Which visas offer the quickest options for international talent?

When it comes to work visas for foreign talent, we frequently talk about the highly competitive and popular H1-B. It comes around once per year, with caps on distributions and a large pool of equally talented and qualified foriegn nationals. It’s an area where our clients have consistent success, but it is also restrictive due to the fact that they are not issued all year long. 

So how do you, the employer, legally obtain foriegn talent all year long? Let’s look at the options!

Currently, there are a handful of very specialized (and not very competitive) temporary work visas that in most situations offer an expedited way to bring international talent to the United States to live and work. Specifically, these are the H-1B1, E-3, TN, E-1, and E-2 work visas. The main consideration factor for several of these visas are the country of citizenship of the desired employee. Thanks to treaty trade agreements with countries around the world, these visas are easier to obtain and are directly affiliated with commercial activities. 

H-1B1 – Available to citizens of Chile and Singapore. Requires employer sponsorship, and typically a Bachelor’s degree, aside from a few professions. Quicker than the H-1B process, no lottery, no six year limit. However, the H-1B1 does not offer dual intent or a path to citizenship. If the interest is to obtain a green card, it would be best to seek transfer to another visa type after securing an H-1B1. There are 600,000 available, with 500,000 of those allocated to Singaporean citizens.

E-3 – Available to Australian citizens. US company sponsorship required, has education/specialty occupation requirements, no lottery, and E-3 spouses are able to immediately obtain work permits in the US. 10,500 are available each year (not inclusive of spouses or children). Can be renewed indefinitely, but it is not a path to a green card.

TN – Available to citizens of Canada and Mexico. Slightly different rules between the two countries; Canadians have a special treaty and do not require visas in their passports. Mexican citizens must visit an embassy prior to travel and complete biometrics and other forms. Employer sponsor is required, and is limited to specific occupations and unique educational requirements.  No cap on issued status recipients.

E-1 – Available to a specific list of countries. Treaty trade visa, to facilitate trade between the US and the applicant home country. Self employment is an option. 

E-2 – Available to a specific list of countries. Treaty investor visa, investing into a new US business. Self employment is an option. Startup founders are occasionally using this visa type to launch their company. 

The eligibility requirements for these work visas are very specific, but if any prospective candidates qualify, these visas are great, quick options for the commercial enterprises and startups that are seeking to bring foreign talent into the workforce.

However, please bear in mind that the quickest option for employers is to hire international talent already in the U.S. because many consulates still remain closed to routine visa processing due to the pandemic. 

If you’re looking to immigrate to the US with one of these visa types, contact our team of attorneys at Loigica to strengthen your immigration application.