Working in the United States

Working in the United States as an immigrant can be done legally and illegally and if it is done legally it requires an employment visa. The United States government has over 60 different types of non-immigrant visa. Non-immigrant means non-permanent or temporary. People that obtain a work visa, which is non-permanent, must leave the country when their work visa expires or have it extended to continue working the job. They must also leave the country if they are fired from their job and they do not receive permission to stay within the country. Such visas include the B1, H1B, the L1, the E1 and the E2 visas. Temporary immigration employment visas are made available to immigrants wishing to work in the United States by the Immigration and Nationality Act. Each different visa that is available for temporary workers depends on the purpose of the applicants travel and the type of work you will be performing while in the country. Some of the visa classifications that are handed out for working in the country have a numerical limit placed on the number of visas that can be handed out each year.


Visa Types for Temporary Visitors:

  • H-1B classification applies to persons in a specialty occupation, which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge requiring completion of a specific course of higher education. A H1B extension may be possible.
  • H-1C classification applies to foreign nurses coming to perform nursing services in medically underserved areas for a temporary period up to three years.
  • H-2A classification applies to temporary or seasonal agricultural workers
  • H-2B classification applies to temporary or seasonal nonagricultural workers. This classification requires a temporary labor certification issued by the Secretary of Labor
  • H-3 classification applies to trainees other than medical or academic. This classification also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children
  • L classification applies to intra-company transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity
  • O-1 classification applies to persons who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field
  • O-2 classification applies to persons accompanying an O-1 alien to assist in an artistic or athletic performance for a specific event or performance
  • P-1 classification applies to individual or team athletes, or members of an entertainment group that are internationally recognized
  • P-2 classification applies to artists or entertainers who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program
  • P-3 classification applies to artists or entertainers who perform under a program that is culturally unique (same as P-1)
  • Q-1 classification applies to participants in an international cultural exchange program for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the alien's home country

Anyone wishing to work within the United States must apply for one of the previously mentioned visas in order to legally obtain a job and can do so with the United States Department of Homeland Security or the United States Department of State.

If you need more information, consult with an Immigration Attorney, they will be able to walk you through the entire process and answer all your questions.

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