By Ragoo Raghunathan,
One of the most popular topics at get togethers or professional networking events is Visa and work permit. Often dependents who accompany their spouses are wondering if they can take up a job, start earning to settle down and start their family. Here I have taken a few paragraphs from www.visaplace.com to highlight and offer a quick refresher on some of the visas and requirements.
To work in the United States, you must obtain a work visa to be employed in the country legally. There are several different types of work visas available for foreigners who are interested in working in the United States. A few categories for these permits include temporary work visas, exchange worker visas, and seasonal work visas.
Often the visa depends on the type of occupation you will perform in America. Some other factors that affect which visa is best for you can include whether you have a relationship with an employer, how long you’ll be employed in the United States, and what degree of skill it takes to perform the job.
Which U.S. Work Visa is Right For You?
Any foreign national can apply for a U.S. work visa. There are many different options for individuals seeking temporary employment in the States depending on the type of work performed.
US work visa options include:
- L-1 visa: for foreign workers and owners wishing to transfer to a new or existing U.S. business
- E2 and E1 visa permit: for investors and traders.
- H-1B visa permit: for specialty occupations
- H-2B visa permit: for non-agricultural workers
- EB-1 Green Card: Outstanding Researcher or Professor immigrant visa classification
- EB-2 Green Card Permit: Based on Exceptional Ability.
- EB-3 Green Card Permit: Professionals, Skilled and Other Worker
- EB-4 Green Card Permit: Special immigrants including religious workers
US Work Permit Requirements
- Passport(s) valid for 60 days beyond the expiration date printed on the immigrant visa.
- Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
- Two (2) 2×2 photographs.
- Civil Documents for the applicant.
- Financial Support. At your immigrant visa interview, you must demonstrate to the consular officer that you will not become a public charge in the United States.
- Completed Medical Examination Forms
Embassy or Consulate Requirements
You will be required to visit your local embassy or consulate for an interview. Each applicant should bring a valid passport to the interview, as well as any other documentation above not already provided
Processing Time for US Work Permit
The processing time for US work permits range depending on the type of visa you are applying for and where the application is processed.
For example, if you are applying for an H-1B visa and it is being processed through the California center it can take 8 to 10.5 months. If you applied for the same visa out of the Vermont service center it would take 6.5 to 8.5 months.
It is always recommended that you consult with an immigration professional to get a better estimate of how long your US work permit application will take.
What About an Employment Based Green Card?
Permanent residents, also known as green card holders, are non-US citizens who are authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. Many people obtain their green card through a family based green card or employment based green card. Each year many applicants are awarded green cards in employment-based categories. These groups are divided into five sections EB-1 thru EB-5.
Working in America on a Student Visa
Students studying in the United States on a student permit may work on campus, but they are not authorized to work off-campus during their first academic year in their program. After their first academic year, foreigners on US student visas can engage in three types of off-campus employment:
- Curricular Practical Training
- Optional Practical Training (pre-completion or post-completion)
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension
The best starting point to learn and find updated info about Visas and immigration is at https://www.uscis.gov/.