According to the U.S. Department of State, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are granted each fiscal year. One type of employment-based immigrant visa is called the Employment Fifth Preference Immigrant Investors (E5) visa. The goal of investor visas is to encourage immigrant investors to create new commercial enterprises. Ideally, these enterprises are going to benefit the U.S. economy through capital investment and job creation.
Temporary worker visas are issued to individuals from foreign countries who want to enter the United States, but not permanently. In order to obtain any of these visas, a prospective employer must first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A citizen of a foreign country may not work in the United States until a visa is granted. Many temporary worker categories have caps for the total number of petitions that can be approved each year.
The U.S. Department of Labor has provided an employment law compliance guide, which sets forth the prerequisites for employers seeking to employ H-1B workers. One of the most important requirements is that an employer pay H-1B workers at least the local prevailing wage or the employer’s actual wage, whichever is higher, and offer them the same benefits that are offered to U.S. workers.
H-1B visas are controversial because some argue that they lower wages for U.S. workers, while others say they are necessary to fill highly skilled positions, especially in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sectors.
If you have a visa or green card, you already know about many opportunities available within the United States. However, you must be a citizen to take full advantage of the benefits. About 680,000 people become naturalized U.S. citizens each year. The naturalization process is not an easy one, but, with proper guidance and support, you can successfully follow the path to U.S. citizenship.
With issues of violence in Mexico and outdated human rights policies in many countries, an increasing number of people view the United States as a safe haven where they can live without fearing persecution or worse. The U.S. asylum policies apply to those who meet certain requirements and face the possibility of persecution within their own countries based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
Many Americans want to see greater control over the number of people who live illegally within U.S. borders. However, public opinion may be less stringent when immigrants who are not authorized to live in the U.S. have American-born children. As of 2009, nearly four million children were U.S. citizens with at least one parent who entered the country illegally. Considering the increasing deportation rate in recent years, more parents facing deportation must make a heartbreaking decision — take their American children back to a country they do not know or break up the family by allowing the children to remain in the United States. While many families still need to make this decision, a ray of hope may indicate that the situation is changing.
In the years since its passage, many Americans have become familiar with the basic provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which makes significant changes to the U.S. healthcare system. Many of these changes are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2014.
Form I-864, or an Affidavit of Support, is required as part of a foreign national’s application for permanent residence in the United States. The Affidavit of Support is actually a contract between a visa applicant and the U.S. government. The goal is to ensure that the visa applicant has outside financial support after immigrating to the United States and is, therefore, unlikely to rely on government assistance.
In the United States, it is illegal to knowingly hire or employ someone who does not have status to work in this country. For individuals, a properly completed form I-9 is essential for proving authorization for employment. For business owners, the I-9 proves compliance with the law. An Internet-based system called E-Verify speeds this process for both applicant and employer.
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