Employment Based Immigration in Detail

Temporary Employment vs. Permanent Employment

In the United States, foreign workers with skills that benefit the economy are allowed to obtain employment opportunities temporarily or permanently. There are many ways that foreign works can obtain employment-based benefits; however, there are several requirements that must be fulfilled in order for a foreign national to be allowed entry into the United States with an employment visa.

There are two categories of employment-based immigration opportunities, which are temporary employment or permanent employment. In this article, you will learn about each of these opportunities in great detail.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding anything immigration-related, feel free to contact us to speak to a knowledgeable and skilled immigration attorney Pasadena that can get you the legal help you need. Our team specializes in all immigration law and we understand how stressful it can be for foreign nationals to deal with these issues. It is best that you have an attorney on your side to help you with the required documents and all other legalities, so you are able to get the assistance you need during this process.

Temporary Employment

Temporary employment is for those who are offered a job for a specific amount of time. U.S. employers are permitted to hire and petition for foreign workers; however, the foreign works are only allowed to work for the employer who petitioned for them. In many cases, the foreign worker is not allowed to look for another employer. Once their temporary employment opportunity ends, they must leave the U.S.

What Are the Temporary Employment-Based Visa Classifications?

There are a total of five different temporary employment-based visa classifications:


The H-1B visa is available for workers who have a “specialty occupation,” and these visas are for foreign professionals who have acquired a master’s or a higher degree in the United States. This visa allows foreign professionals to be in the U.S. for three years; however, it can be extended for up to six years. It is important to know that the foreign worker who has a H-1B visa is allowed to bring their spouse and children who are under 21 years old, but keep in mind that the spouse and children must apply for an H-4 visa. Depending on the case, the spouse may be able to even work in the U.S. too during that period of time.


The H-2A visa is available for agricultural workers and there is not an annual limit for this visa.; however, the amount of time must be approved and it must be renewed one year at a time. In order for a foreign worker to acquire this visa, the U.S. employer must declare that there are not any American workers that can fulfill this position otherwise. The spouses and children of the H-2A visa holder may come to the U.S., but the spouse is not allowed to work.


The H-2B visa is available for seasonal workers that are not in the agricultural industry. The initial agreement is only one year; however, it can be renewed annually for up to three years. Foreign workers with the H-2B visa are allowed to bring their spouse and children; however, they are not allowed to seek employment.

L-1A AND L-1B:

The L-1A and L-1B visas are available for foreign workers who are employed by specific companies abroad that are related to employers in the U.S. These types of visas do not have an annual limit. The initial duration for these visas is three years. The L-1A visa worker may get an extension for up to seven years and the L-1B visa worker may get an extension for up to five years.

Permanent Employment

Foreign workers can obtain lawful permanent resident status, which allows them to live and work in the U.S. permanently. Permanent employment workers are allowed to seek employment for almost all jobs and can also remain in the U.S. even if they are not employed. If the immigrant obtained their permanent resident status through employment, then he or she has to wait five years in order to apply for U.S. citizenship.

In order for foreign workers to obtain permanent employment status, they must follow these steps:

  1. The employer who is petitioning on behalf of the foreign worker must obtain a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor and the employer must prove that there are no American workers that are qualified, available or willing to fill the particular position.
  2. The employer must submit the petition to the USCIS; however, in some cases, the foreign national may be allowed to petition for himself or herself.
  3. If the foreign worker has a temporary visa, then he or she is allowed to get an adjustment of status to be a permanent resident once the petition from the employer has been approved.

Contact an Employment Immigration Lawyer

If you are interested in learning more about these types of visas, you should seek legal advice and help from an employment immigration attorney. At Alami Law, we are extremely knowledgeable in immigration law and we can get you the help you need. Feel free to contact us today to speak to an employment immigration lawyer.

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