U.S. Work Visa: How to Get One?

A work visa to the United States may be an immigrant or non-immigrant visa. The second option is the most frequent and is more popular. But there are certain restrictions even for it. The U.S. government sets annual quotas for the total number of foreign workers that U.S. companies may hire. Citizens of countries with which the United States has special trade relations have an advantage.

How to obtain a US Work Permit

The most important thing in the process of obtaining a U.S. work visa is to find an employer who will be ready to draw up all the necessary documents in order to hire you. For most types of visas, a potential employer will file a petition on Form I-129, for which they will need a number of documents from you (a diploma, CV, and some others). When the petition is ready, the employer will receive notification of its approval (Form I-797).

You must then apply for a work visa to the United States. To do so, you will need to pay a consular fee ($190), fill out the DS-160 application form, and undergo an interview at the Embassy.

In case of a successful outcome, you will be issued a visa for 3 years, which can be further extended. The total period of stay is limited to 6 years. Afterwards you can apply for a Green Card (residence permit).

One of the most important points in the whole process is the choice of visa type. Incorrect choice of visa type will be the reason for refusal.

It is extremely important to have a higher education corresponding to the position. To successfully complete the visa process, you must have at least a bachelor's degree in a field directly related to your future work. In exceptional cases, extensive work experience in a specialty may play a positive role.

Types of work visas to the United States and their features

In addition there are a number of other less popular types of work visas, such as I (for journalists), J (visas for exchange programs), R (for religious figures), etc.

Required documents

For a work visa applicant, the most important thing is to show that they are qualified, educated, and experienced enough for their position. Depending on the type of visa, different documents are required, but the most generalized list looks like this:

Also be sure to bring a printout of your interview invitation letter, the DS-160 Application Confirmation page, recent photograph, a valid passport and all passports previously issued to you.

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