US Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visa Options for Computer Professionals, Scientists, Programmers and Engineers: PERM Labor Certification/Permanent Residency Application
Non-Immigration Visas For Computer Professionals and Engineers
Computer professionals, programmers and engineers typically use the H-1B visa option for most employment. While this H-1B classification requires at least a bachelor’s degree, those without one may apply and apply a combination of education and experience to satisfy the degree requirement. Those professionals that are citizens of Canada or Mexico may also pursue the TN visa option. The H-1B visa is preferred however, because the TN visa does not permit dual intent based on which applicants are permitted purse a green card while holding a non-immigrant visa. As such, most computer processionals who enter with the TN visa status seek a change to the H-1B visa status prior to applying for PERM labor certification or permanent residency. The advantage of the TN application is that they are not subject to the H-1B visa caps.
For citizens of Australia, the E-3 non immigrant visa is available and a good option for those who qualify under the H-1B visa standards. Qualified candidates are also able to avoid the H-1B visa cap by using the E-3 classification The O-1 visa is also an option for those highly qualified applicants who are able to demonstrate the stringent requirements for this visa status.
Green Card/Immigrant Visas for Computer Professionals, Programmers and Engineers
Most positions in this field qualify for permanent residency through the EB-3 category. Those candidates with an advanced degree or significant work experience may seek the EB-2 classification so long as the position requires an advanced degree or significant work experience. Applicants under the EB-2 and EB-3 classification typically require a job offer and an approved PERM labor certification. In some instances, the labor certification requirement is waived if the applicant can obtain a national interest waiver by demonstrating that his or her work is in the national interest.