There are millions of people who dream of moving to the United States to pursue an employment opportunity. While this sounds easy enough, the immigration system is complex and full of twists and turns.
Individuals coming to the United States from a foreign country must obtain permission from the U.S. government. For example, anyone who wants to work permanently in the United States should follow the process of applying for a green card, which gives them permanent resident status.
There is more than one type of work visa, with the following available to those who want to seek employment in the United States:
- Employment-based non-immigrant visa: These fit into categories based on an individual's ability in a specific field, such as those for professional athletes, investors and anyone with research credentials.
- Employment-based immigrant visas: Every year, approximately 140,000 of these are made available to immigrants. These are divided into five specific categories, including EB-1: Priority Workers, EB-2: Professionals with Advanced Degrees of with Exceptional Ability, EB-3: Skilled/Professional Workers, EB-4: Special Immigrants and EB-5: Immigrant Investors.
- Work authorization for a dependent or spouse: If you have a valid green card or temporary work visa, you may need to file Form I-765 on behalf of a dependent or spouse.
- Starting a company: The United States encourages entrepreneurs from other countries to start a U.S.-based company and invest in its economy, such as by creating jobs. Doing so means learning more about E-2 Treaty Investors and EB-5 Immigrant Investor status.
The struggle isn't that there aren't enough ways to get a work visa to gain employment in the United States. The struggle is understanding the different option, choosing the right one and then providing all the necessary paperwork and documentation at the appropriate time.
If you're interested in obtaining a work visa, it's best to first learn more about the overall process and where you fit in. This will help you understand what's expected of you and the steps you can take to position yourself for success.
As you work through the process, do your part in providing accurate information and meeting all deadlines. This alone will work in your favor as you seek an employment visa.