanent visas (“green cards”) and ultimately to citizenship. This includes the PERM, I-140 petition, I-485, and DS-230 processes.
I-9 Compliance Counseling
We assist employers to ensure compliance with the I-9 provisions of federal law.
Compliance can be challenging for companies of any size, who must not employ unauthorized workers but are subject to penalties and potential lawsuits for over-documentation or discrimination arising from “excessive” I-9 vigilance. By signing Form I-9, an employer attests, under penalty of perjury, that it has examined original documentation presented by the employee, that the documentation “appears on its face to be genuine” and relates to the named individual, and that to the best of the employer’s knowledge the employee is authorized to work in the United States.
Our firm provides guidance to employers regarding I-9 issues and conducts internal company audits to assess I-9 compliance. We assist employers who use the USCIS E-Verify program to verify work authorization online at the time of the hire and obtain “safe harbor” protection against “knowing hire” liability.