Visa

New Orleans Non-Immigrant Visa Lawyers

Helping New Orleans and Slidell employers and immigrants get back to work in Louisiana

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

Temporary work visas permit foreigners to work in the United States for a fixed period of time. The applicant’s employer must file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of the immigrant. Temporary workers provide valuable services for employers throughout New Orleans, Slidell, and South Louisiana. The workers get a taste of what it’s like to work in America while the employers benefit from having workers who can fulfill their job needs.

At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans immigration lawyers work with employers and foreign applicants who wish to work in America. We’ll explain when temporary work visas are available, the types of temporary work visas, and the process for filing the non-immigrant visa. Non-immigrant visas are for temporary workers. Immigrant visas are for permanent workers. We’ll also explain when an employee must leave, and whether a temporary worker can apply for an adjustment of his/her status. Contact us in New Orleans or Slidell today to get started.

What kind of temporary work visa do I need?

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

There are different categories of employment visas depending on the type of work involved and the skills and experience of the worker. The different categories may have different priorities. There are generally also different numbers of available visas depending on the category.

The main temporary work visa categories, according to the US Department of State are:

  • H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation. This temporary work visa requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. A few job types include government-to-government research, US Department of Defense project workers, and even “fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.”
  • H-1BI. Free Trade Agreement. This category generally requires four years of post-secondary education study for foreigners in Singapore and Chile. A formal petition is not required.
  • H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker. This work visa is used for citizens/foreign nationals from designated countries to work on a temporary or seasonal basis in the agricultural sector.
  • H-2B: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker. This work visa is for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work from certain countries - if determined to be in the United States interest.
  • H-3: Trainee or Special Education Visitor. This visa is for foreigners “to receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.”
  • L: Intracompany Transferee. This visa is for foreign managerial or executive workers (or workers with special knowledge) – so they can work in a related company such as a parent or subsidiary company in the US. The worker “must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for one year within the three preceding years.”
  • O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement. This visa is for workers with extraordinary skills in the arts, sciences, education, athletics, business, film, or television – who have received sustained national or international acclaim. Eligibility includes “persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.”
  • P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group. This visa is for performances and those people who provide the services in support of the performance.
  • P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group). This visa is used for reciprocal exchanges.
  • P-3: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group). This visa is “to perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation.” Essential service workers are also eligible.
  • Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program. This visa is for international cultural exchange programs.

There are other categories that our New Orleans non-immigrant work visa lawyers can explain.

What forms do New Orleans employers need to file for temporary work visas?

The New Orleans employer may need to obtain a labor certification or other approval from the Department of Labor.

The employer does need to file a Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, Form I-129, with USCIS. This petition form can also be used to extend a temporary worker’s status or to seek a change of status. There may be a limit on the total number of petitions that can be filed each year – depending on the category of non-immigrant visa. The employer may need to show that there aren’t enough American workers to do the job, and that the temporary worker won’t affect the working conditions and pay of current local workers.

If the petition is approved, the notice of approval will be sent to the employer. If USCIS approves the petition, then the applicant can file for the non-immigration visa. The application process may vary depending on the location of the US embassy or consular office.

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What do workers in New Orleans need to do to obtain a non-immigrant visa?

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At the Law Office of James A. Graham, we’ll guide you through the basic steps:

  • Completing an online visa application.
  • Scheduling an interview at a consular office. Workers 14-79 generally will be required to attend an interview at the US embassy or consular office where the applicant lives. The wait times for interviews do vary by country and from year to year. We’ll help you prepare for the interview.
  • Pay the visa application fee before the interview and other necessary fees.

The documentation you’ll need for the non-immigrant visa interview includes:

  • A valid passport for travel to America.
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Proper photos.
  • Receipt Number for your approved petition.
  • L Visa Applicants may need additional documentation.

Additional documentation may be required.

All visa applicants, except H-1B and L, “will generally need to show proof of compelling ties to your home country to demonstrate your intent to return after your temporary stay in the United States.” Some common examples include:

  • Familial ties in your native country
  • Your current economic situation
  • Any homes or residences you own in your native country “which you do not intend to abandon”
  • Your long-term plans encompassing any of the above, or other additional factors

At the visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether the applicant is qualified to receive a visa, and if so, the type of non-immigrant visa category that is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. The visa application requirements also include ink-free, digital fingerprint scans.

Does the receipt of the non-immigrant visa mean I can come to New Orleans?

The visa gives the foreign citizen the right to travel to a US port-of-entry. The visa doesn’t guarantee entry. The visa holder will still need to be granted permission by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry.

If entry is granted, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.

The worker may be able to extend his or her stay by requesting an extension. If the extension is not granted before the expiration date on the original non-immigrant visa, then the worker will need to return to his/her home country until the extension is granted. This means that the worker needs to work with experienced New Orleans non-immigrant visa lawyers to ensure the extension is approved before the expiration date. Workers who stay beyond the expiration date of their visa are considered “out of status” and may be ineligible for future entry into the United States.

Temporary workers can also seek an adjustment of status to another non-immigrant visa category or seek lawful permanent resident status. Again, the adjustment of status must be approved before the expiration date, or the worker will have to leave the country until the adjustment of status is approved.

Generally, the worker’s spouse and unmarried minor children can also apply for the same visa category to join the worker in America. The worker must be able to show he/she can financially support his/her family.

Immigration Lawyers

Can a temporary visa worker extend his/her stay in New Orleans?

The worker may be able to extend his or her stay by requesting an extension. If the extension is not granted before the expiration date on the original non-immigrant visa, then the worker will need to return to his/her home country until the extension is granted. This means that the worker needs to work with experienced New Orleans non-immigrant visa lawyers to ensure the extension is approved before the expiration date. Workers who stay beyond the expiration date of their visa are considered “out of status” and may be ineligible for future entry into the United States.

Temporary workers can also seek an adjustment of status to another non-immigrant visa category or seek lawful permanent resident status. Again, the adjustment of status must be approved before the expiration date, or the worker will have to leave the country until the adjustment of status is approved.

Generally, the worker’s spouse and unmarried minor children can also apply for the same visa category to join the worker in America. The worker must be able to show he/she can financially support his/her family.

Do you have a non-immigrant visa lawyer near me?

The Law Office of James A. Graham has two office locations in South Louisiana:

For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.

Speak with our experienced New Orleans non-immigrant work visa attorneys now

At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our immigration lawyers work with local employers and foreign employees to help employers obtain the help they need that is not available from the current US workforce – and help employees work in the New Orleans region. We’ll answer all your questions and guide you through the petition process. We’ll explain the type of work an applicant can do if admitted, and whether an extension or adjustment of status is possible.

To arrange an immigration consultation, please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with our seasoned New Orleans and Slidell immigration lawyers.