Business visas vs. work permits for expat workers

America is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. If the company you work for needs you to go to the United States for work, you may be excited because you will get to see one of the most diverse countries in the world free of charge. However, no employer can send an employee to work in America without getting the proper paperwork first.

If a business wants an employee to work in America and that employee is not a citizen or a green card holder, they will need either work visa or permits, and knowing which kind to get is very important.

work permits US citizenship and immigrationGenerally speaking, a work visa is used for short assignments and a work permit is for more involved work that will take a long time to accomplish. However, there are several things that factor into the type of documentation that a company should get.

The Department of Labor constantly probes new ways to make sure that visas and work permits are being used ethically and in accordance with the law. Companies have been known to try to use such permits to get around America’s strict immigration laws.

If a company acts in an unscrupulous manner by falsifying paperwork or knowingly uses the wrong kind of permit or visa, they may face fines and penalties. A business may have a corporate tax liability in such a case.

A company could also lose their rights to practice business in this country for using a visa or work permit incorrectly. The workers in question may face questioning if their company does not follow the proper protocol.

Business visas

If a foreign company sends an employee on an ordinary business trip to America, it will generally only last a week or two; a business Visa will suffice for such a trip. If a company is merely investigating options in various markets across the globe, they can also use a business visa.

The trouble with business visas is that they cannot limit a traveler to attending meetings and conferences in various training seminars. You may be able to negotiate contracts and gain information for a sales plan. You can have meetings with fenders and go over general projections if you have a business visa.

You will generally not be able to manage a corporation or even a department of a corporation on a regular business visa. One is usually not permitted to stay in the country for over a month with a work permit.

It is never a bad idea for human resource employees to familiarize themselves with visa laws in their own countries and in the countries in which they seek visas. They may want to take a Visa class or speak with an immigration attorney. Click here for details.

Work permits

Work permits are issued to employees who have an expatriate status. They allow employees with such a status to do important work. People who have work permits can implement changes and manage departments. They can also perform work that directly generates a profit.

In addition to allowing for a longer stay, work permits allow a business person to install and troubleshoot computer systems, fill in for permanent workers on a temporary basis, and work as an on-site supervisor.

Before you apply for a work permit you should know that they cost more than business visas and a worker may be subject to paying taxes in the country where they work.

How can you get a work permit?

Work permits are issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you get one, you will be issued a photo ID card. They are formally referred to as Employment Authorization Documents or EADs.

If you want to get a work permit, you must apply at the USIS. website. There are different types of categories of work permits. Knowing into which category you fall, will save you time in the long run.