Every year, the United States receives hundreds of thousands of applications from people who apply for a work visa. And every year, the U.S. grants thousands of visas to a select pool of applicants, spread across a wide range of employment categories. While the process to apply for a work visa isn’t exactly easy, it’s certainly much easier if you understand the various options available when you apply for a work visa and can identify which are most likely to suit your needs.
Examples Of Who Can Apply For A Work Visa
Unfortunately, there is no industry that will “guarantee” a work visa will be granted. Rather, the government issues visas across an incredibly broad range of businesses and disciplines. Here are a few examples:
• Artists, including opera vocalists and painters
• Cultural exchange participants
• IT specialists
• Religious workers
• Aid workers
• Medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses
• Agricultural workers
• And many more
So, all of these individuals qualified for work visas, yet they likely applied and were approved under unique employment categories. Each category has its own set of unique requirements, conditions, and duration of stays. Violation of any of the terms and conditions under which the visa is granted can result in deportation and denial of re-entry.
Categories Of Work Visas
We’ve summarized the broader categories as follows:
- Temporary Worker (Non-Immigrant): First of all, this category applies to any individual looking to enter the U.S. for a short period of time, for a very specific work purpose. These are not individuals looking to extend their stay, or immigrate. The government restricts them to the activity for which their visa was originally granted.
- Permanent Worker (Immigrant): Secondly, this category is for individuals looking to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely.
- Students and Foreign Exchange Visitors: Another category, while not expressly considered a work visa, some students and exchange visitors may be granted permission to work in the U.S. To do so, they must first get permission from their school.
- Temporary Business Visitors: Finally, these aren’t quite work visas, but they do allow you to conduct business while here in the U.S. However, you do not always need a business (B-1) visa; some individuals will qualify under the Visa Waiver Program. Look for more information on both B-1 visas and the VWP to determine which scenario best applies to you.
Under each of these categories are sub-categories and classifications for visa types. Which sub-category and classification you or your family may fall under when you apply for a work visa is unique to each situation.
Helpful Information for Employers and Prospective Employees
Hence, an employer must verify that the U.S. government has authorized any individual they plan to employ to accept employment here in the U.S. This includes any individuals who qualify under the following:
• Permanent residents
• Asylum seekers
• Qualified refugees
• Other work-related classifications
Especially relevant, if a person does not already have employment authorization, they will need to apply for it.