Can I work in the US?
Getting a work visa in the US can be challenging as the demand for them is very high and only a limited number of US work visas are available each year. If you are thinking of applying for a US work visa, you should take into consideration the following aspects:
- Nationality – the likelihood of being granted a US work visa is higher for nationals of some countries than others, depending on the nation’s relations with the US
- Education – some US work visas require candidates to have achieved a certain education level, so you might not be eligible for all visa categories
- Experience – certain US work visas are only available to those at a high career level.
- Field of expertise – individuals working for some industries are more sought-after by the US than others.
- The duration of the stay – all US work visas are granted for a limited period of time, so when applying you should think about how long you want to stay in the US
An important thing to keep in mind is that not all US companies sponsor foreign workers. That is because the application process can be expensive and lengthy not only for applicants but also for potential employers.
What are the types of US work visas?
There is no general work visa that would allow you to the US. Instead, there are several work visas for America that are intended for various categories of workers. The thing that all US work visas have in common is that they are intended for a temporary work stay. That means that if you receive a work visa you will only be able to work in the US for a limited time. If you would like to work and live in the US permanently, you have to apply for a Green Card.
To be able to work in the US, you can consider applying for the following employment-based green cards:
- EB2 Visa – designed for individuals who hold an advanced degree or equivalent and can prove that they are experts in the field and have extensive professional experience. Only 40,000 applicants can receive EB2 visas every year.
- EB3 Visa – designed for skilled workers, individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree, and unskilled workers. Each year USCIS grants around 40,040 EB3 visas.
- H1-B Visa – the most sought-after US work visa, designed for individuals who can work in speciality roles that require higher qualification. The H1-B visa covers jobs in fields such as IT, engineering, or science. There are 85,000 H1-B visas available each year.
- H2-B Visa – the most common temporary work visa available to non-agricultural foreign workers. The H2B visa covers jobs in fields such as hospitality or retail. There needs to be a seasonal need for the workers, and each year there are around 66,000 H2B visas available.
- H-2A Visa – designed for individuals looking for a job within the agricultural sector. The job needs to be of seasonal nature.
How to apply for US work visas?
In most cases, you need to have been offered a job in the US before you start the application process. Your employer, who is also your sponsor, has to complete Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. By filling it in they ask USCIS for permission to employ a foreign worker.
If you are applying for H-1B, H-2B, or H-2A visas, your sponsor needs to hold certification from the Department of Labor that proves that there is an urgent need for foreign workers and that hiring them will not negatively affect job opportunities of US citizens.
If your sponsor’s petition is approved, you can start preparing your application in which you will need to include the following documentation:
- A valid passport
- Passport size photograph
- Confirmation of your sponsor submitting Form I-129
- Receipt proving that you paid the $190 application fee
- Proof that you intend to leave the US after your visa expires, for example in the form of a return flight
After you submit the application, you might be required to attend an in-person interview so that an official can confirm your eligibility for the visa.
Do I need to have a sponsor to apply for a US work visa?
In order to obtain the majority of US work visas, you need to already hold a job offer. That means that a US company must have agreed to sponsor you. The first part of the US work visa application process requires your sponsor to submit a petition to USCIS on your behalf. Without it, you are not able to proceed to the second stage of the process where you submit the application yourself.
Most individuals who want to work in the US will only be eligible for visas that require them to have a job offer at the time of applying. The requirement of having a US sponsor should not be underestimated. If you fail to secure a job before you apply for the US work visas, your application will not be accepted.
Which US work visas can I get without a job offer?
The two permanent work visas that require neither a job offer nor a sponsor are:
- EB-1 Visa – designed for individuals who have extraordinary expertise in fields such as science, business, athletics, or education. To be eligible for the visa, the applicant needs to prove their exceptional abilities using awards, published material, or an extensive portfolio of business projects.
- EB-5 Visa – also known as an investor visa, designed for people who intend to invest at least $500,000 into a new commercial project that will create at least ten job opportunities for US citizens. There are 10,000 EB-5 visas available each year.
These two types of US work visas do not require you to have received a job offer before your application. Nevertheless, it is not easy to get them.
The EB-1 visa is very selective. To receive it, you need to be able to prove that your abilities and experience are exceptional. With the EB-5 Visa, you will be creating job opportunities yourself so you do not need to have a job offer yourself. However, getting this visa requires a big financial investment.
If you meet the criteria for either the EB-1 or the EB-5 visa, you will be able to work in the US permanently.
How can IAS help?
Our lawyers are experts in US immigration law and they can help you apply for any of the available US work visas. They will assess your eligibility for them and will advise as to which visa is the best for you.
Then, your immigration lawyer will guide you through each step of the application process. They will help you prepare all the required documentation and fill in the application form. They will also answer any questions you might have and provide you with professional support.
To find out more about how our immigration lawyers can help you, get in touch today by calling +1 844 290 6312
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.