Foreign nationals who are working for companies in Georgia and other states on temporary work visas may be allowed to extend their stays. An employer must file Form I-539 before the worker’s visa expires, and the employer must be certify that the worker meets various criteria to remain in the country for an extended period of time. For example, the employee’s passport must be valid when the application is filed and will remain valid while he or she remains in the country.
An employer might also need to file Form I-129 and attach documents proving that an employee is eligible to remain in the country as a nonimmigrant worker. If a request for an extension is granted, that worker’s family members may also be allowed to stay in the United States. Typically, an employee’s spouse and children under the age of 21 are eligible to receive nonimmigrant status if they meet eligibility criteria.
It is important to note that some groups of people will not be allowed to extend their stays even if an employer wants them to continue in their current roles. For instance, someone acting as an informant or is in transit through the United States would generally not qualify. The same is true for those who are in transit through the U.S. without a visa (TWOV).
The use of employment immigration visas can make it easier for both workers and companies to meet their goals. Those who are considering coming to the United States to work may want to consult with an attorney. An lawyer could help a client learn more about the types of available visas. Legal counsel may also guide a foreign national through the application process.