Friday, April 29, 2011

H-2B Visa Application Process

The process for an H-2B visa begins with the U.S. employer filing ETA Form 9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination, with the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC). Next, the U.S. employer should submit a job order with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) serving the area where the employment is intended. After receiving the application, the SWA will check the job order request for errors or omissions, prepare a job order, and keep it in the Employment Service System for 10 days (but not more than 120 days) before the workers are actually needed.

After filing the application with the SWA, the U.S. employer has to show that it has made all efforts to recruit U.S. workers for a specific job before beginning to recruit foreign nationals to fill that particular position under an H-2B visa. This process begins by contacting local unions. The employer should maintain copies of any correspondence with the unions contacted as well as a record of the outcome and any qualified referrals received from the union. The U.S. employer should also post two printed advertisements for three consecutive days in a general circulation newspaper, including one Sunday newspaper, in the area of the intended employment. Alternatively, the employer can post its advertisement in a professional, trade, or ethnic publication, depending on which course of action is most appropriate for the occupation and most likely to bring responses from U.S. workers. These advertisements must be published at the same time that the SWA job order is posted.
After the U.S. employer has completed its recruitment process, the employer continue the H-2B visa application process by submitting an ETA form 9142, Application for Temporary Employment Certification, along with Appendix B.1 and a Recruitment Report to the CNPC. This application can be filed up to 120 days before the workers are needed. A certifying officer at the CNPC will review the applications to confirm that they are compliant. Next, the U.S. employer must file a visa petition, Form I-129, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On approval of the visa petition, the employee abroad will submit his or her own application for an H-2B visa to a U.S. consulate. The employee can use their visa to enter the U.S. and claim their H-2B visa status.

After mailing in the petition, the employer should receive a Form I-797, Notice of Action, within a few weeks, which is confirmation that the H-2B visa papers are being processed and also acts as a receipt for the fee submitted. If USCIS wants further information before deciding whether to issue an H-2B visa for the foreign worker, it will issue a Request for Evidence. The employer should provide the extra data requested and mail it to the USCIS service center. Instructions on where to send the additional evidence as well as a deadline for submission will be detailed on the Request for Evidence.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What is a Student Visa?

The immigration law allows foreign nationals to study in the United States. Many foreign students dream to pursue their education in the United States. Most of the foreign students do not know how to proceed with the US immigration to process their application to pursue their studies. There are various steps involved in the application process for student visa.

To begin with, the school or institution that the foreign student wishes to attend must be a qualifying institution for higher education and it must be certified by the US Investigations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). One can find the list of qualifying schools in the ICE website. All these students must apply to any one of the educational institution or schools and gain admission. They also must be issued a form I 20 from SEVIS. SEVIS is a database which has all the information of foreign students which is maintained by the US government. A student must be registered in the SEVIS to obtain a student visa.

How to Apply for Student Visa?

The first step involved in the student visa process is that the foreign student must obtain a form from the educational institution or school . This form is necessary to show the embassy that they will be responsible for the individual at their institution. This form also must define the name of the course the student is going to pursue and the date and time of the study.

There are two types of visas issued to the foreign students. They are classified as Academic Course and Non – Academic or Vocational Course. Students for academic courses are issued F visa and must file form I 20 and non – academic students are issued M visa and must file a form called DS 2019. Generally the educational institution or the school in the United States will send the concerned form after confirming from the individual that he or she will attend the institution and verifying their financial details. The students must prove that they have financial support to complete their studies.

The process to apply for student visa works like this. The student must register in the SEVIS and pay the relevant registration fee. The registration can be done online. If students have sponsors then they must check with them before they register on SEVIS. The registration must be done with much attention because even a small mistake will lead to deportation or he or she may be even barred from entering United States. The second step is that the student must file Form DS 160 (Non – immigrant visa application). After submitting the form, the student must print out a copy for their records.

These students will then be required to attend an interview with the embassy at their home country. Students must ensure they do not miss the interview and they must submit the required documents. If the visa is granted they will be notified in writing. On entering the United States on a student visa, the students will be allowed to stay the duration required for the completion of the course opted.