Employment Visa: Everything You Need to Know
One of the main fundamentals of the U.S. immigration system is admitting foreign workers with skills that are valuable to the economy. 8 min read
What Is an Employment Visa?
An employment visa is granted to an employee or paid intern of an Indian Company. The following individuals are eligible for an employment visa in India:
- Foreign nationals coming to India for execution of a contract are eligible for an employment visa.
- Foreign nationals who are coming to India on short visits to a customer location to repair any plant or machinery as part of warranty or annual maintenance contract are eligible for an employment visa.
- Foreign nationals coming to India for training personnel of the Indian company are eligible for an employment visa.
India Employment Visa (Conditions)
The India employment visa candidate should be a highly skilled and/or qualified professional who is appointed by an organization. For the visa to be granted, the candidate would need to be employed in India on a contract or permanent basis at a senior level skilled position, such as technical expert, senior executive, or in a managerial position. Also, there should not be a qualified resident in India available to do the job that the visa holder would be performing for the visa to be granted. The employment must either be in a company, firm, or organization registered in India or for a foreign entity engaged in some project in India.
The foreign national must comply with all legal requirements (i.e. taxes). The documents pertaining to the proposed employment will be thoroughly checked to decide the category of the visa that may be issued to the foreigner.
A foreign company that does not yet have any project, subsidiary, joint venture, or branch office in India cannot sponsor a foreign national/worker of a foreign company for an employment visa. However, if the Indian company has awarded a project contract to a foreign company that does not have a base in India, the foreign company can sponsor the worker for an employment visa.
India Employment Visa (Duration and Validity)
The Embassy or Consulate of India located in a foreign country may grant an employment visa. The employment visa is valid for a year, regardless of the duration of the contract. Further extensions of up to five years may be obtained from MHA/FRRO in the concerned state in India.
India Employment Visa (Foreigner Registration)
Employment visas valid for more than 180 days have an endorsement indicating that the foreigner must register with the FRRO/FRO within 14 days of arrival. For those whom registration is required, FRRO/FRO may issue a Residential Permit for the duration of the visa period. In case of any change in the residential address, you must immediately report the change of address, in writing, to the concerned FRRO/FRO.
India Employment Visa (Extension)
The employment visa can be extended by the State Government/UTs/FRROs/FROs beyond the initial validity period, up to a total period of five years from the date of issue of the initial visa. This can be done on an annual basis, subject to good conduct, production of necessary documents in support of continued employment, filing of Income Tax returns, and no adverse security issues related to the foreigner.
India Employment Visa (Additional Documents)
In addition to the standard documents required to get a visa in India, the following additional documents are required for an employment visa.
- An employment appointment letter that contains the salary information.
- A detailed and comprehensive employment contract letter.
- The applicant’s resume.
- Proof that the organization is registered in India.
- Proof of registration of the firm in the State Industries Department or the Export Promotion Council concerned, or any recognized promotional body in the field of industry and trade, etc.
- A letter from the employer in India confirming that the candidate is a qualified professional, technical expert, senior executive or in a managerial position. This letter should state that the applicant's skills are not available in India.
- Documented proof of the candidate's educational qualifications and professional skill. A checklist is required as part of the application.
A tax liability letter is also needed and it should follow these details:
- Indian company should be liable/take responsibility for paying taxes on behalf of applicant.
- Foreigners being hired will not exceed 1 percent of total workforce.
- Within that 1 percent, foreigners should not exceed more than 20 employees.
Employment-Based Visa Categories in the U.S.
One of the main fundamentals of the U.S. immigration system is admitting foreign workers with skills that are valuable to the economy. Current immigration law offers several paths for foreign employees to enter the U.S. for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) fact sheet offers basic information regarding how the employment-based U.S. immigration system operates.
Provisional Employment-Based Visa Classifications
There are several different USCIS provisional employment-based visa classifications. The majority of the classifications are discussed in section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and the visa classifications are mentioned by the letter and numeral that signifies their subsection of that law.
Temporary employment-based visa classifications authorize organizations to hire and petition for foreign nationals for specific jobs for limited periods. Most temporary workers must work for the employer that petitioned for them and have limited ability to change jobs.
Who Is Eligible?
- (H-1B) Certain foreign professionals in specialty occupations.
- (H-2A) Temporary agricultural workers from certain designated countries.
- (H-2B) “Seasonal” non-agricultural temporary workers.
- (L-1A & L-1B) Certain foreign workers employed by certain entities abroad that are related to U.S. employers, whose services are being sought by their employers in the United States.
Are There Any Numerical Annual Limits?
- (H-1B) 65,000 per year, plus 20,000 more for foreign professionals with a U.S. master’s or higher degree.
- (H-2A) No annual limit.
- (H-2B) 66,000 per year.
- (L-1A & L-1B) No annual limit.
- (H-1B) Initially admitted for a period of up to three years; may be extended for up to six years total.
- (H-2A) Initially admitted for period of approved employment; may be renewed for qualifying employment in increments of one year each for a maximum stay of three years.
- (H-2B) Initially admitted for a period of up to one year; may be renewed twice for a total of up to three years.
- (L-1A & L-1B) Initially admitted for a period of up to three years; may be extended for up to five (L-1B) or seven (L-1A) years.
- (H-1B) The employer must attest that employment of the H-1B worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. Employers must comply with wage requirements.
- (H-2A) The employer must attest that no qualified U.S. workers who can fill the position are available. Employers must comply with recruitment, wage, benefits, housing, transportation, and other requirements.
- (H-2B) The employer must attest that no qualified U.S. workers who can fill the position are available. Employers must comply with wage, housing, transportation, and other requirements.
- (L-1A & L-1B) No requirements regarding adverse effects, wages, housing, etc.
May the Foreign Workers Bring Their Spouses and Children Under 21?
- (H-1B) Yes, spouses and children under 21 may enter on an H-4 visa, and certain spouses are allowed to work.
- (H-2A) Yes, spouses and children under 21 may enter on an H-4 visa but may not work.
- (H-2B) Yes, spouses and children under 21 may enter on an H-4 visa but may not work.
- (L-1A & L-1B) Yes, spouses and children under 21 may enter on an L-2 visa, and spouses are allowed to work.
Employers have to pay fees for filing and may be required to pay extra fees to petition for foreign workers. The majority of employers might file a Request for Premium Processing Service (Form I-907) and pay a fee for filing of $1,225 for petition processing within 15 days of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receiving the petition.
Permanent Employment-Based Immigration
Lawful permanent residency permits a foreign national to be employed and live legally and permanently in the U.S. Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are qualified to apply for a green card to work. Immigrants who attained legal permanent resident status through employment can apply for United States citizenship after five years. Employment visas must be applied for by the employer, in a USCIS petition on behalf of the foreign worker. Immigrants may petition for themselves under limited circumstances.
If these conditions are met and the individual is outside the U.S., or is in the U.S. but selects to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, the person will file an immigrant visa application, which is handled by a U.S. consular officer. Most foreign nationals who get permanent residency are already in the U.S.
The total numerical limit for permanent employment-based immigrants is 140,000 a year. This number includes the immigrants plus any eligible minor children and spouses, meaning the actual number of employment-based immigrants is less than 140,000 each Fiscal Year.
- Priority Workers are "Persons of extraordinary ability” in the arts, science, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; multinational managers and executives. Their yearly numerical limit is 40,000 (Plus any unused visas from the Certain Special Immigrants and Immigrant Investors preferences).
- Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability are members of the professions holding advanced degrees, or persons of exceptional abilities in the arts, science, or business. Their yearly numerical limit is 40,000.
- Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers are skilled workers with at least two years of training or experience, professionals with college degrees, or “other” workers for unskilled labor that is not temporary or seasonal. Their yearly numerical limit is 40,000.
- Certain Special Immigrants includes religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, translators, former U.S. government workers, and other classes of noncitizens. Their yearly numerical limit is 10,000.
- Immigrant Investors are persons who will invest $500,000 to $1 million in a job-creating enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. Their yearly numerical limit is 140,000 for principals and their dependents.
Per-Country and Numerical Limits
In addition to the yearly numerical limit on the amount of employment-based immigrant visas, every country is limited to 7 percent of the worldwide level of United States immigrant admissions, otherwise known as per-country limits. For some employment-based preference categories, there are backlogs for petitions for people born in certain countries that have high annual levels, such as China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines.
When Can You Apply for an Irish Employment Visa?
You can apply for an employment (Permits etc.) visa after you have obtained your employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (DJEI). There are different types of employment permits issued by DJEI including Critical Skills Employment Permits and Work Permit. Employment visa applications can be submitted up to 3 months before date of travel to Ireland. If visiting another state prior to travelling to Ireland, a relevant visa for that state must be present in your passport before applying for an Irish visa.
How to Apply for an Irish Employment Visa
You must apply online for a visa. When you have completed the online application process, you must follow the instructions on the summary application form that is created by the online system. The summary form will contain information on where you are to submit your supporting documentation. The summary form which you must print, sign and date must be submitted with your supporting documentation. You may be required to provide your Biometrics Information as part of the application process.
If you submit any false or misleading information, or false supporting documentation as part of your application, it may result in the refusal of your application without the right of appeal.
It may also result in you being prevented from making further Irish visa applications for a period of five years. Some applicants are exempt from the requirement to pay the visa fee.
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