Planning a US Visa Application for HR Managers

In this economy more than ever companies have to keep business moving as quickly as possible. For multinational companies this may mean getting experienced employees to new offices or, for a new start-up it may mean getting key employees to the US and into a new market to survive the recession. Im going to discuss some of the basics of US immigration law and procedure a company who may have offices in the US or are thinking of expanding into the US.

While there are times when emergencies crop up it is very helpful to start planning how to obtain an employees US work visa as soon as you know an employee will need to be transferred. The US government agencies will not expedite an application unless is a life or death situation and business necessity is very difficult to prove to be a life or death situation. If there is an emergency situation contact an immigration lawyer to see what options are available for the employees entry into the US.

From an outsider’s point of view it may seem the US government as a whole issues visas.In reality there area variety of agencies and departments all working together to manage the issuance of US visas. Most employment-based visa categories such as the L-1 Intra-Company Transferee visa and H-1B Professional Specialty worker visas require a petition to be filed in the US with the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition will include forms and documents to demonstrate that the company and the employee meet the requirements of the particular visa category.

If the petition is approved then the employee may appear at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad to apply for their visas. The approved petition establishes the employees eligibility for the visa and the visa interview at the Embassy will establish that the employee may be admitted to the US. The Consular Officer will also want to ensure that the employee and all dependent family members applying are admissible to the US which means there is not anything in their histories that would prevent them from entering the US. A person will be inadmissible to the US if they have been convicted of a drug offence or other serious crimes. It is vital to determine at the beginning of the process that the employee and all accompanying family members are admissible to the US. It would be devastating to spend the time and money to get a visa petition approved only to have a visa denied at the Embassy. In the UK, where Im located the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to US immigration law so no matter how old the conviction is you need to have a US immigration lawyer to review the conviction history in order to determine if an employee will be admitted to the US.