The United States annually issues thousands of employment visas to immigrants and temporary workers. The employment visa allows workers to immigrate to the United States permanently or for an interim period and provides the visa holder with eligibility to work in the U.S. In many cases, the workers have spouses and families that wish to accompany them to the U.S.
If you have questions about being a spouse of an employment visa holder, South Florida attorney Shannon Rosales can provide you with answers. Shannon Rosales understands it is challenging to navigate the visa process and immigrate to the United States. Contact Shannon Rosales Law, P.A. today for a free consultation to learn how she can help you.
Who are employment visa holders?
Employment visa holders are foreign citizens who apply to immigrate to the United States for employment reasons. The two categories of employment visas include employment-based immigrant visas and temporary worker visas.
Employment-based immigrant visas are for immigrants looking to immigrate permanently and include these categories:
- EB-1 visas for priority workers and individuals with extraordinary ability
- EB-2 visas for individuals with exceptional ability and individuals who hold an advanced degree
- EB-3 visas for skilled workers requiring two years of training, professionals with a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university or an equivalent, and unskilled workers who need less than two years and are not temporary or seasonal
- EB-4 visas for certain special immigrants
- EB-5 visas for immigrant investors
Employment-based immigrant visa applications lead to legal permanent residence in the U.S.
Temporary worker visas are for foreign nationals seeking to relocate to the United States for a defined period. Temporary worker visas include:
- H-1B visas for individuals with specialized skills and higher education degrees
- L visas for individuals who are transferring within a company and are managers or executives or have a position that requires specialized knowledge
- O visas for persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in specific fields
- P visas for individuals who are athletes, artists, entertainers, or coaches
Can a spouse accompany an employment visa holder to the United States?
Yes. In most cases, the spouse of an employment visa applicant can apply for a visa simultaneously with the employee. You can also apply for visas for unmarried children under the age of 21.
If you are outside of the United States, the process of obtaining a visa for a spouse generally includes the following:
- Filing the required paperwork for the matching visa at a U.S. consulate
- Completing a medical examination and getting vaccinations
- Paying required fees
- Completing an interview
If you are in the United States and are requesting a change in your visa status, you must complete and submit the required paperwork to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
When the U.S. grants the spouse of a holder of a temporary worker visa, it is for the same term as the employee.
Can a spouse of an employment visa holder work while in the United States?
Spouses of an employment-based immigrant visa that hold a dependent visa are eligible to work in the United States.
Some spouses of temporary visa holders, like the spouse of an L-1 visa holder, are eligible to work in the United States. Other spouses of temporary visa holders, like the spouse of an O visa holder, are not eligible to work during their stay in the United States. If your visa permits you to work, you must file for employment authorization, which involves filing employment paperwork and required documentation with USCIS and paying fees.
Without employment authorization, you cannot work in the United States, meaning you also cannot freelance, start a business, or work from home without the authorization. You can take on unpaid work.
If you are interested in obtaining work eligibility, attorney Shannon Rosales can assist you with navigating whether your visa status permits you to apply for employment authorization. Shannon Rosales Law, P.A. can also help file the paperwork with USCIS.
Should you consult with a South Florida immigration attorney?
Moving to the United States and understanding your rights and responsibilities as a spouse of an employment visa holder is challenging. It is also an emotional process to navigate. While filing the necessary visa or employment authorization paperwork, you may need guidance or want to ensure the paperwork is completed correctly. You may encounter a scenario where you need assistance understanding what your visa permits or prohibits you from doing once you are in the U.S. If this happens, consult a South Florida immigration attorney.
Shannon Rosales is a South Florida immigration lawyer who will fight for your rights while you navigate this challenging time. She is a skilled attorney with comprehensive experience handling visa applications and working with immigration officials.
Contact Shannon Rosales Law, P.A. Today
Shannon Rosales, P.A. offers a free consultation. Contact us today so Shannon can get started helping you. Se habla español.