If Your Business Seeks Visas for Professionals from Europe to Work in the US, Check Out the VIE Program

I attended a great event by Business France that could provide an alternative to an H-1B for many employers.

The VIE program is a way to hire a European professional on a J-1 “visitor exchange” visa for up to 24 months. Managed by Business France, this program offers an excellent way to get visas to work in the US, especially considering the limited number of H-1B visas that are granted.

Program Participants are Highly Educated Professionals

Over 90% of participants in the VIE program have a master’s degree.  They include engineers, sales professionals, technicians, IT personnel, administrative personnel, and management consultants.  Since 2001 over 100,000 professionals have participated in the program.

Program Duration of Two Years

Upon conclusion of their J-1 program, participants must return to Europe for at least 90 days, though the program has frequently had participants return to the U.S. in L-1 status or another status. 

Program Requirements

To participate in the program, U.S. businesses must have an office in France for at least one year with at least three employees.

 Many Companies in the Pacific Northwest May Benefit

Between the aerospace industry, biotech industry, and others, there are many French-related businesses in the Pacific Northwest that may benefit from the program.  There are also many U.S. businesses who may benefit from such a relationship with France and thereby open themselves to the pool of European (not only French) professionals who could work with them through this program, or through a direct L-1 or other visa status.  The program is a good option to get around the uncertainty of the 700,000-plus registrations for 85,000 available H-1b’s per year.

Learn More

Contact me, and I’ll be happy to talk with you and/or put you in contact with Business France.