Many people come to the US to have a job. Fortunately, there are various US work visas for this purpose, so you can apply for one of them based on your condition and abilities. US work visas are divided into immigrant and nonimmigrant categories. We briefly focus on US work visa types, costs, requirements, and restrictions.
Most people who want to work temporarily on a nonimmigrant visa in the United States need a US employer who is eager to hire them. The employer must first file a petition on behalf of the employee to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. However, there are exceptions. People applying for E1 and E2 visas (treaty traders or investors) do not need an employer. Such conditions also apply to applicants for employment-based immigrant visas. They also need a US sponsor to work in the US. Of course, those who intend to invest in the United States and apply for an EB5 visa are eligible for self-petition and therefore do not need a US employer. These individuals can file a petition to the USCIS on their own behalf.
Nonimmigrant US work visas (Petition-Based)
As mentioned, most nonimmigrant work visas are Petition Based. In other words, to apply for these visas, you will first need a US employer. These visas are H, L, O, P, Q & R. The employer first submits a petition to the USCIS. If the organization approves the petition, then approvals will be issued, and the result will be communicated to the employee.
The application process
The visa application process has two basic steps:
- The applicant must first complete and complete the DS-160 form online. After completing the form, you receive a confirmation page that you must submit as part of your documents. You must also submit a photo when completing this form.
- You will then have to pay for the visa application and make an appointment for a visa interview at the embassy.
Types of nonimmigrant US work visas (Petition-Based)
- H1B visa: This visa is defined for those who have academic credentials. The sponsorship process for this visa includes receiving the Labor Conditions Application and filing Form I-129. Form I-797 is issued if the USCIS approves the request. The application fee for this visa is $ 190, which is paid by the employee. If the company has more than 50 employees, where 50% of them have an H1B or L visa, the employee must pay an additional $ 2,250. The processing time of this visa is not very clear, and its initial validity is three years.
- H1B1 visa: This visa is for Chilean and Singaporean citizens. Applicants for this visa must have an academic degree and be able to work in areas such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, physics, biotechnology, and medicine. The visa application process is the same as before. The Chilean and Singaporean must first find a suitable job offer in the United States. The employer must then obtain the Labor Condition Application (LCA) Certification. After the employer completes the sponsorship process, the employee must initiate the application process. This visa is valid for 12 to 18 months; you can then extend it indefinitely for one year.
- H2A visa: This visa is for those who intend to work temporarily in agricultural occupations. Temporary work means a job that lasts less than a year. In this way, agricultural companies can hire foreign workers and speed up their work process. Just note that citizens of some countries can apply for this visa.
- H2B visa: This visa is also issued to those who intend to do temporary work in non-agricultural areas. To apply for this visa, the employer must first prove that he has not been able to find a suitable workforce in the country and has to hire foreign labor. The employer must also prove that he provides suitable working conditions for the foreign worker. Only citizens of some countries can apply for this visa. H2B holders can stay in the US up to the period authorized on the temporary labor certification.
- H1C visa: This visa is for foreign nurses who intend to work in the United States.
- H3 visa: Foreigners wishing to complete vocational training in the United States can apply for this visa. The primary condition for this visa is obtaining admission for the training course, which does not exist in the applicant’s country. Just note that a limited number of these visas are issued per year. Therefore, many applicants fail to obtain this visa. The educational institution that has accepted the applicant must first receive the necessary approvals. The applicant can then begin the visa application process. The visa holders can stay in the United States until the end of their training program. This date is stated in the I-797 Form.
- H4 visa: This visa is issued to family members of H visas holders.
- L1 visa: This visa is also a temporary work permit issued for temporary intracompany transferees. Employees who have held senior management and executive positions are eligible for this visa. These people should play a key role in managing and promoting the company. In a way, without them, the quality of the company’s services and products will decrease.
- L2 visas: The US L2 visa is issued to spouses and children under the age of 21 who have an L1 visa.
- O1 visa: This visa is issued to those who have extraordinary abilities in the fields of science, art, education, business, and athletics. People working in the TV industry can also use this visa. Subdivisions of this visa are O-1A and O-1B. The most important requirement of this visa is that the applicant must use documents such as international awards to show that he has extraordinary abilities. Also, note that the initial validity of this visa is three years.
- O2 visa: Those who accompany O-1 visa holders can use this visa. In order to be eligible for this visa, you must prove that you play an important role in the performance of the O-1 visa holder. The validity of this visa is also determined based on the validity of the O-1 visa holder.
- O3 visa: People coming to the U.S. on an O1 or O2 visa may stay for up to three years. They can also bring their family members to the United States under the O3 visa.
- P1visa: Internationally recognized athletes can come to the United States individually or in groups to boost their performance. This visa is also for individuals or members of an internationally recognized entertainment group. To apply for this visa, the employer or sponsor first submits Form I-129 to the USCIS. If the request is approved, Form I-797C, Notice of Action, will be issued. The applicant can then begin the visa application process. Subdivisions of this visa are P1A and P1B.
- P2 visa: Artists or entertainers can enter the United States in groups or individually through a government-recognized exchange program if their skills are comparable to those of the artists taking part in the program.
- P3 visa: Individuals who want to travel to the US temporarily to teach or coach as artists or entertainers can apply for a US P3 visa individually or as part of a group and under a culturally unique program.
- P4 visa: All holders of P1, P2, and P3 visas can bring their family members to the United States under the P4 visa.
- Q1 visa: This permission helps people to participate in employment and cultural programs held in the US. Holders of this visa can also attend educational programs conducted by the employer to extend their skills and become familiar with US culture. Applicants for this visa must be at least 18 years old and be able to convey their country’s cultural aspects.
- R1 visa: Religious workers who want to work in the US religious institutions must apply for this visa. This visa is valid for 30 months.
- R2 visa: This visa is for family members of R1 visa holders.
US Nonimmigrant work visas (Non-petition Based)
The difference between this category of visas and previous visas is that applicants do not need an employer. Therefore, the visa application process for these people is very straightforward and clear. The application process for these visas is:
- Complete the DS-160 form
- Pay the visa application fee
- Schedule an interview appointment
- Prepare and submit the necessary documents
- Participate in the interview
Types of US non-immigrant work visas (Non-petition Based)
- CW1 visa: The CW-1 visa is a temporary work permit for workers employed in the CNMI or Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
- E1 visa: This U.S. E visa is a treaty trader visa. If you want to be qualified for this visa must be a national of a treaty country. The company for which you want to come to the US must have the nationality of the treaty country, and individuals with the treaty country’s nationality must possess at least 50 percent of the company.
- E2 visa: This is a Treaty investor visa. Applicants for this visa must be from treaty countries.
- E3 visa: This visa is for Australian citizens who have significant expertise in some areas. Applicants for this visa need a job offer before coming to the United States.
- I visa: This visa is a temporary work permit for those working in media fields such as television, press, film, and print industries. Individuals can use this visa to come to the United States on a work mission. Preparing a report on a recent event in the United States can be considered a work mission.
- TN visa: This visa is for people who live in Mexico and Canada and intend to work temporarily in the United States. Applicants for this visa must choose jobs that are on the NAFTA list. The conditions of this visa are somewhat similar to the H1-B visa.
US Immigrant Work Visas
About 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are issued annually in the United States. These visas are divided into five categories, which are mentioned below. The application process for these visas is very similar, but there are exceptions to the EB5 visa.
The immigrant visa application process
- The employer must first obtain labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, is then submitted to the USCIS. However, people with extraordinary abilities who are in category EB1 do not need an employer.
- Your documents and application will be sent to the National Visa Center after the USCIS has issued the necessary approvals. Since the annual issuance of these visas is limited, eligible applicants will receive a package from this organization based on their priority date, which will teach them the visa application process step by step.
- At this stage, the applicant must complete Form DS-261 and undergo a medical examination.
- At this stage, you must send the completed form, medical examination documents, passport, photo, and other documents to NVC. If all the documents are correct, NVC will schedule an interview at the embassy.
- You must attend the visa interview.
- If your application is approved, you will receive another package from NVC, and then you will have to come to the United States.
It should be noted that these visas’ processing time may be a bit long because their annual issuance is limited.
Types of US Immigrant Work Visas
Types of employment-based immigrant visas include:
- Employment First Preference (EB1): People with extraordinary abilities, prominent professors and researchers, as well as multinational executives, can apply for this visa. Applicants for this permission must prove that they have significant advancement. International awards or having published material in reputable journals can prove that you are eligible for this immigrant visa.
- Employment Second Preference (EB2): This visa is for those who have an advanced degree higher than a baccalaureate degree or have a bachelor’s degree with 5 years of work experience. People with exceptional abilities in science, art, and business can also apply for this visa.
- Employment Third Preference (EB3): Skilled workers with at least two years of work experience or who have completed a two-year training course can apply for this visa. Individuals who have less than two years of work experience and are called Unskilled workers can also apply for this visa. Professionals who have obtained at least a baccalaureate degree from a US university or equivalent foreign college are also eligible for this visa.
- Employment Fourth Preference (EB4): A range of groups with different occupations can apply for this visa. These include religious workers, Special Immigrant Juveniles, Broadcasters, Afghan and Iraqi Translators, and Certain physicians.
Let’s Sum Up…
As you can see, US work visas are very different. Depending on your circumstances and ability, you can apply for an appropriate visa. If you have experience obtaining a US work visa, you can share it with other readers and us through the comments section. Sharing your experiences can help others make better decisions.