Work Visas: The Pros and Cons
Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures
A work visa gives U.S employers the right to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that are classified as specialty jobs. Here's an introduction into the world of work visas.
Work Visas require the worker to have some type of specialized knowledge or a skill that requires extensive training with associated cost.
Usually the foreign worker will have to possess at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent to even qualify for a petition to be filed on their behalf. So why go through all these formalities just to gain the services of a foreign worker? Let us take a look at some of the pros and cons of filing a petition for a work visa for a foreign worker.
- Most foreign workers are obviously very loyal to the company that files a work visa petition for them, so you would be gaining a valuable employee for a couple of years following the approval of the VISA.
- The process is relatively straightforward granted that the person has all the necessary paperwork so filing the petition is stress free. It is rare that a foreign worker gets denied a work VISA.
- The VISA is good for three years the first time it is granted to the foreign worker, then three more years after that. The second three year time period only involves a renewal of the documentation and is not expensive.
- Filing the petition for a work VISA can be very expensive from a business standpoint, usually ranging from $3500 to $5000. This includes attorney fees, legal documentation, forms, etc. Most Fortune 500 companies have no challenges in this area but a small business will have to weigh the investment in the employee very heavily.
- The employee is not legally bound to work for the company that files the petition for the work VISA. So in reality a foreign worker could wait until the company files the petition, get their work VISA, stay for a few months then decide to leave and work for a different employer. An employer can however establish either a verbal or written contract with requirements to ensure this does not happen.
- Most foreign workers will need their employer to file for a permanent resident status which is called a green card upon the completion of their work eligibility through the work VISA. This means after six years unless the company files a petition for a green card the foreign worker will have to leave. This is also expensive and considerable more much expensive than the work VISA.
Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.
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