Essential Workers & Managers For Treaty Visa Companies

Another category of E visa is available for those workers and managers who are deemed to be “essential personnel.” If you have questions about whether you qualify for the E visa for essential personnel, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. Our lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience.

What does “essential personnel” mean?

Immigration law provides for several factors that are used to establish that a foreign national worker is considered to be essential personnel. These factors determine whether a person has essential skills or provides essential services:

  • The person must be essential to the company's operations in the United States, and not merely a person with ordinary skills
  • The person must possess some proven expertise in the area of specialization, unique specific skills, or lengthy training or experience with the company
  • The amount of training that is necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the position, and the wage paid for this position, must correspond with the level of expertise

According to the Foreign Affairs Manual, a consular officer will weigh several factors such as the following:

  • The level of proven expertise possessed by a person in the specialized area
  • Whether the person's specific skills are unique
  • The function of the position that the person will fill
  • The level of salary commanded by such special expertise

Consular officers will look at the level of necessary training to carry out the responsibilities of the position and the level of training and experience with the company.

What if I only have ordinary skills?

The start-up of business operations is an exception to the rule, and workers with ordinary skills may qualify. Skilled workers will be considered as essential employees in a situation where workers are needed for startup operations or for training reasons. These ordinarily skilled workers are essential because of their familiarity with the operations overseas, not because of their skill level. These positions will usually be for short term need, such as one or two years.

What about labor certification?

Although a labor certification is not required for the E visa, consular officers will look at the state of the US labor market and make a determination whether there is a need for the E visa position if it seems that US workers are available to perform the job.

Am I required to have a college degree?

Although the law does not require a degree for the E visa, consular officers will evaluate a degree in order to ascertain the person’s qualifications for the position by determining whether the position is related to the occupation in question. Younger workers may be required to show substantial proof that they have knowledge essential for the position. If you are interested in pursuing an E visa, or have other questions or concerns about immigration law, call the immigration attorneys or contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA for consultation with an attorney at an office nearest to you.

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