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Visa Options for Trainees

Training is often an important part of advancing in a career or being skilled at a job. There are two visa options that visa applicants may utilize to receive practical training in the U.S. for a particular job or occupational field. These two visas, H-3 and J-1, have several requirements but can be very useful to obtain when to receive beneficial training in the U.S.

What is a “trainee?”

art-student-15-1537721A trainee is a person who is receiving training in the U.S. The training is usually for a job. Trainees on these visas are intended to receive training for a job that the trainee may later obtain.

H-3 Visa

To apply for the H-3 visa a detailed account of the type of training the trainee will receive must be submitted to the USCIS. The applicant must also identify a U.S. employer or organization that will provide the training. If the petition is approved the trainee may be allowed to stay in the U.S. for up to 2 years.

What kind of training does the trainee under an H-3 visa receive?

An H-3 visa is available to trainees who come to the U.S. to receive training in a particular field. The training is intended to be for a job located outside of the U.S. The USCIS states on its webpage that training in any field will qualify; some of the listed fields are agriculture, commerce, communications, finance, government and transportation. While this visa covers any field, it cannot be used for medical education or training.

H-4 Visa for Dependents

There is also an H-4 visa available for family members of the trainees. If the H-3 visa is approved, the applicant may be able to take family members to the U.S. while trainee is completed.

J-1 Visa for Exchange

Another option for trainees is the J-1 Visa. This visa is intended for those coming to the U.S. to teach, learn, receive training, research and observe. This visa could be a good option for those coming to the U.S. for an internship or to receive occupational training. Medical students seeking training in the U.S. may use this visa.

This visa is designed as an exchange program. The exchange program must be approved by the government in order for the applicant to participate in the training program. The programs will generally train the individual in a specific business field. There are three requirements that the trainee must meet in order to be able to apply for a J-1 visa.

These requirements are:

  1. The applicant must possess a degree from a foreign post-secondary academic institution.
  2. The applicant must have at least one year of work experience in the applicant’s specific academic field and training must have been received outside of the U.S.
  3. The applicant must have had five years of work experience outside of the U.S. The work experience must be in the same field that the applicant is seeking training for in the U.S.

Contact us

Contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal to discuss the H-3 visa, J-1 visa or other options for trainees. Attorney Khandewal has over 10 years of experience working on immigration cases. The Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal is conveniently located in the Silicon Valley.

Cited Sources:

Exchange Visitors, July 17, 2015, USCIS

H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor, July 20, 2015, USCIS

 

Tags: #h-3, #h-4, #immigration law, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #j-1, #visa options

Employment Authorization for H-4 dependent spouses available in May.

woman-1134419-m-1Currently dependent spouses on H-4 visas cannot lawfully seek employment in the United States, but that will be changing soon! The USCIS has officially announced that certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders may seek employment in the United States starting May 26, 2015.

Those eligible are H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B holders who are the principal beneficiary on an approved I-140 or the H-4 dependent spouses who have been granted H-1B status under section 106(a) and (b) of the American Competiveness in the Twenty-fist Century Act of 2000 (amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorizations Act).

The Department of Homeland Security predicts as many as 179,600 H-4 dependent spouses may be eligible for employment authorization during the first year of the implementation. Each year after, the number of H-4 applicants expected to apply for employment authorization drops to 55,000.

The Department of Homeland Security reported on public comments it received about the new H-4 EAD status. Of the comments received about 85% of the comments were in support of the extension of EAD to H-4 dependent spouses. Additionally, more than 60 commentators stated that because of the change in H-4 employment authorization they canceled plans to leave the United States and will now stay and continue to pursue Legal Permanent Residence.

H-1B holders cancelling plans to leave the United States because dependent spouses can seek work illustrates the significance of this change. An additional income and an option for both spouses to pursue a career track can have a big impact on families. With significant public support for the addition of H-4 EAD’s it is evident that many families are eager for this change and it seems likely that many families will utilize the ability to bring in an additional source of income.

India, a country that utilizes a significant portion of H-1B visas will significantly benefit from the addition of H-4 EADs. In 2012, of the 262,569 H-1B beneficiaries, 168,367 of the beneficiaries were from India. Considering that many H-1B holders move to the United States with their families, Indian families will greatly feel the impact of this announced change, while benefiting the United States economy as well. Many highly skilled employees come to the United States from India each year and allowing dependent spouses to work may bring even more skilled workers into the United States and retain the skilled workers that are already in the United States.

After May 26th, dependent spouses can apply for employment authorization and, if approved, will receive an EAD card. The EAD card allows the spouses to work legally in the United States. Additional paper work and filing fees must be sent to the USCIS to apply for employment authorization.

To apply for employment authorization on an approved H-4 or to discuss any other immigration needs contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal. Attorney Sweta Khandelwal is an experienced immigration attorney in the Silicon Valley area.

Cited Sources:

Characteristics of H1B Specialty Occupation Workers, Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report to Congress, October 1, 2011- September 30, 2012, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses, February 15, 2015, Department of Homeland Security

DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants Seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence, January 24, 2015, USCIS

 

Tags: #h-4, #H-4 visas, #immigration law, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer

How President Obama’s “Immigration Accountability Executive Action” Affects Employment-Based Immigration

President Obama’s “Immigration Accountability Executive Action” proposes several changes to the immigration system many of which could affect employment-based visas. The proposed changes could be good news for employees and employers by decreasing wait times for certain classifications, allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work and in some cases increasing the amount of time a employee can remain on his visa.

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The employment-based changes will affect green cards, H-4, L-1B, OPT and PERM classifications.

Ex
ecutive Action re Pre-Registration for Adjustment Cases
Main proposals:

  • Decrease wait time to file adjustment of status
  • Pre-register for green card and receive green card benefits while waiting for approval
  • Allow the temporary non-immigrant visa holder to change jobs while before green card is approved

The Executive Order’s proposals for readjustment cases will significantly benefit temporary non-immigrant visa holders. These visa holders will no longer suffer from long wait times before they eligible to even apply for a green card. Scrapping long wait times will allow immigrants to move through the once long and extensive process much faster. Green card holders are given more rights and benefits than temporary non-immigrant visa holders, and now workers can enjoy these benefits sooner.

Temporary non-immigrant visa holders will be able to change jobs while waiting for green card approval. If a worker receives a promotion or change in job title the lengthy green card process won’t have to start over again. This allows foreign workers to advance their careers faster and with greater ease. These changes will benefit the economy and increase the attractiveness of working in the United States.

H-4’s Ability to Work
Main proposal:

  • H-4 visa holders, spouses of H-1B visa holders can obtain work

Currently H-4 visa holders cannot work in the United States. This proposed change could greatly benefit families coming over the United States. Families may now have the ability to benefit from duel incomes, increasing their wealth and increasing the attractiveness of the H-1B visa. Allowing spouses to work may make the decision to travel to the United States easier on families now that spouses will not have to completely give up ability to work.

L-1BApprovals and Specialized Knowledge
Main proposal:

  • More specifically define “specialized knowledge” to decrease denials of L-1B visas

L-1B visas are granted to workers that possess an advanced knowledge specific to his employment. However, the term “specialized knowledge” is not well defined, which has led to several L-1B denials. The DHS has been consulting with the State Department for the past couple of years in an effort to update the definition of “specialized knowledge.”

Providing additional insight to the meaning of “specialized knowledge” will allow employers to more adequately find employees that fit under this visa classification. This can save employers considerable time and money filing L-1B visas that are subject to denial because the employee’s skill set doesn’t meet the definition of “specialized knowledge.”

Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Main proposal:

  • Students on OPT can extend stay for longer periods of time

OPT is a beneficial tool for students, specifically in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, to work in the field that they are studying. This allows students to gain practical experience and be more attractive to employers.

Extending the length of stay on OPT will allow employers to employ a student longer without students having to go back to his home country. This will allow students to gain more skills and become more marketable by gaining considerable practical experience working in the United States.

PERM
Main Proposal:

  • Full revamp
  • Modernize PERM system
  • Foreign entrepreneurs subject to “parole” system

Obama proposes the PERM system undertake a full revamping to modernize the PERM system and modernize outdated practices. This could make the PERM process easier and quicker to move through.

Foreign entrepreneurs that invest a certain amount of money in the United States will under a new “parole” system. This could benefit the United States economy by bringing in more money.

ContactThe Law Office of Sweta Khandelwaltoday to discuss how the Immigration Accountability Executive Action and how it could affect your employment-based

Cited Sources:

AILA’s Take on President Obama’s “Immigration Accountability Executive Action” Plan, American Immigration Lawyers Association, November 24, 2014

Tags: #h-4, #immigration law, #immigration law attorney, #immigration law lawyer, #L-1B, #OPT, #PERM




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