Employment-based immigration is a complex area with many opportunities and a few traps for the unwary. Like other legal codes, buried within it are different ways of accomplishing the same thing. Many companies seeking to employ a foreign worker in the United States have several considerations and at least a few ways to accomplish their goals.
There are two basic sorts of business immigration: temporary and permanent. Temporary employment-based immigration is for work that may last years, but where the employer and the worker do not intend for the worker to seek US permanent residence or remain permanently in the United States. That said, some temporary (or "nonimmigrant") work status like E-2 supports a foreign national working legally in the United States for well over ten years.
Permanent employment-based immigration is where an employer and seeks to secure an employee (or potential employee) US permanent residence based on the proposed employment. Permanent employment-based immigration sometimes requires a test of the US labor market called a "labor certification" to learn whether qualified US workers who would like the job are available for it. Other avenues to gaining employment-based US residence do not require a labor certification.
Employers engaging in temporary and permanent employment-based immigration must engage in many compliance activities and retain certain records. Failure to do so can lead to monumental fines and penalties including potential criminal liability.
The menu at right lists various employment-based immigration issues including temporary and permanent options, compliance issues, special concerns relating to layoffs and downsizing and more. Within each major topic are subtopics that will become visible in the menu when you reach the main topic page.