J-1 integral part of a Global Migration Strategy?

I have talked to several attorneys recently about their clients’ Global Migration Strategy. Not surprisingly,  many companies utilize B, H and L visas. However, few have identified a good visa option for cases where their clients need to host overseas employees for training purposes. As more and more companies expand their international presence through acquisitions, JVs or other alliances, they need assurance that overseas affiliates deploy the company’s U.S. methodologies and best-practices on a standardized platform. So we discussed the potential role of the J-1 visa as part of a comprehensive migration strategy.  Here is how the J-1 visa would potentially fit in an existing “B, H and L” strategy:

B-1 visa:   if a U.S. business wants to invite a foreign national to visit with them for the purpose of consulting with business associates, to attend a convention or a conference or negotiate contracts, then the business visitor visa (B-1) would be the appropriate option. The B-1 visa is usually issued for a short period of time.

J-1 visa:  if a U.S. business has a need to train overseas employees at their U.S. facility, then the J-1 visa may be an appropriate option. The primary objective of the J-1 visa program is to enhance the skills and expertise of exchange visitors in their academic or occupational fields through participation in structured and guided work-based training and internship programs and to improve participants’ knowledge of American techniques, methodologies, and technology. These program also intends to increase participants’ understanding of American culture and society and to enhance Americans’ knowledge of foreign cultures and skills through an open interchange of ideas between participants and their American associates. The J-1 visa allows the FN to apply for a social security number and receive compensation from the host organization; it is valid for 3 weeks to 18 months.

H-1 visa: allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, defined as “an occupation requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor” and requiring the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

L-1 visa: if a U.S. employer needs to transfer an executive, manager and specialized worker from an overseas affiliate (the U.S. company must be a parent, child or sister organization), then the L1 may be appropriate. The foreign worker must have worked at the overseas affiliate for at least one year.

Have your clients included the J-1 visa in their global migration strategy?

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