Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram


Chris M. Ingram ESQ – Green Cards for Oil and Gas Workers

by Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram on March 3, 2017

Procurement Lead

Procurement Lead

Many foreign Oil and Gas Workers are hired in based on a number of temporary workers visas for example the H-1B visa. The H-1B visa enables a company to hire an alien for up to six years to do any job at the graduate level. What is so attractive about the H-1B is the fact that the employer can hire any alien without having to consider the local work force. So if say BP wants to bring over an engineer familiar with a particular project they can petition for that alien under the H-1B visa program.

The H-1B is also extremely popular in Silicon Valley where many tech companies apply for as many H-1B visas as they can get, as the demand for STEM graduates cannot be sated.  Under the H-1B provisions, there are 65,000 H-1B visas for aliens who earned their either have no advance degree or earned their advanced degrees outside of the US. There are a further 20 H-1B visas reserved for those who earned their masters degree in the US. So we have a total of 85,000 H-1B visas available each year and they are released on April 1st.

Senior Executive, Data Communications Services

Because of the H-1B cap or quotas and the high demand for bringing in in skilled labor from abroad, there are not enough H-1B visas to meet the demand and by April 1 USCIS will receive more than 85,000 applications within a day or days of April 1st. Thus, if on April 1st USCIS receives 200,000 H-1B visas, which is not uncommon in recent years, then USCIS will literally hold a lottery and the lucky winners will get the opportunity to come and work in the US.

Those 115,000 applicants who were unsuccessful will get their USCIS filing fees back but not their lawyer fees. In other words, if a company wants to ensure that they secure at least one worker they have to file at least two-three H-1B petitions hope that they get one through. If the company needs to fill thirty places then they have to file at least 60-90 applications. Again, although these companies will get their filing fees back for their unsuccessful applications, think of the colossal amount of labor, time and resources that have to be poured in you get the results they need.

T and D Constructions Director

Small employers simply do not have the resources to fill 2-3 applications to secure one worker.

Another very popular visa is the L-1A and L-1B Intra-Company Transferee visa. First of all, the good news about the L-1A visa is that there is no annual numerical quota limiting whom a company can transfer. The L-1 visa works on the basis that if you a manager or executive (L-1A) or a specialist (L-1B) you can be transferred you can transfer staff from outside the US to the US for 7 years if you’re an L-1A or 5 years if you’re an L-1A.

It is also interesting to note that an L-1A visa holder can subsequently be sponsored for a green card.  Most oil and gas companies refuse to do so on policy grounds because if they were to sponsor an employee for a green card that employee would no legal obligation to continue working for that company, they’d become a free agent. Later on when the company wants to transfer that employee to another project in another country that employee can choose to simply work for another Oil & Gas company in the US.

Project Controls Manager

Project Controls Manager

From an Oil and Gas company perspective they need to manage their labor force so that key employees can be moved around the globe at will. Many Oil & Gas workers have worked in more than ten countries during the course of their careers. However, these executives, managers and engineers also have families to consider. When their children reach a certain age and find themselves in a country like the US with all of its blessings, it can be extremely difficult to uproot them to a less endowed country, and if they are teenagers, well – good luck with that.

The good news for Oil and Gas workers is that there is way to secure green card status under a little known program called an EB1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability green card.  Basically, if you can demonstrate to USCIS that you have reached the top of your profession (any profession) you can be granted, upon petition, your own green card. In other words, you do not need to be sponsored by your Company you can apply for this on your own and secure green card status for you, your spouse and children under 21.

Manager – Analytical, Manager

Manager – Analytical, Manager

Congress by law and USCIS by implementation have devised a series of qualifications applicants can align themselves to and if they can satisfy just three from a list of these 10 core categories or one major category then they have a good chance of securing their EB1 green card.  The ten core categories are as follows: –

(i) National Award – Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor; [More Info]

(ii) Invited Membership – Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields; [More Info]

(iii) Published Material About You – Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation; [More Info]

(iv) Judging – Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought; [More Info]

(v) Innovation – Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field; [More Info]

(vi) Scholarly Articles – Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media; [More Info]

(vii) Exhibitions or Showcases – Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases; [More Info]

(viii) Leading /Critical Role – Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation; [More Info]

(ix) High Salary – Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or [More Info]

(x) Commercial Success – Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales. [More Info]

Sr. VP - Shore Based Facility

Sr. VP – Shore Based Facility

Many clients can easily satisfy three categories while others will have to work on developing opportunities and we can certainly help them with that.  Most of Oil and Gas clients can satisfy the Leading / Critical role category very easily. If you earn more than $187,200 per year and many Oil and Gas Executives, Managers and Engineers do then you can check that category as being satisfied. So now you have two categories under your belt and then you just need to find s third. Take your pick. Some of our clients Judge the work of professionals in some capacity or other, while some had various articles printed in Oil and Gas journals, while others are recognized as innovators in their field.

Manager, Organizational Development

Manager, Organizational Development

If you work at a senior level in the Oil and Gas field and would like to settle in the US, then you are probably an excellent candidate for an EB1 green card. Give a call on 760 754 7000 asap so we can provide you with a free consultation and make this happen for you.

Call Today!!!!!!! We Can Help.

How Do We Get the Ball Rolling?

We offer free telephone consultations, or you can simply submit your C.V. / Résumé for review. Once we have identified the most promising categories and feel that you can meet them, you can hire us to begin work on your case. So, depending on your time zone, please give us call and complete our inquiry form. Cheers for now!

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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