Are you an employer that is planning on sponsoring your employee in any country and you do not know how to go about it and what to expect? Here are 5 facts about sponsoring a visa for an employee in the US that can prove helpful to you. In as much as this borders on the 5 facts about sponsoring a visa for an employee in the US, one still needs to understand what a visa is.

At a glance: Visa Sponsorship is a set of documents that states and guarantees working status and job profile within the country you are applying for. This process is called Visa Sponsorship, where the company agrees to sponsor you and submit documents to the USCIS accordingly.

What is a Visa

A visa is a document given to a foreign national who intends to visit another country to be granted entry into the country. There are different types of visas namely;

  • Tourist visa,
  • Immigration visa,
  • Student visa, and;
  • Work visa.

Visa Sponsorship

Visa Sponsorship is a set of documents that states and guarantees working status and job profile within the United States. Ideally, if you are looking to relocate to the US, you would need to find a job, and the employer, in turn, has to be willing to hire a non-resident employee for the particular job profile.

In other words, the employer would be aware of the fact that you are not a Legal Permanent Resident or a US citizen. In effect, they would have to guarantee to the US Visa department that you are about to be a legal working resident with a certain threshold salary. This process is called Visa Sponsorship, where the company agrees to sponsor you and submit documents to the USCIS accordingly.

Read Also: Employer Sponsorship for a Temporary US Work Visa

5 Facts About Sponsoring A Visa For An Employee in the US

When you are thinking of sponsoring an employee there are factors to consider and understand before getting into the sponsorship deal.

Who Can Sponsor a Visa?

First and foremost is identifying who can sponsor a visa. This is a really vital point because you are only allowed to sponsor when all your documents are complete and you are eligible to sponsor. For instance, the company would be expected first to make a job posting for the position with relevant documents submitted to the Department of Labor.

If no suitable response comes in for the job post, the organization can then agree that no American citizen was equipped to be hired for the position. This justifies their stance of hiring a foreign citizen and sponsoring their Visa. Thus, an organization can sponsor a Visa for you only if they have a suitable opening within the company and can justify why hiring a foreign national becomes imperative here.

How Much Does It Cost to Sponsor a Visa?

In general, a visa sponsorship costs approximately $4000 but may cost $8-9,000 if a company has more than fifty employees and 50% of those employees are foreign nationals. Most of the cost of the Visa sponsorship is covered by the employer making the job offer. It is a costly affair, and some of the general expenses include:

  • Form I-129 $460;
  • Form I-140 $700;
  • American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 charges $750-$1500;
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee $500;
  • For employers with more than 50 employees, with half of them being foreign nationals $4000-$4500.
How Long Is A Visa Sponsorship Valid?

The validity of the Visa Sponsorship depends on the type of Visa you are working with. For instance, if you opt for an Immigrant Visa, it is a permanent solution. On the other hand, if you choose a Nonimmigrant Visa, the Sponsorship is usually valid for the specific job you are applying for. In this case, the employer would need to file for an extension if they still require your services. The process is relatively simple, and it does not take a lot of time.

If you have a non-immigrant visa, it would be valid for one year or three years, depending on the type of Visa. On the other hand,  if you opt for an Immigrant Visa, it is a permanent solution. This effectively means you are a Green Card holder with a validity of 10 years, followed by unlimited extensions. You can also apply for permanent citizenship after five years of your stay in the United States.

How to Sponsor an Immigrant For Work

To sponsor an immigrant for work in the U.S., there are a number of steps required:

  1. Ensure the position qualifies as a specialty occupation
  2. Determine the rate of pay for the position
  3. Notify the U.S. workforce
  4. Submit a Labor Condition Application to the DOL for certification
  5. Register with the USCIS for the annual H-1B Lottery
  6. Await the Lottery selection results
  7. Submit a completed Form I-129 to USCIS
  8. Instruct your prospective worker to apply for a visa or admission

Read Also: How Do I Find a Sponsor for a Work Visa in the US?

Visa Sponsorship Letters

As earlier stated, visa sponsorship is a set of documents that are submitted by the employer sponsoring the Visa to the US Government. When they open up a job post and look for applications in that sphere from foreign nationals, they exhibit their willingness to hire somebody from outside the country.

This document contains several forms and other files that relate to the employee’s recruitment details and justify the company’s need to hire a non-US citizen. These documents also include statements where the company ensures that they are willingly going through this recruitment. This set of documents is called the Visa Sponsorship Letters.

How To Get A Sponsorship Letter?

Getting a sponsorship letter is a long and detailed process. More often than not, the employer hires a lawyer to take care of the process. Documentation and justification should be accurate. Here are some of the steps followed:

  • The first step requires the employee to get an offer from a US employer. This also includes the contract that goes into the sponsorship documents.
  •  For a non-immigrant Visa, a Labor Certification has to be produced to the Department of Labor, stating that the employer could not find a suitable potential employee within the country.
  • The petition, along with the documents, is submitted to the USCIS. This set of documentation includes contracts, itineraries, qualifications of the individual, and the like.
  • With the submission of all the necessary documents, the USCIS processes the Visa sponsorship application. This takes some time, depending upon the total number of pending cases with the USCIS. Sometimes, it takes months for the application to be processed.
  • If the application is approved and the report is positive, both the employer and employee will be informed about the same. At this point in time, the employee can start the actual Visa application process in their home country, with the US Embassy.
  • In the situation that the application is rejected, again, the employer and employee are informed accordingly. This also includes the reason for the rejection, which could be the lack of employee qualification or inadequate documentation.

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