How Do I Get to Work in USA?

Each year, thousands of people from all across the world flock to the United States in search of quality work, facilities and lifestyle that their home country often fails to offer. A news release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, stated, “The share of the US civilian labor force that was foreign born increased to 16.9 percent in 2016 from 16.7 percent in 2015; it was 13.3 percent in 2000.”

Evidently, the number of foreign nationals being permitted to work in the United States has been growing. If you too wish to add to these figures, read on to find out everything you need to know about foreign nationals working in America.

Visa for Working in the United States

The United States work visa that you will need to be apply for will vary according to your qualifications, the nature of work you will be doing and the duration of your stay in America. The United States Directory of Visa Category lists all work visas, along with their provisions, so do take a look to find out which visa will be best suited for your needs.

H-1B – Specialty Occupation

  • The H1 visa is required by individuals entering the United States to offer their services for a professional job, usually pre-arranged.
  • Qualifying for this visa requires the applicant to hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty they are seeking employment in.
  • It is the responsibility of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to determine whether or not your qualification is suitable to perform the services.
  • Also, your employer needs to fill out a labor condition application with the Department of Labor, stating the terms and conditions of your employment contract.

An H category visa has many other sub categories and you can read about them here.

L-1 – Intra-Company Transferees

  • If you are employed with a multinational company that is temporarily transferring you to its parent branch, affiliate or subsidiary in the United States, you will be issued an L-1 visa.
  • To qualify for an L-1 visa, you must be at a managerial or executive level position, although not necessarily holding the same position in the United States.
  • This visa can be applied for only after your employer has filed for and received an approved petition by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

P – Artists, Entertainers

If you intend to enter the United States to work as an athlete, entertainer or artist, or as essential sports personnel, you are required to apply for this visa.

O Visa

  • This visa is issued to individuals with extraordinary abilities in the field of arts, science, education, business or athletics.
  • It can also be issued to individuals with extraordinary achievement in motion picture and television production, and to their support personnel.

Q Visa

  • Individuals traveling to the United States as participants in an international cultural exchange program, being held for the purpose of practical training, employment or the sharing of the culture of their home country are issued a Q type visa.
  • The program sponsors must file a petition with the USCIS on your behalf.

Traveling to the United States as a working individual is very different than traveling there as a tourist. Your work visa has varied provisions and restrictions, learn more about them here. If your candidature is different from those mentioned above, you can read more here.

About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life. This blog is read today, by more than 200K people world over! I'm basically from Kochi, Kerala and spend my time between Los Angeles and India. Here's my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). :)

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