1. Careers
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Work in USA Information

USA Work Visas Requirements and Applications

By

American flag
Thinkstock Images / Stockbyte / Getty Images
Foreign nationals who are not American citizens or lawful permanent residents of the US need a work visa, as well as a permit to work, officially known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), in order to work in the USA.

Prior to coming to the USA to work, you will need to obtain a visa from the US Embassy or Consulate in your country or the country that is closest to your residence abroad. Here's a directory of US Embassies and Consulates.

Visa Requirements

If you want to work in the US temporarily you will need a specific visa based on the purpose of your travel and type of work you will be doing. In order to obtain a visa, you will need to meet specific requirements to qualify for a Temporary Work visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa.

In addition, your prospective employer must generally file a nonimmigrant petition on your behalf with USCIS (US Citizen and Immigration Services). U.S. companies must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

How to Find an Employer

US Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visas are for individuals approved to participate in work and study based exchange visitor programs. Participants in these programs can access a list of organizations that will sponsor their visa and information on applying online. Here's more information on US Exchange Visitor visas.

For other workers, visa sponsorship varies depending on the type of employment you are interested in i.e. seasonal work, temporary work, and the skills and experience you have.

For workers seeking permanent US residency, a green card, formally known as United States Lawful Permanent Residency, authorizes an individual to live and work in the United States permanently. Individuals seeking a green card through a job can apply while abroad once they are assigned an immigrant visa number. Here's more information on employment based green cards.

Work in USA Articles and Advice

DISCLAIMER:
The private web sites, and the information linked to both on and from this site, are opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.