Recent presentation for the Professionals in Human Resources Association

Learn strategies to obtain an employment visa in the United States. Attached is the outline for my talk to the Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA). I spoke at PIHRA’s statewide conference in Long Beach. In the talk, I discussed the latest developments and strategies in U.S. immigration law.

To begin, the outline provides a macro look at the way the U.S. visa system works. How many visas are there? Who gets the visas? After that, I honed in on various visas that may suit your company’s needs. We discussed the pros and cons of each visa.

First, we reviewed the rules to obtain a business visitor visa. While it’s okay to come to the U.S. for a meeting or a training seminar, other types of activity are frowned upon. For instance, you are not allowed to perform skilled or unskilled labor on a business visitor visa. To make this theoretical discussion more accessible, we discussed recent cases where companies fell afoul of the visa rules.

Next, we took a hard look at the H-1B visa. This is a great visa for professional employees. But the problem is US Citizenship and Immigration Services issues only 85,000 visas a year. The visas typically run out as soon as they become available. Demand far exceeds supply.

So what options remain? The outline discusses one exciting development. US Citizenship and Immigration this year created a new Optional Practical Training program for STEM graduates. This program allows STEM graduates to work as trainees for three years. That gives recent grads more opportunities to apply for an H-1B visa. And it also provides companies with a more stable workforce.

But companies still need more options. So we discussed some alternatives to the H-1B: the O, L and TN visas.

Finally, I discussed the various visa categories for green cards.

I focused my talk on the needs of HR professionals. But I hope it is helpful to others as well. Happy reading!

Strategies for Success: Navigating the Visa Process

[pdf, 205kb]

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