Recent reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducting unannounced visits to employers’ facilities, inquiring about the employment eligibility of non-citizens, has many businesses scrambling. Some have even reported ICE asking whether or not they are legally able to offer visa sponsorship to US citizens.
Many companies need to know the answer to this question in order to remain compliant with federal regulations. Employers that are unable to confirm employee legal status may be fined or terminated from doing business with the government at large.
It is important for employers to be aware of what documents must exist proving an individual’s lawful work authorization before hiring them. In fact, most employers are required by law to verify job qualifications within three days of being hired!
If you are reading these pages now then it is likely that you don’t have enough proof of your employees’ legitimacy. Luckily, we are offering some helpful tips here so that you can make sure everything is in place and you are ready should something like this arise.
The U.S. Department of State offers several types of non-immigrant visas, including work, tourist, student and business travel VISA WAIVERS. Applicants who do not need a visa waiver are typically traveling for personal or humanitarian reasons. These individuals should consider applying for a normal B1/B2 visitor visa instead to reduce time spent at the airport.
The Work Travel Visa (TWV) is one such visa type that requires only a few minutes to process. Employees of an accredited organization in the United States may apply for this visa if they will be travelling for more than 30 days. Because there is no formal interview required, most people refer to it as a “no visa” entry into the country.
This article will discuss other visa options for travelers.
A visa waiver is an authorization to enter or remain in the United States for a limited period of time. This can be as little as one week, up to one year! Almost every country grants this type of visa-free entry to travelers from the US.
Some countries require you have a passport that is at least six months old and no visas within the past twelve months before granting access. Others may ask you about your final destination, how long you will stay, and if you will work while in the U.S.
The process varies by nation, but most involve you signing some paperwork, being interviewed by officials, and paying a small fee. You are always free to leave at any time during your visit.
If you are traveling for less than 90 days, you do not require a visa to enter the United States as a visitor. You must still meet these two conditions, though: you must have proof of sufficient funds to support yourself while in America and you must have proof of a return flight or other means of returning home after your visit.
If both of those things are present then you do not need a visa! A tourist visa is only needed when staying longer than ninety days. (This includes any additional time spent visiting sites and/or doing activities outside of sightseeing.
As mentioned earlier, to be granted a visa waiver you must meet three of these qualifications. You do not need to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your stay in Canada. You do not need to live within 30 km of an international airport, and lastly you cannot enter Canada within one year of being denied entry into Schengen countries like France or The Netherlands.
If any of these apply to you then you do not qualify for the visa waiver! This could potentially mean longer waiting times as employers take their time to verify your information before processing your employment.
The US government does not offer visa free travel to most countries unless you are coming for very specific reasons. They determine this information through two main sources: 1) Direct inquiry of individuals or agencies in foreign lands, and 2) Analysis of public records that indicate whether your country is a safe place or not.
In addition to these rules, the United States also requires you to have proof that you will spend money while you’re there. This includes requiring adequate funds to return home, as well as ensuring you have enough to live on during your stay outside of traveling.
Business travelers are sometimes exempted from this rule, but only if they plan to return within 90 days and can prove their investment. More than 90 day vacations are treated similarly to tourists who must prove they have sufficient funding for returning home.
When visiting Israel as a tourist, for example, you do not need a visa. What about when you add “I want to visit Tel Aviv” to your list? You still need to prove you have enough money for returning home, but no formal visa is required!??????
It is important to remember that even though you do not require a visa for a short trip, it does not mean you will be able to remain in the country longer than planned without one. Even with a visa waiver, you will still need to arrange appropriate departure transportation and returns back home.
You do not need to have a visa for a personal visit to the United States if you meet one of these conditions:
You are an immediate family member of the US citizen applying for a visa at that location
The applicant is traveling for less than 30 days
You will accompany the traveler as a close relative or friend
This does not include spouses, children, or other relatives who typically go along with someone seeking entry into the U.S. as a visitor.
If you fall under any of these three categories, you can still be granted a visa waiver by contacting a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before your trip. However, it’s better to be prepared ahead of time to avoid wasted time and effort!
That way you won’t waste time waiting for approval and finding out there was something wrong with your documents.
As mentioned earlier, there is an application fee for applying through VEVUE. This can range from $60 to $100 depending upon where you apply and your location.
There is also an additional cost to be aware of if you need legal assistance after your visa interview. Many employers require their new hires to have work authorization as well as a job offer before they will sponsor them for a visa. If this is the case for you then you will likely need representation at your visa interview.
Employers typically pay for these services out-of-pocket which can add up very quickly!
We recommend that even if you do not need professional help ahead of time, it is better to overprepare than underpreparation. This way you will know what to expect and can more confidently address any potential issues that may arise.
It is also important to remember that just because someone else has done something before does not mean it is the best approach for you or you would like to try. There are many different strategies that work in different situations so don’t feel like you have to follow what others have unless you want to risk hurting your chances of getting approved for immigration.
As mentioned before, most national governments require that visiting their country includes at least two weeks of continuous time in the country. If you are not sure if your visit is considered long enough to meet this requirement, then it is our suggestion to be as honest with yourself and the embassy as possible by looking up how long a stay should last for on their website or through talk to friends and family back home.
If you do find that you will not have enough time during your trip, you can apply online to obtain a visa waiver! This way you do not need to worry about buying expensive plane tickets or finding accommodation while away from home because everything has been taken care of for you.
Many countries offer visa free visits for tourists who spend at least two weeks in the country, so why not take full advantage of these opportunities? Not only does this save money, but it also helps the local economy and society. Many people gain employment due to being able to travel for business or research purposes.