How to Work in the US
The United States is a place where multitudes of people relocate for work on a regular basis. To work in the US, one needs to have a work visa. Our goal in this article is to shed some light on the different visas that workers can get to relocate to the US. We’ll also be covering other important things such as the requirements. There’s a lot of somewhat complex information about the entirety of the visa process. We’ve summarized this information in a straightforward manner. Anyone interested in getting a US work visa should find all the information they need in this article.
Requirements for a US Work Visa
The eligibility criteria of a US work visa vary depending on the type. The following are some of the key requirements you’ll need to fulfill to be eligible:
- A valid job offer from a US employer.
- Proof of your education.
- Proof of skills and capabilities.
- Your resumé.
- Biometrics (fingerprints).
It’s important to note that giving fingerprints is mandatory. The following people, however, are exempt from this requirement:
- Elderly people over the age of 79.
- Children under the age of 14.
- NATO applications.
- People physically incapable of providing fingerprints.
It’s worth highlighting that getting a US work visa requires the prospective employer to file a petition with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Once the USCIS approves the petition, the visa application can proceed forward.
Types of US Work Visa
H1-B: Specialty Occupation
This visa is for individuals who will work in a specialty occupation. The visa requires a higher education degree or equivalent in the field of employment. The USCIS determines whether or not that employment is considered a specialty occupation. Those applying for this visa must have their employer file a labor condition application with the Department of Labor. The application covers the terms and conditions of the employment.
H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement Professional
This visa also applies to those working in a specialty occupation. This particular visa is a result of free trade agreements between the US and Chile and Singapore. This visa enables qualified citizens from Chile and Singapore to temporarily work in the United States and only applies to citizens from these two countries.
H-2A: Skilled Agricultural Workers
This visa is for those who want to fill temporary agricultural jobs within the US. It applies to those who’ll be coming to the US to perform agricultural labor or providing other similar services. A US employer must file a form I-129 in order for a prospective worker to be able to apply for this visa.
H-2B: Skilled Non-Agricultural Workers
This visa is for skilled individuals who’d like to come to the United States on a temporary basis to perform services or jobs for which US workers are unavailable. Before you can apply for this visa, your employer must reach out to the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor must provide a certification that there are no qualified US workers eligible for the type of employment you’re applying for.
The H-3 visa is for those who’d like to come to the US to learn. The visa applies to people who want to receive training in an area or field that’s unavailable in the trainee’s home country. Workers on this visa can be paid for their training.
This visa is for dependents of those who hold a valid H visa. If you hold an H visa, your spouse, or children, may receive this visa in order to gain entry into the United States. Those having an H-4 visa cannot work in the United States.
L-1: Intra Company Transfer
The L-1 visa is provided to employees of an international company. This visa is given if your international employer is transferring you to their branch, affiliate, or subsidiary within the United States. A person needs to be at a managerial or similar level to qualify for this visa. The applicant must also have critical knowledge of the position that others cannot offer. Applicants can only apply for this visa after their employer receives an improved petition from USCIS.
Much like the H-4 visa, the L-2 visa is for dependents accompanying L-1 visa holders into the United States. Spouses entering the US on this visa can seek authorization for employment.
O: Extraordinary Abilities / Achievements
The class O visa is for people who have extraordinary capabilities in their field. The fields in this visa include sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Those applying for this visa must have demonstrated their abilities in their respective fields. This visa also applies for people providing essential assistance to the extraordinary individual.
P: Athletes, Artists or Entertainers
Class P visa are given to those who are coming to the United States in order to participate in an athletic competition. These visas are also given to the support staff of the athletic individual. These visas not only cover athletics but also musical and artistic performers of a variety of different fields.
Q-1 Visa: Cultural Exchange
The Q-1 visa is for individuals coming to the United States in order to share the traditions and culture of their home country. Individuals applying for this visa must be in an international cultural exchange program.
How to Apply for a US Visa
The application process for a US work visa consists of the following steps:
- Complete the Nonimmigrant Vias Electric Application form (DS-160).
- Pay the application fee.
- Schedule an appointment for your visa interview and provide the following information:
- Passport number.
- Receipt number from Visa Fee.
- Ten-digit barcode from DS-160 form confirmation page.
Visit the US Embassy/Consulate for your visa interview. Applicants must bring essential documents to this interview. These documents include an appointment letter, the DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken in the last six months, and your passports. Applicants must bring all their passports, both old as well as current, to the interview.
From visa & immigration application to settling the logistics and many other tasks to help you get settled into your new destination – we cover it all! We are here to help anything you want to ease your relocation journey.