Immigration to the United States can be complicated, so let’s make it as simple as possible. If you are not a U.S. citizen and your country is not part of the Visa Waiver Program, which allows you to enter the U.S. without a visa, you will need to obtain a visa to enter the country legally.
For a foreigner seeking work, there are two types of visas: non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas. A non-immigrant visa is simple to obtain and allows a foreigner to study or work in the United States for up to six years.
An immigrant visa is more difficult to obtain, but it can lead to a “green card”, which allows you to live in the United States permanently. Keep in mind that processing times for applications can take several months, so plan your visa application up to a year in advance.
Visas and Professions
This section reviews the prerequisites for working in the United States. Of course, according to the USCIS website, these are all valid for 2020, but they are subject to change in the future.
Here are the visas that may give you a chance to work in the United States, depending on where you are in your career.
You may qualify for an F-1 visa if you are accepted as a student at a U.S. university. Just make sure the institutions you are applying to allow international students. A Class F visa allows you to work on campus and receive practical training off campus while you study.
In the event of unforeseen economic hardship, such as the loss of a supportive relative’s job, you can even apply for a U.S. work permit with this visa. This is an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which allows you to work part-time off-campus while studying.
The price of the F-1 visa application is $350, making it one of the most economical visa options. Your spouse or children will not have to pay any additional fees. This makes it a great choice for someone who wants their family to get a taste of life in the U.S. while pursuing their education.
If you have been accepted into a U.S. university or exchange program, So you need to apply for a U.S. student visa. The U.S. offers several student and exchange visa programs, and you should apply for the visa that best suits you.
But U.S. immigration laws are complex and change daily. It can be difficult to determine which visa to apply for, to navigate the application process, or to understand the many bureaucratic hurdles that come with a visa application.
To help you obtain a U.S. student visa, you should hire the best immigration lawyer in USA or at least a professional immigration attorney, especially if you have applied for a U.S. student visa several times before, but are still denied.
Best US Immigration Lawyer for Students
Finding a US visa attorney who is knowledgeable about U.S. immigration laws can also be difficult. So here is a list of some of the best immigration lawyers in USA (or student lawyers) :
- Crotty Saland PC
- Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP
- Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP
- Hatch Rockers Immigration
- Murthy Law Firm
- Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
- Maney, Gordon, Zeller, P.A
- Harter Secrest & Emery LLP
- Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
- Greenberg Traurig
You wouldn’t expect to find many jobs in the U.S. for foreigners who are new to their profession and have no qualifications, yet there are chances.
As part of its cultural exchange program, the U.S. government allows many foreigners to come temporarily.
The J-1 Visa
The J-1 visa allows you to spend up to one year in the United States to further your studies and work.
It is one of the most common visas, according to the U.S. Department of State, with over 300,000 issued each year. It is therefore a convenient way to enter the country.
- This visa can lead to a number of opportunities depending on your profession.
- It allows you to do an internship if you are a university student or if you have just graduated.
- It allows you to hold a temporary academic position if you are a professor or researcher.
- It allows you to develop advanced skills and obtain licensure in the U.S. if you are a medical student or just graduated from medical school.
- It allows you to train in your field to increase your skills if you are a skilled worker.
- It allows you to hold a temporary teaching position if you are a recognized specialist in your own country.
To obtain the J-1 visa, you must find a company or organization willing to sponsor you. All you have to do is pay the cost of the program and the visa application fee. The cost of the program varies widely, but keep in mind that your sponsoring company will pay for a large portion of your expenses while you are here; the SEVIS administrative fee is currently only $220, making it one of the most affordable visa options.
The U.S. Department of State’s J-1 visa webpage has more information and lists possible sponsors. The J-1 visa, like the F visa, allows you to bring your spouse. Your spouse may also apply for an employment authorization document, which will allow him or her to work in the country while in the country.
Country Specific Paths
National of a NAFTA Member Country
You may qualify for a TN visa if you are a citizen of a NAFTA country, such as Canada or Mexico. Due to a trade agreement between the three nations, this visa works similarly to the H-1B, but it avoids the quota system and is much easier to obtain.
When crossing the border into the United States, a Canadian must bring the following items to a Canadian Border Patrol station:
He or she must provide proof of Canadian citizenship.
A letter describing a job offer from a U.S. company, as well as your job responsibilities and credentials.
If your position requires it, a review of your qualifications (e.g. nurse, doctor).
That’s all there is to it. You or your company can also apply for your visa in advance using the I-129 form, to avoid any problems when you arrive at the border.
If you are a Mexican citizen, the I-129 form must be completed by your employer. Although the procedure is usually brief, everything must be arranged in advance.
If you are an Australian citizen considering relocating to another English-speaking nation, there is a special visa that could help the United States beat out competitors like the United Kingdom and Canada.
The E-3 Visa
The E-3 visa is only available to Australian citizens. It operates in the same manner as the H-1B visa, but without the quota mechanism. However, it has a unique feature that sets it apart.
In order to qualify, a company must prove that it will pay you at the top of the pay range for your profession, which may allow you to earn more money than if you were in a similar position in another country.