A US Work Visa provides the opportunity for individuals from foreign countries to live and work in the United States. Each year there are a limited number of work visas made available. Citizens of countries that have signed the NAFTA treaty with the United States are considered first.
Types of Work Visas: There are many types of visas for work, and the complexity of the application process will require some study and perseverance. The H type applications are for highly trained and skilled workers. People with medical training such as nurses receive priority over other applications. If you are working for a company that has offices in another country and you will be transferring you will need an L type application. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) web site lists the types of work visas available along with assistance to help you choose the correct application.
Family Members: In most cases, individuals who receive a visa for work can apply for visas for their family members. There are two types of visas. One is for family members who wish to live in the United States during the term of employment. This type of visa does not allow any of those family members to be employed during their stay. The other only permits family members to visit the country during the employment of the worker here on a work visa.
Length of Stay: Most visas for work are limited in duration. If you will be learning a specific skill or training to perform a task for your employer, the length of your stay is limited to two years. Skilled and highly trained professionals may extend their employment stay for up to seven years. You must apply for extensions prior to the expiration date.
Special Consideration: Citizens from NAFTA treaty countries have less stringent work visa requirements. While some non-skilled applications are approved, skilled and professional workers are granted first consideration. United States work visas go to Canadian, Mexican and Currently 10,500 Australian workers annually.
Visa Assistance: The application process for a United States work visa is very complicated. In addition to submitting the proper application forms, your employer must submit a request for you to work in the U.S. Before you submit your visa application, this request must be approved. There are private companies that for a fee can assist you in the application process. The USCIS has many helpful guidelines and information on their web site to help you.
Every citizen of another country must have a work visa before arriving in the United States for employment. Although citizens of certain countries will find they have a better chance of being approved than those of some other countries.