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Applying for a Work Visa | What You Need to Know About Employment Visas

Applying for a Work Visa | What You Need to Know About Employment Visas

The United States has long been a popular destination for people from around the world. Immigrants who come to the US for work have several options to consider. At #LiveintheUS, a Law Firm dedicated to U.S immigration law matters, we assist those hoping to obtain work visas and businesses searching for international talent to find what they are looking for.

We also help individuals become lawful permanent residents by filing either a labor certification, multinational manager or executive, or a national interest waiver and have extensive experience assisting immigrants in obtaining permanent residence.

Understanding the Different Types of Employment-based Immigrant Visas

There are many different types of employment visas that have their own set of requirements. Navigating these various types often requires expert assistance. #LiveintheUS is here to help. In the next section, we will discuss some of the most common work visas available to candidates.

E-2 Investors Visas

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa category in the US, which enables citizens of selected treaty nations to relocate there to manage and invest in a business. It is intended to encourage foreign investments and strengthen the ties between the United States and treaty countries on an economic front.

Qualifying Countries

The following nations all form part of this treaty:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • China (Taiwan)
  • Colombia
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Rep
  • Ecuadior
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Honduras
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Mexico
  • Moldavia
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Western Sahara
  • Zaire

How Does It Work?

An E-2 work visa allows foreign nationals to invest in US-based businesses. Under this category, visa holders are permitted to enter the United States with their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21. Their dependents may study in the United States, and their spouses may be given permission to work.

The initial E-2 visa is typically issued for a period of up to two to five years (depending on the country), with the possibility of extensions if the investment business is still viable and complies with certain standards.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an E-2 visa, an individual has to be a citizen or national of a country with an active treaty of trade and navigation with the United States.

The candidate must also invest a sizable amount of money in a US company. This is to ensure the business’s profitability and viability. A controlling interest in the firm is also required from the applicant, which is often demonstrated by ownership of at least 50 percent of the company or operational control.

Moreover, the company must be a legitimate, operational business that is actively conducting commercial operations rather than acting as a passive investment such as buying and owning a property. There is also a marginality requirement, which implies that the business must have the capacity to generate substantial income.

L-1 Visas for Multi-national Managers and Executives


A multinational employee, executive, or manager with specific knowledge and experience working with foreign firms may work for a US subsidiary or affiliate for up to seven years with an L-1 visa. As long as the person is in L-1 status, there are no restrictions on how often they can enter or leave the nation.

A specific initial period of stay of one year is applicable in situations involving a new office in the United States. When the year is up, the organization must demonstrate that it is still operating both domestically and internationally in order to apply for an extension of the executive’s or manager’s stay.

How Does It Work?

The US-based business will need to submit an I-129 petition to the USCIS office that serves in its main location of operation. The employee has the option to alter his or her status in the United States or file for a visa at the American consulate that has jurisdiction over the location of his or her residency.

Derivative L visas are available for spouses and kids of managers or executives to travel with the principal alien. Spouses can obtain permission to work, and children may go to school in the country.

The Criteria to Qualify for an L-1 Visa

To obtain this kind of employment-based immigrant visa, you will need to meet the following standards:

  • The US-based prospective employer must have a relationship with the foreign company for an employee or manager to obtain an L-1 visa. This can either be as a parent or affiliate company.
  • One year in the past three years must have been spent working continuously for the foreign company in a specialized, managerial, or executive capacity.
  • The US employer needs to have a physical location and be actively conducting business in the country.
  • Immigration law requires that the US-based company employ the applicant as a manager or executive.

Applying for a Work Visa | What You Need to Know About Employment Visas

EB-11/O-1 Visas (for Those with Extraordinary Ability)

Foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities in science, arts, athletics, or business can obtain an EB-11 or O-1 visa.

EB-11 Work Visas

The Employment First Preference Category visa is a type of immigrant visa in the US intended for those with extraordinary skills in particular fields. Based on their talent or accomplishments, people can apply for permanent residency (often known as a “green card”) using this visa.

However, to be eligible, applicants must show remarkable talent in the fields mentioned above. They must demonstrate that they have received consistent local, national, or international recognition for their work and that their accomplishments have been recognized by professionals in the field. Candidates must also present proof that their presence in the US will significantly benefit the nation.

Since candidates can self-petition for an EB-11 visa, neither a job offer nor employer sponsorship are necessary, unlike other visa types. Moreover, immigrants and members of their immediate families are eligible to apply for and receive permanent residency in the US with this kind of visa.

Holders of an EB-11 visa are allowed to live and work in the United States permanently, pursue their chosen fields of study, and eventually, if they so choose, petition for citizenship.

O-1 Visas

Like the EB-11 visa, O-1 visa holders must also show extraordinary ability in the fields of business, science, arts, or athletics. Applicants must exhibit extraordinary skills with ongoing national or international acclaim in order to be eligible for an O-1 visa. They must offer proof, such as accolades, publications, affiliations in esteemed groups, or critical praise.

Moreover, the candidate’s employer or representative must serve as the petitioner. An immigrant visa petition must be submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by the petitioner, together with supporting materials and proof of the person’s exceptional abilities.

The candidate can also apply for the O-1 visa at a US embassy following the petition’s approval. This visa entitles the holder to employment in their area of competence for a particular company or representative named in the petition. Typically, the original O-1 visa is issued for a maximum of three years, with extensions allowed upon request.

H-1B Specialty Employment-based Immigrant Visa

One of the most common visas in the US is the H-1B, which allows skilled workers to find employment in the United States.

How Does It Work?

To work in a specialized occupation in the US, which usually calls for a minimum of a Bachelor’s or foreign equivalent degree, an H-1B visa is required. The position being offered must be compatible with the immigrant’s degree. The “prevailing wage” established by the US Department of Labor for a particular job in the employment sector must be one that the employer is prepared to pay.

Starting on April 1 of every year, an employer can apply for an H-1B visa for a foreign worker whose employment begins on October 1 of the same year. There is a legislative limit on the number of H-1B visas that can be awarded annually, but there are some visas that are reserved specifically for people with US Master’s degrees rather than a general Bachelor’s degree.

Since navigating the complex immigration law can be difficult, it’s best to consult an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the process.

Eligibility Criteria

Here are some of the criteria that must be met for a candidate to qualify for this type of employment visa:

  • The job being offered must be a “specialized occupation.” Such jobs require highly specialized knowledge, and a Bachelor’s degree or higher is often required for such occupations.
  • There must be an employer/employee relationship between the company and the foreign worker.
  • The US-based employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to certify that the company is willing to pay the prevailing wage in that particular location.

Keep in mind that the employer will have to provide proof that the job qualifies as specialty work.

How We Can Help

Applying for a Work Visa | What You Need to Know About Employment Visas

When it comes to employment-based immigrant visas, we are the ones to call. Here’s how we can assist applicants:

A Wide Range of Dependable Immigration Services

At #LiveintheUS, we are committed to helping skilled workers or those with extraordinary abilities find employment and obtain a working visa in the United States.

We offer a wide range of services to meet your needs, so whether you require assistance determining which type of employment visa you qualify for or need help with national interest waivers, we are confident that we can provide the right kind of support.

Assistance with Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident

If your goal is to become a permanent resident of the United States, then we will work with you to ensure that your dream of being a US citizen becomes a reality.

Want to Know More? Get in Touch with Us Today!

Navigating the intricacies of immigration law can be challenging. At #LiveintheUS, we understand how important obtaining a work visa is, which is why we are committed to helping employment-based immigrants with our dependable citizenship and immigration services.

We place a strong emphasis on client satisfaction and offer quick, helpful service during the visa application process. Our staff and attorneys are committed to responding to your inquiries promptly and keeping you updated on the status of your case.

You can trust that we will have your best interests at heart and help you find an option that best meets your needs.

Contact us today by calling us at 305-442-1240 or messaging via WhatsApp at 305-432-0290 to learn more or schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys and let’s get started making you a lawful permanent resident of the United States.