June 22, 2020 update: President Trump temporarily suspended several new work visas, including H-1B visas. Read the New York Times article.
As a world-famous entertainment capital located in the middle of a desert, Las Vegas attracts a diverse international workforce including chefs, performance artists, and solar scientists. In order for foreign talent to immigrate to the U.S., they need to secure employment-based visas.
Each year, there are approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas that are accessible to qualified applicants in the U.S. These visas are separated into the following five different preference categories:
(Click on a category to go directly to that article.)
- EB-1 visas in Nevada for priority workers: This category includes foreigners with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers or executives.
- EB-2 visas in Nevada for professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability: This group includes those foreigners who hold advanced degrees or who have exceptional abilities in the area of sciences, arts, or business.
- EB-3 visas in Nevada for skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers: This category includes those who have a minimum of two years of training or experience, professionals with college degrees, or others who perform unskilled labor that is neither temporary nor seasonal.
- EB-4 visas in Nevada for certain special immigrants: This group includes religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, translators, and former U.S. government employees.
- EB-5 visas in Nevada for immigrant investors: This group includes foreigners who will invest $900,000 in a job-creating enterprise that will employ a minimum of ten U.S. workers.
The application process for employment-based visas in Nevada
In Nevada, employment-based immigrant visas have both limited and static numerical caps. Prior to an employer’s petition, the employer must typically obtain proper Nevada labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) that there are no U.S. workers who are willing, available, and qualified to fill this specific position.
As regards to wage, the Nevada employer must also show that there is no available U.S. worker who would fill the position at a wage that is equal to or greater than the prevailing wage that is typically offered for that occupation in the designated geographic region. The DOL employs this procedure in order to show that the admission and hiring of foreign workers will not negatively affect job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of U.S. workers.
After the Nevada employer has received the DOL labor certification, the employer must then file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to determine the appropriate preference category for the worker. If the alien worker fits within the first preference category, he may file his own petition.
After USCIS has reviewed and approved the application, it gets forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. At this point, the petition will be assigned a case number that will be referenced throughout the rest of the application process. Once the priority and qualifying dates associated with the applicant have been satisfied, the NVC will request the completed Form DS-261 from the applicant. Then, after appropriate fees have been paid, the applicant will provide the NVC with the required immigrant visa documents to come to Nevada.
Petitions are considered on a case-by-case basis and therefore cannot be guaranteed to be completely processed within a given time frame. However, If the individual’s petition is approved, that individual’s spouse and children may apply for immigrant visas along with the alien worker. To be considered a child under U.S. immigration law, the foreigner must be unmarried and younger than 21 years of age. Note that in some circumstances, the Child Status Protection Act may allow children with pending visas to stay in the U.S. even if they turn 21 while the visa is pending.
Looking for a Nevada immigration law attorney? Call us …
Looking to immigrate to Nevada on an employment-based visa? Contact our Las Vegas immigration law attorneys today for a consultation to discuss your options and how we can help you achieve your U.S. immigration dreams.