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The H-1B visa has developed into one of the high-profile immigration solutions employed by businesses.  In essence, the H-1B visa permits greater labor flexibility since companies can seek workers from abroad to fill certain job roles when an American is unable to perform the job. An array of rules and regulations surround this process and interested companies will typically need to seek labor certification from the Department of Labor.

However, perceptions now exist that the H-1B program is being abused. Politicians charge that some companies are utilizing H-1B simply to reap labor cost-savings. These perceptions have motivated the Trump administration to make a number of increasingly ominous remarks regarding the program including statements that suggested increased enforcement activities. Recently, the Trump administration signed an executive order that mandates an “interdepartmental review “ of the program. Many expect major changes to H-1B which could include tightened standards, a merit-based approach, and the elimination of the lottery.

Businesses and individuals facing uncertainty regarding H-1B visas should consider alternatives. The employment interests of businesses may be well served by an L-1 visa. For individuals, an EB-5 visa can provide a pathway to citizenship in the United States. The lawyers of Colombo & Hurd can help you determine what options may be appropriate for your business or immigration goals.

L-1 Visa as an Alternative to H-1B Visas

The L-1 visa can be utilized by companies to bring certain foreign workers to the United States. Under an L-1 visa, companies are permitted to bring executives, managers, and other workers in specialized knowledge categories to work in the United States. The visa can be obtained when the following circumstances are true:

  • A qualified relationship exists between the employee and the company seeking to bring the worker to the United States. Companies have several options to go about creating this qualifying relationship and an immigration attorney can explain these options.
  • The employee must have worked for the company continuously for at least one year in a managerial or another key role.
  • The employee will continue to work in a managerial or specialized knowledge role while in the U.S.
  • The employee is qualified to work in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge role.
  • The company intends to continue business and operations in the United States until, at least, the employee obtains a green card.

The L-1 visa presents a viable alternative option for companies impacted by the increased scrutiny directed towards H-1B visas.

EB-5 As an Alternative to H-1B

Individuals who do not have family members already living in the United States face more limited options when it comes to securing a visa. However, certain wealthy individuals may be able to file for an EB-5 visa. Under the EB-5 program, immigrants can make an investment into America to receive a green card. The investment must successfully create a certain number of full-time jobs for Americans. Individuals who successfully satisfy all visa requirements can receive a green card not only for themselves but also for their qualifying family members. Qualifying family members include one’s spouse and children who have not “aged-out.” Therefore, if you wish to use EB-5 to secure U.S. citizenship for your child or children, it is essential to plan extremely carefully so that they do not “age-out” before the immigration benefit can be secured.

Lawyers Provide Flexible Immigration Solutions for Businesses and Individuals in Orlando and Miami

If you have questions or concerns about additional immigration options, the lawyers of Colombo & Hurd can help. Likewise, if your business has compliance concerns regarding its use of H-1B visas, we can review your policies and practices and make recommendations. To schedule a confidential consultation at our Miami or Orlando law offices, please call 407-478-1111 today.

Rusten Hurd

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