How Can I Legally Work in the United States in 2021?

By Sierra March 17, 2021 4 min. read
us workers

Thousands of individuals seek immigration to the United States to explore great opportunities and create a better life for themselves and often times their family as well! Whether you come with valuable experience, extraordinary skills, or sufficient funds to invest or start a business, there is an option for you! Foreigners are always looking for ways to work in the United States but working in the US illegally can severely hurt your chances to stay in the US in the future. It can be more complicated to restore legal status if you work illegally. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, let us explore 5 ways that you can work in the United States legally!

Learn more about working in the US!

1. Get a Job Offer

When immigrating to the US to work, you will need to successfully obtain a job offer from a qualifying US employer who will then be filing a petition on the behalf of you, their employee! Some of the visa categories available for applications that you will need a job offer for include:

H-1B Visa

An H-1B visa is the most popular US work permit that allows foreigners to work “specialty occupations” for US employers. This means that your employment in the United States cannot be for just any type of work, the work performed must involve a high level of skill such as in a professional occupation.

TN Visa

If you are Canadian or Mexican with a job offer in the US, you may be eligible for a TN Visa under the USMCA (NAFTA) agreement. This application process is the fastest way to get a US Work Visa.

L1 Visa

If you are being transferred to an existing US business, the L-1 visa is most likely the best type of US work visa for you. L-1 visas are available to employees working for companies outside the United States such as in Canada that have branches, subsidiaries, affiliates, or joint venture partners in the United States.

E3 Visa

The E-3 visa is a US immigration option that gives eligible Australian nationals the chance to work in the US within their specialty occupation. The visa was created by an Act of the United States Congress as a result of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), although it is not formally a part of the AUSFTA.

2. Start a US Business

There are a few visa category options available for those with sufficient funds available to those wanting to start a US business.

E2 Visa

E-2 visas are designed for owners and investors in businesses in the United States. The E-2 visa is a temporary US work visa that may be granted for “substantial” investments in the US which must meet several requirements in order to qualify.

E1 Visa

The E-1 visa, also known as the Treaty Trade visa is a nonimmigrant visa for citizens of countries that the US has a treaty of commerce with. While not all countries are eligible, business owners and investors from those that are may qualify if they meet several criteria. 

L1 Visa

We mentioned the L-1 visa earlier in this article as a great option for those seeking to work in the US if they are being transferred abroad to a US employer. The L-1 visa also allows an individual to expand their business to the US!

3. Holding Extraordinary Ability Skills

O1 Visa

The temporary O-1 visa is intended for people who possess extraordinary skills in arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics, or who have a solid track record of extraordinary performance in the motion picture and television industry and have been identified and acknowledged domestically and internationally for their excellence.

4. Studying the the US

OPT or CPT

OPT (Optional Practical Training) and CPT (Curricular Practical Training) are the two types of temporary employment opportunities available to non-immigrant student visa holders. In most cases, the US government considers internships and employment for students on F-1 visas practical training. 

5. Religious Workers

R1 Visa

The R-1 visa is a nonimmigrant that is designed to help eligible religious workers to work within the US for a religious organization. The religious organization must be registered as a nonprofit in the US, linked to a US religious denomination or a religious group with a tax exemption.

Interested in Working in the United States?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-888-317-5770.

Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?

Fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.