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Alternatives to the H-1B Visa: Bloomberg Study

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5 Copyright©2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. approved for their visa within hours or days, not months. Having a Blanket L gives companies the ability to make short-notice transfers – unheard of with most other visas. Blanket L makes an otherwise complicated process relatively seamless, especially as the USCIS continues to increase scrutiny on L-1A visa employers. For those organizations that don't qualify for the Blanket L visa, premium processing is still available, which will also help to cut down on excessive processing time. L-1B Visa The L-1B visa is intended for individuals with specialized knowledge that is above and beyond what is typical for the field. This can be work on proprietary technology and patents, if only a few people within the organization have the skills and ability to do what the individual does, or trainings or certifications that are not common in the industry. L-1B visas are dual intent, like the L-1As, and can use the Blanket L approval if available. O-1 Visa The O-1 visa is for people who have risen to the very top of their field and are well known nationally or internationally. These are people who possess extraordinary abilities in athletics, arts, education, sciences, or business. A person filing for an O-1 visa should have some proof of distinction in his or her field – for example, a difficult-to-achieve award or significant original contributions to the field. He or she must also be able to show the intent to leave the U.S. after the period of stay has concluded. Though not a traditional "dual intent" visa, the filing of an I- 140 immigrant petition will not prohibit the individual from obtaining an O-1 visa. The initial period of stay is three years. After that, the visa can be renewed in one year increments, with no max out number. There is no cap on the number of O-1 visas awarded in a year, and eligibility is decided on a case-by-case basis. Some technology companies are starting to see the value of the O-1 visa to bring in rock-star engineers. E-2 Treaty Investor The E-2 treaty investor visa is ideal for individual investors and essential employees of investment corporations from treaty countries. This visa is open to qualified companies from all treaty countries with the U.S. Once awarded this visa, individuals will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years with no limit on renewals. Work authorization for spouses is available for the E-2 treaty investor visa, creating a significant added benefit for employers looking to attract global talent. The visa does not allow for dual intent, however, which makes it less of a draw for talent looking for permanent residency in the U.S.

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