Professionals who will be working in a job that requires the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree can enter the United States in H-1B status.  The worker must be an employee and not an owner of the company. H status is generally valid for an initial term of three (3) years and can be extended for an additional three (3) years. After that, additional extensions are possible with a pending case for legal permanent residency. Professionals – The worker may change employers while maintain this status. This status allows the U.S. Company to hire the foreign national relatively quickly.

The Blandon Law team works with the employer, the foreigner, and the employer’s consultants – including accountants, attorneys, and human resources staff – during the entire process.  This requires constant coordination because separate steps of the H-1B application process must be approved by three government agencies: the Department of Labor, the Citizenship and Immigration Service and the Department of State.

Visas are also available for professionals from specific countries:  the H-3 for Australian nationals and the TN for citizens of Mexico and Canada.

Outstanding Ability Workers

Foreign workers with extraordinary ability in science, education, business and athletics may enter with O status.  Importantly, this visa is for those who are nothing short of famous in the field of arts; or who have accomplished an extraordinary achievement in the film or television industry.

The “arts” can include many creative activities, like culinary art. The initial period for this temporary work visa is usually the time period needed to complete the work, project or performance that the foreign national was admitted for. This period could be up to three (3) years. Also, one (1) year extensions are available as needed to ensure completion of the activities.


Foreigners can study in the United States at either academic (F-1) or vocational (M-1) programs.  The case begins with receiving formal acceptance from the school on Form I-20.  Similarly, exchange students (J-1) must be accepted in a program designated as appropriate by the Department of State.

Students can work with established programs such as Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training.  In addition, some students may work if they can demonstrate that the conditions in their country have deteriorated so that they should be allowed to work on humanitarian grounds.  The Blandon Law team works with students seeking work permits, change of status, and visas.