U.S. visa processing is growing in complexity, with many new U.S. operations of Irish/NI parent struggling to qualify for classification to sponsor qualified professionals for work authorization in the U.S . New U.S affiliates usually do not qualify to sponsor foreign nationals for work authorization until they are fully established, with a lease for offices, investment, and in many cases U.S. personnel on payroll.
If a U.S. affiliate of an Irish/NI parent is not qualified to sponsor key personnel for work authorization, professionals may often qualify for a temporary professional visitor visa to travel to the US . B-1 visas and/ or B-1 in lieu of H-1 visas are alive and well at most European posts (including Dublin and Belfast) when a visitor can show that he or she is traveling to the U.S. for purposes of investing in a U.S. business, or engaging in professional services related to their employment outside the U.S. and their area of their expertise, provided they have earned a Bachelor’s degree equivalency. For example, an employee of an Irish/NI parent company may qualify for a B-1 visa to travel to the U.S. for up to 6 months in one stay to set up corporate operations. An IT professional may qualify for a B-1 in lieu of H-1 visa for purposes of setting up critical IT systems in the US to support operations.
Documentation reflecting qualification is required, as is a prepared applicant. My partner, Teri Simmons (who wrote most of this post) is an expert in U.S. business immigration law and has advised many Irish/NI businesses on these issues. Reach out to her or me if you have any questions or need guidance.