Living abroad but interested a US Work Visa?
To work in the United States, you must obtain a work visa to be employed in the country legally. There are several different types of work visas available for foreigners who are interested in working in the United States. There are a few categories that these permits are listed under such as, temporary work visas, exchange worker visas, and seasonal work visas.
Many times it depends on what type of occupation you will perform in America that decides which valid visa is best for you. Some other factors that effect which visa is best for you can include whether you have a relationship with an employer, how long you'll be employed in the United States, and what degree of skill it takes to perform the job.
Why a U.S. Work Visa is Necessary
Working in the U.S. is a sought-after goal for people from across the globe. In most cases, foreign nationals wishing to work in the United States will be required to apply for a U.S. work visa. There are many U.S. work visas available, and applicants must determine which ones they are eligible, and how to apply correctly and prepare documentation.
Which U.S. Work Visa is Right For You?
Any foreign national can apply for a U.S. work visa. Depending on the kind of work, there are a number of different options for individuals seeking temporary employment in the States.
U.S. work visa options include:
- L-1 visa: for foreign workers and owners wishing to transfer to a new or existing U.S. business
- E2 and E1 visa permit: for investors and traders.
- H-1B visa permit: for specialty occupations
- H-2B visa permit: for non-agricultural workers
- EB-1 Green Card: Outstanding Researcher or Professor immigrant visa classification
- EB-2 Green Card Permit: Based on Exceptional Ability.
- EB-3 Green Card Permit: Professionals, Skilled and Other Worker
- EB-4 Green Card Permit: Special immigrants including religious workers
Exchange Visitor Visa: J-1 Visa Permit
This business visitor visa is known as a nonimmigrant visa which is available for individuals approved to participate in work and study-based exchange visitor programs, including by business sponsors. This permit allows visitors to experience life in the US before returning to their home countries.
Temporary Skilled Worker Visa: H1-B Visa Permit
The H1-B visa is designed for skilled, educated foreign workers who are employed in specialized occupations. The US H1-B visa enables foreign workers to work for a particular employer in the United States temporarily.
Temporary Non-Agricultural Work Visa: H-2B Visa
The H-2B Visa are available for foreign workers in non-agricultural fields to work in the United States, given that there is an insufficient number of natural US born citizens to fill the position. H-2B visas are usually for jobs that are temporary, though not agricultural. Some examples of these occupations would be sponsored jobs at truck drivers, ski mountains, hotels, beach resorts, or amusement parks.
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Visas: H2-A Visa
The H2-A visas are available for foreign agricultural workers who want to work in the United States on a seasonal or temporary basis, provided that there is a shortage of domestic American workers.
TN Visa: Nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has opened the doors for Canadians and Mexicans seeking to enter the United States markets by providing a "fast track" basis for U.S. visas through the TN visa. Only citizens are eligible for a TN visa; permanent residents or landed immigrants can not apply. There are a few occupations that are allowed for the TN visa but if your job offer is not one of the listed occupations, call us, we may be able to help you!
- Medical Professionals
What About an Employment Based Green Card?
Permanent residents, other known as green card holders, are non-US citizens who are authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. Many people obtain their green card through a family based green card or employment based green card. Each year many applicants are awarded green cards in employment based categories. These groups are divided into five sections EB-1 Green Card, EB-2 Green Card, EB-3 Green Card, EB-4 Green Card and EB-5 Green Card:
EB-1 Green Card: Priority Workers
- Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
- Outstanding professors or researchers
- Managers and executives subject to international transfer to the United States
EB-2 Green Card: Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability
- Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts or business
- Advanced degree professionals
- Qualified alien physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the US which is underserved.
EB-3 Green Card: Skilled or professional workers
- Skilled workers (minimum two years training and experience)
- Professionals with bachelor's degree (not qualifying for a higher preference category)
- Unskilled workers
EB-4 Green Card: Special Immigrants
- Religious workers
- Employees and former employees of U.S. Government abroad
- Persons serving as translators with the United States Armed Forces
EB-5 Green Card: Investors (Employment Creation)
International entrepreneurs who can invest $1,000,000 and create at least ten new full-time jobs. It is possible in certain limited situations that an investment of $500,000 if it creates at least five new jobs, may be acceptable. If you are an employer (or prospective employer) and you want to sponsor a foreign worker to become a permanent resident based on a permanent job offer, you and the foreign worker need to go through a multi-step process to become a sponsoring employer.
Working in America on a Student Visa
Students studying in the United States on a student permit may work on campus, but they are not authorized to work off-campus during their first academic year in their program. After their first academic year, foreigners on US student visas can engage in three types of off-campus employment:
- Curricular Practical Training
- Optional Practical Training (pre-completion or post-completion)
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension
Why Seeking Professional Help is Essential
With so many applicants each year from around the world vying for U.S. Work Permits, it is important to get experienced legal help that will ensure your application package has the best chance of being accepted. Missed or incorrect details can result in a failed bid, which can be heartbreaking if they could have been easily avoided if prepared by a professional immigration expert. The stakes are high. If your application is refused, your case will be permanently recorded on the U.S. Immigration database. Therefore it is essential to get it right the first time!
The documentation and processes involved in successfully obtaining a U.S. work visa for a foreign beneficiary are complex and usually require legal expertise.
Ready for the Next Step? Fill out our online Immigration Assessment Form, and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.Start Your Assessment
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