Foreign nationals wishing to work in the United States legally can do so by obtaining a valid work visa or employment authorization document. Under current U.S. immigration laws, there are over 20 classifications of employment-based visas, which foreigners can apply for through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States or through a U.S. consulate abroad. Employment-based visas can be issued for a temporary period or on a permanent basis depending on the classification you seek.
The best employed-based classification for you will depend on various factors including the scope of your potential employment, job offers, professional experiences, educational background, achievements in your industry, and your immigrant intent. Each classification of employment-based visas has specific requirements, which are established by providing evidence and documentation.
Obtaining An Employment-Based Visa
Temporary Visitor (B-1/B-2) Visas:
Issued to a foreign business visitors entering the United States to engage in a business activity incidental to overseas employment; or to foreign tourists entering the United States for leisure.
Investor / Traders (E-1/E-2) Visas:
Issued to foreign business owners, managers, or employees who need to remain in the United States to oversee a substantial investment or work in an enterprise engaged in substantial trade between United States and a foreign state.
Temporary Workers (H-1B/H-2A/H-2B) Visas:
Issued to foreign nationals who are members of the professions; and to skilled or unskilled foreign nationals in nonagricultural positions for which there are no qualified U.S. workers available.
Temporary Labor Certifications (ETA (142B):
Process by which the U.S. Department of Labor certifies that there are no qualified U.S. workers willing and available to do a particular temporary work in the United States.
Executives/Managers of Multinational Companies (L-1A/L-1B) Visas:
Issued to foreign nationals who are managers, executives or employees with specialized knowledge of an international company doing business in the United States.
People of Extraordinary Ability (O-1A/O-1B)Visas:
Issued to foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
Athletes and Entertainers (P-1A/P-1B/P-2/P-3):
Issued to foreign entertainers or athletes who cannot qualify under the “extraordinary ability” standard for the O category.