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Which work visas should new immigrants to the U.S. consider?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION - Immigration |

Moving to the U.S. to work is a dream for many around the world. To legally work in the country, you need a work visa.

Here is a guide on some of the most popular work visas to consider if you are looking to make that dream a reality.

H-1B visa: For specialty occupations

If you are a professional in a specialty occupation, the H-1B visa might be for you. It is for jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or higher, such as in IT, engineering, mathematics and certain business specialties. Qualification requires an offer of employment from a U.S. employer who will be your sponsor. This visa can last up to six years, and you might even transition to a green card later on.

L-1 visa: For intra-company transferees

Are you already employed with a company abroad that has an additional office in the U.S.? If so, the L-1 visa can facilitate your transfer to that U.S. office. There are two types: L-1A for executives or managers and L-1B for employees who have specialized knowledge. In addition, with the appropriate conditions, this visa can be a pathway to a green card.

O-1 visa: For extraordinary ability or achievement

If you have proven exceptional ability in a field such as education, sciences, business, athletics or arts, the O-1 visa is a strong consideration. It is necessary to have evidence of your achievements, like awards or a significant body of work. It also requires a U.S. employer, agent or sponsor who can vouch for your expertise.

E-2 visa: For treaty investors

Are you considering starting a business in the U.S.? If your home country has a treaty of commerce with the U.S., the E-2 visa might be an option. You must invest a substantial amount of money in a qualified U.S. business and intend to journey to the U.S. to further develop that enterprise. The investment should be in an active business, not just stocks or bonds.

Selecting the right work visa depends on your situation and career goals. Do your research, understand the requirements and pursue the best visa option for you. Starting a new chapter in the U.S. can be exciting, and having the correct work visa is the first step in that journey.