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Want to Work in the US? All Available Work Visas

3.25 minute read
"Do you want to work in the United States and is looking for options? Do you want to come to the states and take advantage of the thriving job market? There are several reasons why you might want to come to the US for employment. For this, the government offers various employment-based visas to facilitate the immigration of foreign workers."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 16, 2021
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Do you want to work in the United States and is looking for options? Do you want to come to the states and take advantage of the thriving job market? There are several reasons why you might want to come to the US for employment. For this, the government offers various employment-based visas to facilitate the immigration of foreign workers. 

What Are the Best Employment-Based Visas Available in the US?

H-1B Speciality Occupation

Even though the H-1B Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, it allows dual intent. Dual intent means that the foreign national can come to the US for temporary employment and then apply for permanent residence without affecting their current status. 

The employer is responsible for filing a petition on behalf of the foreign national. The employer must also demonstrate how the position offered to the foreign national qualifies for a “specialty occupation” as defined by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). For an H-1B Visa, the foreign national must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field related to the job offer. 

Annually, only 65,000 H-1B Visas are offered with an additional 20,000 reserved for foreign nationals with a master’s degree from a designated US university. However, universities, nonprofit research institutions, nonprofits affiliated with a university and government research institutes are exempt from this quota. 

An H-1B Visa is valid for 3 years and can be extended up to 6 years if the foreign national applies for permanent residency. If the foreign employee is terminated for some reason, the noncitizen has a 60 day grace period or until their visa is valid within which to leave the country. 

Foreign nationals may also change their employers using an H-1B transfer however their visa will still be valid for the remainder of 6 years.

L-1 Intracompany Transferee 

If you are working in a company that has a branch, affiliate, subsidiary or parent company in the US, then you may be eligible for an L-1 Visa after working for the company abroad for 1 continuous year in an executive or managerial position or a position that requires specialized knowledge. This is a transfer of an employee to another branch of the company.

Specialized knowledge means expertise or specific knowledge about a company’s products or services, and the ability to use that knowledge in the international market. L-1 Visa holders who are being transferred to executive or managerial positions can live in the US for a maximum period of 7 years while L-1 Visa holders with specialized knowledge have the authorization to live in the US for 3 years which can be extended 2 more years. If you are being transferred to set up or establish a new business, then your visa will only be valid for a year.

E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader Visa 

This visa is available to the citizens of specific countries that have a trade treaty with the United States. The E-1 Visa is for foreign nationals who work in managerial, supervisory or essential skills positions and are also citizens of a country that is engaged in substantial trade with the US. The E-2 Visa is for foreign nationals from treaty countries who can make substantial investments in the US or be employed in an executive, supervisory or essential position for such a company.

This visa is valid for 1 to 5 years but can be extended as many times as you want. If you are not from one of the treaty countries, then you can obtain citizenship in 1 of these countries by investing there.

O-1 Extraordinary Ability 

The O-1 Visa is available to foreign nationals who possess extraordinary abilities in subjects including science, art, academic, business or athletic and can demonstrate their ability through “national or international acclaim and recognition.”

This visa is valid for 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely. However, the applicant requires their employer to sponsor their visa by filing a petition.

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