Work Visa Tips: 5 Things You Need to Know

  • You need sponsorship from a U.S. employer.
  • Most work visa categories are for high-skilled positions.
  • Obtain the assistance of an attorney.

Work visa tips are prevalent across the web, since obtaining proper work authorization can be challenging. To set you on the right path, here’s our quick list of five things you kneed to know about obtaining a U.S. work visa.

1. You will need sponsorship from a U.S. employer.

In order to even start the process, most work visas require a U.S. employer to sponsor the application. That means, in order to get an H-1B, L-1, or an O-1 visa, you need to first apply for a job and be offered a position by a U.S. employer.

If you are interested in applying for a job, check out for positions and employers that are willing to sponsor work visas.

Only a few work visas allow you to apply for a work visa without a U.S. employer in advance. Two examples are the E-2 Investor visa and the EB-5 Investor green card. However, these visas do generally require a large investment in a company and detailed business plans.

2. Most U.S. work visa categories are meant for high-skilled positions.

By in large, U.S. work visas are meant for positions that require at least a bachelor’s degree, multiple years of experience, or specialized skills and knowledge. These positions are usually in fields related to science, technology, engineering or math.

If you do not meet those requirements, getting a long-term work visa may not be an option. Visas such as H-2A and H-2B are allotted for seasonal and agricultural positions. However, these visas are not permanent nor approved for long-term employment.

3. The employer may have to interview other U.S. citizens and legal permanent resident candidates.

Since the U.S. government gives preference to citizens and residents, the employer may need to interview other candidates before filing an application for a foreign national. If the employer finds another applicant that is equally qualified, then the employer may not be able to hire a foreign national for the role.

4. Consider applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa.

If you currently do not meet the requirements for a long-term U.S. work visa, consider participating in an student or exchange program.

If you are interested in attending a college or university in the United States, you can apply for a F-1 student visa. While it is a difficult visa to obtain, it can help you obtain the required skills for a U.S. work visa. In order to obtain this type of visa, you must first apply and gain admission to a U.S. university degree program.

The U.S. State Department has organized exchange programs in areas such as: internships, trainee programs, government visitor, Au Pair, camp counselor, physician and many more. If you are interested in applying to an exchange program check out the programs and follow their instructions.

5. Get an attorney.

If you want to get a U.S work visa, make sure your employer is working with a reputable attorney, since applying for a U.S. work visa is a complicated process. Envoy has nearly 20 years of experience managing the process. If your employer is inexperienced with the visa process or does not have an immigration attorney to prepare the work visa application, consider recommending Envoy.

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