— By Guest Author E. Adriana Kostencki, Esq.
Licensed to practice law in Venezuela and Florida, U.S.A.
U.S. employers may require the services of a foreign national to work at their company or business. Immigration laws, however, require that an individual whom the U.S. employer plans to employ or continue to employ in the United States is authorized to accept employment in the United States. If the individual is already a permanent resident (green card holder), the U.S. employer may hire that individual, but must comply with the employment verification requirements. If the foreign national is not already a permanent resident, the U.S. employer will need to file a petition so that the individual may obtain the appropriate immigrant or nonimmigrant classification.
One of the most common non-immigrant visa classifications available to foreign professionals is the H-1B visa category, which enables U.S. companies to hire foreign skilled professionals to perform services in a specialty occupation. The law defines “profession” as including, but not limited, to architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, and teachers. The specialty occupation requires the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent through a combination of education, training, and work experience) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.