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Employment Visas: What to Know

In today’s globalized world, opportunities to work abroad are abundant, and the United States is often a top destination for those seeking employment overseas. However, to work legally in the U.S., one must first obtain an employment visa.

What is an Employment Visa?

An employment visa is a legal document that grants foreign nationals the right to work in the United States. It’s essential to possess one because working without proper authorization can have severe consequences, including deportation. These visas are typically categorized based on the immigrant or non-immigrant status of the holder and the specific employment-based visa category they fall under. The U.S. offers several employment-based visa categories, each tailored to different situations and professional backgrounds.

Employment-Based Visa Categories

The U.S. immigration system provides a range of employment-based visa categories, each with its eligibility requirements, benefits, and limitations. Consulting with an immigration attorney can help you make the right choice. Some of the most commonly sought-after employment-based visas include:

H-1B Visa: This visa is designed for foreign workers in specialty occupations, often in fields like technology, engineering, or healthcare.

L-1 Visa: It’s aimed at intracompany transferees and allows multinational companies to transfer key employees to U.S. offices.

O-1 Visa: Intended for individuals with extraordinary abilities or achievements in their field, this visa is highly sought after by professionals in the arts, sciences, and other specialized domains.

EB Visa: This visa, also known as the employment-based visa, is a pathway to permanent residency in the U.S. This category is often favored by those seeking long-term employment in the United States.

The EB Visa: A Closer Look

To be eligible for an EB visa, you need an employer in the U.S. to sponsor your application, which demonstrates their intent to offer you a long-term position. The EB visa comes in various subcategories (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3) tailored to individuals with different levels of expertise and achievements.

The benefits of an EB visa are substantial. It grants you the right to live and work in the U.S. and allows you to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. However, the application process can be intricate, and the annual quotas for EB visas can make the process highly competitive.

Application Process

Obtaining an employment-based visa is a multi-step process. While the exact steps and documentation requirements can vary depending on the specific visa category, a general overview includes:

  • Identifying the correct visa category.
  • Securing a job offer from a U.S. employer.
  • Filing a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Attending an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Adhering to visa-specific requirements, such as labor certification (in some cases).
  • Completing medical examinations and background checks.

The application process can be challenging, as the laws and regulations governing immigration are subject to change. It’s essential to stay informed about the ever-changing landscape of immigration laws and regulations. Immigration policies can shift, and quotas can be revised, affecting the chances of obtaining specific visas, so it is important to stay informed.

Seeking the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney is strongly advised to navigate the process effectively, providing expert advice on which visa category suits your qualifications, ensuring all required documentation is accurate and complete, and representing you in legal proceedings if needed. Having a professional by your side significantly increases the likelihood of a successful application.

Employment visas are a gateway to opportunity in the United States. Understanding the various employment-based visa categories is critical for making informed decisions. Seeking guidance from an immigration attorney is strongly recommended to ensure a successful application process. With the help of proper legal guidance, you can confidently pursue employment in the U.S.

To schedule a consultation for more information, call (713) 772-2300 or visit

Applying Your Parents for a Green Card

The process of applying your parents for a Green Card is an essential step in ensuring their permanent residency in the United States of America. It is a vital and heartfelt endeavor featuring various stages and requirements. For many individuals living in the United States, having their parents join them as permanent residents is a dream come true, allowing families to reunite and build a future together.

Permanent Residency

Achieving permanent residency status in the United States is a significant milestone. Obtaining permanent resident status is synonymous with receiving a Green Card. The term Green Card refers to a physical card showing proof of legal residency given to individuals who have achieved permanent resident status. It provides numerous benefits, including the right to live and work in the U.S. without time restrictions and access to various public services. Along with these benefits come certain responsibilities, such as abiding by U.S. laws and filing taxes.

How to Apply for a Green Card

To sponsor your parents for a Green Card, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. Your parents must be legally recognized as your parents, and you need to prove that you can financially support them. This financial responsibility is a significant commitment, so it’s crucial to understand your role in the sponsorship process.

Green Card Document Checklist:

Parent’s Identity and Eligibility Documents: Your parents will need to provide identity and eligibility documents, such as their birth certificates, passports, and any previous U.S. immigration records. These documents establish their identity and prove their eligibility for permanent residency.

Sponsor Documents: As the sponsoring U.S. citizen, you’ll need to complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Along with this form, you’ll need to submit proof of your citizenship, which can include your birth certificate or a copy of your naturalization certificate.

Proof of Relationship: To establish the parent-child relationship, you’ll need to provide evidence, which can include birth certificates, adoption documents, or other official records that demonstrate the familial link.

Financial Documentation: You’ll need to demonstrate that you can financially support your parents. This typically involves providing your tax returns, pay stubs, and an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).

Medical Examination Records: Your parents will need to undergo a medical examination by a U.S. government-approved panel physician. The results of this examination are crucial for establishing that your parents do not pose a health risk to the U.S. population.

Permanent Residency Process

The application process for a parent’s Green Card can be complex. It’s essential to understand each step, from filing the petition to the final interview, and be prepared for potential delays. Consider seeking legal assistance to navigate these complexities successfully.

Filing the I-130 petition is the initial step. Ensure that the form is completed accurately and the necessary fees are paid. The completeness of your documentation is vital for avoiding potential delays in processing. After filing the petition, you’ll face a waiting period as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes the application. Be prepared for potential delays and stay updated on your case’s status.

Two primary methods exist for obtaining a parent’s Green Card: consular processing and adjustment of status. Consular processing occurs when the parent is outside the United States, while adjustment of status is for parents already in the U.S. Each method has its advantages and potential drawbacks, so choose the one that best suits your specific situation.

Both parents and sponsors should be prepared for an interview with USCIS. Additionally, parents are required to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician. Adequate preparation and organization can make these processes more manageable.

Upon approval, your parents will be issued a Green Card, officially granting them permanent residency. This status comes with rights and responsibilities, such as the ability to live and work in the U.S. and obligations to follow the country’s laws.

Every immigration case is unique. If your situation involves special circumstances, such as past immigration violations, it’s essential to consult an immigration attorney who can guide you through potential challenges.

Navigating the path to securing a Green Card for your parents is a journey filled with important decisions and complex procedures. This guide should serve as a solid roadmap, but remember, professional legal assistance is invaluable for ensuring the success of your application. Whether you’re just beginning the process or have already started, preparation and guidance are important for a smooth immigration experience.

Additional Resources

To further assist you in your journey, check out these resources from official government websites, which provide up-to-date information and forms:

To schedule a consultation for more information, call (713) 772-2300 or visit

Sofia Fratti of Fong Ilagan, Certified as a Foreign Legal Consultant by the State Bar of Texas

Sofia Fratti of Fong Ilagan, Certified as a Foreign Legal Consultant by the State Bar of Texas

November 18, 2019 (Houston, TX)- The Houston immigration law firm, Fong Ilagan, is proud to announce the certification of Sofia Fratti as a Foreign Legal Consultant by the State Bar of Texas. Sofia recently received her certificate and bar card from the State Bar of Texas making her an official Foreign Legal Consultant (FLC). Sofia joins an exclusive list of less than 75 individuals certified as FLCs in the state of Texas.
Continue reading Sofia Fratti of Fong Ilagan, Certified as a Foreign Legal Consultant by the State Bar of Texas

Attorney Gary Ilagan from Fong • Ilagan continues to find high-caliber speakers on trending business-related topics for the monthly Speaker Series hosted by the Greater Houston Region of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) Texas.

Attorney Gary Ilagan from Fong • Ilagan runs the monthly Speaker Series for the Greater Houston Region of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) Texas. There was a remarkable, record-setting number of attendees at the Hampton Inn & Suites Houston-Westchase for the most recent installment of PACC Texas’ monthly Speaker Series on March 21, 2019, titled “2018 Tax Reform Impact: Top 5 Tax Reform Changes You Should Know for Businesses and Individuals.” The discussion featured members of the Filipino-American Accountants of Texas (FAATX). The following speakers represented FAATX at the last Speaker Series:
Continue reading Attorney Gary Ilagan from Fong • Ilagan continues to find high-caliber speakers on trending business-related topics for the monthly Speaker Series hosted by the Greater Houston Region of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) Texas.

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