Work Visa Classifications in the USA

There are several options available for foreign nationals who wish to work and live in the United States. Each visa has different entry requirements, application procedures, and fees, and which U.S. visa fits your specific needs should be carefully evaluated. Factors such as nationality, qualification, duration of the stay, and company affiliation all play a significant role in choosing which visa category is best for you. To help you determine which visa to choose, we’ve provided an overview of the different U.S. work visas available.

Non-Immigrant Visa Categories

Non-immigrant visas for the United States are intended for a temporary work stay only. A temporary work visa only entitles the visa holder to work for a limited time in the United States. This includes business trips or assignments to the U.S. To know which visa fits best in your situation, consult with a Shenandoah immigration attorney today.

Work Visa Under this classification, there are different temporary work visas available:

  • H-1B Visa. The H-1B visa is one of the most popular nonimmigrant visas. To get an H1 visa, the applicant must have an employment offer from an employer in the States to work in a specialty occupation, and you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Your employer must sponsor your petition and file an I-129 petition at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. 
  • L-1 Visa. This visa is for an intracompany transferee who wants to work at a branch, affiliate, parent, or subsidiary of their current employer. They must be transferred to the U.S. to work in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position that requires specialized knowledge. To qualify for an L1 visa, they must have also been working in the same company abroad for at least 1 year in the last 3 years before applying. 
  • O-1 Visa. This visa is for aliens or foreign nationals with extraordinary ability or achievement in the field of arts, sciences, education, athletics, business, or those who have demonstrated extraordinary achievements in television or motion pictures. Individuals providing essential services to the above individual are also qualified for this visa category. 
  • E-1 Visa. The E1 visa is for foreign nationals from certain countries who have a trade agreement with the U.S. To obtain a visa in this category, you can apply as a Treaty Investor or Treaty Trader, and you must be from a country that has trade relations with the U.S. You must also prove that you’re coming to the country to conduct trades pursuant to the treaty. To apply for this visa, you must go to a U.S. consulate office in your home country and submit the necessary visa documents.

Immigrant Visa Categories

If you’re planning to live and work in the USA indefinitely, then you should apply for an immigrant visa. Below are some of the permanent employment visas which you can apply for to live and work in the U.S. for an indefinite period of time. 

  • EB-1 Visa. If you’re a foreign national with extraordinary ability, a multinational manager or executive, or an excellent researcher and/or professor, then the employment first preference (E1) visa is for you. Under this category, you can apply for a green card as long as you’ll continue to work in the U.S. under your field of expertise. Aliens who have the expertise or extraordinary ability in sciences, athletics, arts, education, or business must provide documents showing they have national or international acclaim in their field. In this visa category, no employment offer is necessary when you apply for a visa, and you can personally file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker of Form I-140 at the USCIS office. For professors and researchers, they must have at least three years’ worth of teaching or research experience, and they must have international recognition for their work. For multinational managers and executives, the criteria that they must meet is similar to the one for an L1 visa.
  • EB-2 Visa. The second preference E2 visa is for professionals who have advanced degrees or exceptional ability in arts, sciences, or business. To qualify, the applicant must have a labor certification that was approved by the Department of Labor, and an employment offer from a U.S. employer. 

Planning to Get a Work Visa soon? Our Shenandoah Immigration Attorneys Can Help

Here at Luis F. Hess, PLLC, our experienced immigration attorneys in Shenandoah TX can provide you with the legal assistance you need for your visa application.

We have Shenandoah immigration lawyers who can help you process your visa application and other US immigration documents. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.