There are various types of visa to work, study or live legally in the United States. The most common type of visa for foreigners that are looking for work in the United States is the H-1B.
The principal requirement to obtaining a visa is having a job offer from a US employer. You must also comply with a series of criteria established by the US government.
Types of visa to work temporarily in the US
All foreigners that wish to move temporarily to the US to work must obtain a non-immigrant visa. This type of visa is known as category H, or a temporary work visa type H.
There are three principal types of temporary visa:
H-1B visa to work in the United States
The H-1B is the name of the visa that covers highly qualified professionals, often related to the technology sector. Although this is the most common type of visa for foreign workers, there is an annual limit of 65,000 visas, and another 20,000 that are granted to non-US citizens that have graduated from American universities and want to pursue postgraduate studies.
H-1B visa requirements:
- The candidate has a degree.
- The company has the necessary qualifications to apply for a visa.
- That the worker’s salary is in line with the wages of other professionals in the same job sector in the region where he/she is going to work.
The company will be in charge of starting the H-1B visa application.
The H-1B allows you to work for three years in the US and only for the company or employer that granted your visa application. You can renew your visa for another three years. After these 6 years, you cannot renew or apply for a different type of visa for a year.
L-1A and L-1B visas to work in the United States
The L-1A visa allows you to work in the US for 7 years, whilst the L-1B allows you to stay for 5 years. These types of visa are granted to foreign workers that have worked outside the US for a parent, subsidiary or affiliate american company.
There is no annual limit for these types of visa and the application process is shorter.
J-1 visa to work or study in the United States
This visa is granted to people that are going to work, study or carry out an investigation in a cultural exchange programme or an education programme recognised by the educational institutions of the United States.
This visa is categorised into two groups: private or government/educational. The duration of the programme depends on the type of work or study undertaken. If you are going to do a masters or a postgraduate programme, or be an au-pair, then you should apply for a J-1 visa.
You can consult more detailed information about all the visas to work temporarily in the United States on the designated section of the US Department of State website.
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