US Immigration News

9 Paths to Legally Work in the US for Foreign Nationals in 2021

3.25 minute read
"Thousands of skilled workers all over the world seek to immigrate to the United States for better job opportunities and a higher standard of life.Based on your skills and experience, financial resources and purpose for immigrating, the US government offers several immigration pathways for foreign workers."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 12, 2021
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Thousands of skilled workers all over the world seek to immigrate to the United States for better job opportunities and a higher standard of life.

Based on your skills and experience, financial resources and purpose for immigrating, the US government offers several immigration pathways for foreign workers.

To ensure that you work in the US with legal status; here is a guide to some US visa programs available to foreign workers.

How Can You Work in the United States Legally?

Obtain a Job Offer from an US Employer

The first step is to successfully obtain an offer of employment from a designated US-based employer. The US employer will file a petition on your behalf for your work authorization. The following visa programs are available for foreign workers:

H1-B Visa

The H-1B Visa is a nonimmigrant visa (for temporary residence) and one of the most popular immigration visas for foreign workers in occupations that require specialized knowledge. This implies that you cannot just work in any occupation, your work must require a high skill level and knowledge of your field. See our H-1B Visa Business Plan service. 

TN Visa

The TN Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for the citizens of Mexico and Canada with a valid job offer from a US employer. This is the fastest way to get a US to work visa.

R-1 Visa

The R-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for religious workers who wish to work for a religious organization in the US. The organization must be registered as a nonprofit and be linked to a US religious denomination or a religious group with tax exemption.

O1 Visa

The O-1 Visa Category is a group of nonimmigrant work visas for foreign workers with extraordinary talent in arts, science, business, academics or athletics or with the popularity for performance in the motion picture and television industry domestically and internationally. For their immediate accompanying family members, staff, self-employed, practitioners and for those practitioners with remarkable reputations. See our O-1 Visa Business Plan service.

Which Visa Does Not Require a Job Offer and a Sponsor in the US?

EB-1 Visa: The EB-1 Visa program is for foreign workers with extraordinary talent in arts, science, business, academics or athletics or managers and executives of multinational companies. See our EB-1 - Visa Business Plan service. 

This visa program requires you to demonstrate your excellence in your field rather than requiring a job offer.

You can demonstrate your skills through your publications, awards, business portfolios or letters of recommendation. This is a highly selective visa program that requires you to be truly exceptional in your area of work.

What US Visa Program is Available to International Entrepreneurs and Investors?

EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 Visa is also known as an investor visa. This visa program is for international entrepreneurs who can invest up to $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a "Targeted Employment Area" - high unemployment or rural area).

This is a direct path for lawful permanent residency in the US. To gain a Green Card, the business must create employment opportunities for US citizens. See our EB-5 - Visa Business Plan service.

L Visas - L1-A Intracompany Transferee & L1-B Employees with Specialized Knowledge

This L Visa Category has 2 visas: 

L-1A Intracompany Transferee enables a US employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its foreign locations to one of its locations in the US. It also permits a foreign company to send an executive or manager to the US to establish a business.

L-1B Employees with Specialized Knowledge enables a US employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge related to the foreign business to establish their US location. This visa also allows them to send these specialized employees to establish a new location if they don’t have one.

E-2 Visa

The E-2 Visa is for business owners and investors who wish to make a substantial investment in the US. Applicants will be required to meet some additional requirements. See our E-2 Visa Business Plan service.

E-1 Visa

The E-1 Visa is also known as the Treaty Trader Visa for applicants from a country that has a treaty of commerce with the US. Applicants from eligible countries can apply for this type of nonimmigrant visa. See our E-1 Visa Business Plan service.

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