If you are interested in working in the United States for a set period of time or you're keen to become a permanent resident in the United States, which will allow you to work in the United States indefinitely, you'll need to apply for a working visa. To discover the different types of work visas that are currently available and the process which you'll need to follow in order to have your work visa approved, simply continue reading.
Select The Correct Work Visa To Apply For
If you would like to live and work in the United States indefinitely, it's within your best interests to apply for an employer-sponsored green card. Keep in mind that each year approximately 140,000 employer-sponsored green cards are issued to foreign nationals. Alternatively, if you're not committed to relocating to the United States on a permanent basis, you may want to pursue a temporary work visa, such as an H-B1 work visa.
How To Apply For A H-B1 Work Visa
If you hold a bachelor's level degree, you may want to search for a job in the United States, which requires specialist knowledge or training which may allow you to apply for an H-B1 work visa. However, if your petition for an H-B1 visa is approved, you'll only be able to reside in the United States for three years. To be eligible for an H-B1 temporary visa, your potential employer is required to prove that there is a lack of suitable domestic applicants for the role that you have been offered and you must be able to provide a copy of your college degree or equivalent qualification.
If you do find an employer that is willing to offer you an appropriate job position, they will need to file an online petition for you through the USCIS. Please note that will there are certain types of visas that you can apply for directly through the USCIS, if you wish to apply for an H-B1 your potential future employer must file your petition on your behalf.
Alternative Non-Immigrant Work Visas
While the H-B1 work visa is the most common non-immigrant work visa that foreign citizens apply for, several other non-immigrant work visas exist. Examples, of which include the H-2A visa which is for seasonal jobs in the agriculture industry, and the H-2B visa which is for seasonal jobs outside of the agriculture industry. Both of which are suitable for temporary jobs that have a duration of up to 12 months.
How To Apply For An Employer-sponsored Green Card
If you are already certain that you'd like to move to the United States on a permanent basis, you'll need to obtain a work offer from a US-based employer. In most cases, your potential new employer will need to fill out an I-140 immigrant petition with the USCIS, on your behalf. Typically the only circumstance in which you're legally permitted to fill out your own I-140 form is if you are petitioning for a green card as a first preference candidate who has demonstrated extraordinary ability in your chosen field.
Primary Preference Groups For Employer-based Green Card Applicants
As mentioned above the first priority goes to applicants who have demonstrated extraordinary abilities in their industry. Most of the applicants in this category wish to work as professionals or are academics, researchers or scientists. Or work in the entertainment industry.
If you have an advanced degree that is higher than a bachelor's degree such as a master's degree or a doctorate, you may be eligible as a second preference applicant. You can also apply as a second preference applicant if you have worked in a professional field for at least 10 years and have the right experience to fulfill the job position that you've applied for.
If you have a bachelor's degree or are a skilled or unskilled laborer you will likely fall into the third preference group. This means that you'll have less of a chance of being offered a work-based green card than applicants who fall into the first two priority groups.
Lastly, there is a fourth preference group that some applicants may fall into. If you plan on applying for residency as a religious worker, an employee of a US foreign service post, or are a retired employee of an international organization, you will be placed in the fourth preference group and will have an even lower chance of being offered a green card than the applicants of the first three applicant groups that are listed above.
Information That You Should Provide To Your Potential New Employer
As it's likely that your potential new employer will fill out your petition for you, it's a wise idea to collect information that your potential employer should submit to supplement your application. For example, it's a wise idea to provide your potential new employer with transcripts of your college grades and a digital copy of your degree or equivalent qualification.
Information That Your Potential Employer Must Provide To The USCIS
Also, keep in mind that your potential new employer will also have to submit evidence that there was a lack of domestic applicants who had the relevant training and experience for your specific job position and that they must provide evidence that their business has the means to pay for your salary.
Whether you are more interested in working in the United States on a temporary basis or you are set on moving to the United States on a permanent basis, your first step should be to obtain a work offer from a reputable employer in the United States. Who will be able to file a visa petition for you, on your behalf. Do keep in mind, that if you choose to apply for a work-based green card, that your chances of having your green card approved are higher if you have a master's degree or doctorate or have over 10 years of relevant work experience than if you only have a bachelor's degree.