US Immigration

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Are you a foreign national interested in employment in the U.S.? If so, you will need a work visa to be legally employed in the United States of America. There are several types of work visas available to foreign nationals who want to work in the United States, including green cards (for permanent residency), temporary work visas, seasonal work visas, and exchange worker visas.

The type of visa you may be eligible for will depend on the type of work you do, whether you have a relationship with an employer, and, in some cases, your country of origin. The guidelines for obtaining authorization to work in the United States vary depending on the type of visa and the eligibility requirements for that visa.

Here is information on each type of U.S. work visa, including eligibility and requirements, plus information on how to apply for a visa. It is important to note that these requirements can change at any time so we’ve provided links to government resources, which will be the most reliable source of updated information on restrictions, quotas, and guidelines for green card and visa applications. 

Main Types of US Work Visas

H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa category is available for individuals employed in the United States in a “specialty occupation.” A specialty occupation requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialized field of knowledge as a minimum for entry into the occupation. The job being filled must require the degree held by the foreign worker. Specialty occupations include fashion models, graphic designers, fashion designers, accounting, architecture, engineering, law, and various other types of jobs. The education of the foreign worker does not need to be gained in the United States. If the foreign worker’s education was obtained abroad, a credentials evaluation can be done to show that the education is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher. The U.S. employer must be willing to pay the prevailing wage and offer the same job conditions as those in place for U.S. workers.

F1 Student Visa

If you wish to pursue full time academic or vocational studies in the United States, you may be eligible for one of two nonimmigrant student categories. The F category is for academic students and the M is for vocational students. Many colleges and universities have an international students office with staff who assist foreign students with visa matters. We recommend that you utilize that assistance and also do your own research to insure that your visa paperwork is being handled correctly. If you encounter any issues or have questions that cannot be resolved by your student advisor, we recommend consulting an experienced immigration attorney.

TN1 Visa

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified and Canadian citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers.

B1 Visa

While it does not permit gainful employment while in the U.S., the B-1 for business is appropriate for certain activities related to commercial transactions. This visa category is used for personal and/or domestic attendants of certain nonimmigrants and U.S. citizens. The B-2 category is intended for tourism, social visits, certain medical treatments, and participation in amateur sports, music, and similar events. This category is also used for domestic partners not in a marital relationship, to accompany their qualifying partners.

Green Card Program

The annual green card lottery program (Diversity Immigrant Visa Program) is an opportunity for potential immigrants to obtain the status as a permanent legal resident of the U.S.6 This program runs each year and provides green cards to applicants randomly selected in a lottery process—known as the Green Card Lottery. Applicants must apply far in advance of the actual date when they would like to enter the country.

Get in Touch

We regularly update with information and Frequently Asked Questions about US Immigration Law, requirements of a skilled migrant and other legal issues. For further information, please contact us on (925)568 7586, if you prefer to send a mail, write us at:

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