How to Secure Visas for Your Business Team

As businesses expand globally, they often need to transfer employees internationally for projects, training, negotiations, and other key assignments. To legally work in the U.S., these team members require proper visas. Here is an overview of the process.

Types of Business Visas

H-1B Visa

The H-1B is one of the most common visas for bringing professional employees to the United States. It covers specialty occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Typical roles include architects, engineers, IT professionals, accountants, business analysts and more.

L-1 Visa

L-1 visas allow companies to transfer existing employees from affiliated operations abroad to U.S. offices. L-1A applies to managers/executives while L-1B covers workers with specialized knowledge. These visas aid with setting up new offices or managing temporary projects.

E Visas

E-1 and E-2 visas permit investors and business owners to enter the U.S. when investing substantial capital. E-1 is for trading companies engaged in international commerce. E-2 is for individuals who have invested a substantial amount in a U.S. business.

TN Visa

Under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), Canadian and Mexican citizens can obtain TN visas for certain pre-approved professional occupations like scientific, medical, accounting and business roles when working for U.S. employers.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify employees for these business visas, companies must demonstrate:

        Professional roles requiring specialized skills/degrees.

        Employees meet the minimum education/experience criteria.

        Proof of legitimate business operations and ability to pay wages.

        The employee has intent to depart the U.S. when visa ends.

        No inadmissibility factors like criminal records.

The Visa Application Process

Step 1: Employer Sponsorship Petition

The sponsoring U.S. employer must first file a petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) providing details on the job duties, employee’s credentials, and justification for the visa.

Step 2: Labor Condition Application

For certain visa categories like H-1B, the Department of Labor must certify the employer will pay proper wages and working conditions.

Step 3: Employee Documentation

After petition approvals, the employee gathers required documentation like proof of qualifications, travel plans, evidence of ties abroad, and visa fees.

Step 4: Visa Interview

The employee attends a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate for screening and final visa issuance. Processing times for visa petitions often take several months from start to finish. Renewing or extending visas involves separate processes.

Strategies for Visa Success

Filing Complete, Compliant Petitions

Visa cases can be delayed or denied over small paperwork errors. Partnering with a business immigration lawyer like those at Graham Adair greatly reduces mistakes that can jeopardize approval. Their legal expertise ensures you submit fully documented, comprehensive petitions from the beginning.

Corporate Immigration Programs

For companies that frequently transfer employees across borders, many retain business immigration lawyers to develop corporate immigration programs. These programs establish streamlined processes, best practices, and customized strategies for obtaining visas efficiently.

Immigration attorneys work closely with human resources teams to understand the company’s workforce needs and projects requiring global mobility. They provide tailored guidance on managing everything from visa applications to immigration policies, compliance audits, and department training.

Having a corporate immigration program allows companies to proactively plan their short and long-term visa needs rather than navigating cases reactively.

Qualifying for Visa Extensions

Experienced attorneys maximize chances your employees qualify for extensions to complete long-term projects. They monitor changing visa laws and plan ahead for maintaining legal statuses.

Contingency Planning

Visa backlogs and processing delays are common. A business immigration lawyer provides contingency strategies so your operations face minimum disruption if employees face lags.


With globalization, businesses increasingly rely on an international workforce. Having professional legal assistance navigates visa complexities smoothly while avoiding compliance risks that could restrict employee mobility.

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