American Migration Services
Which industries commonly employ expats in the USA?
The US offers a diverse range of roles for foreign workers which range from information technology specialists, nurses and agricultural workers to researchers and scientists.
What are the different types of employment visas available for working in the USA?
There are two types of US visa; the non-immigrant visa, which is for those seeking temporary work in the US and the immigrant visa, which is for those wishing to reside there permanently, whether they are seeking employment or not.
What is the process for getting an employment visa?
The applicant’s prospective employer will need to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor. If that is successfully received, the employer must file Form I-129 with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What documents will I need to submit?
This will depend on which employment visa you are applying for. For the H-1B category an applicant will need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. The employer must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the US Department of Labor stating that it complies with wage and working conditions, and also a petition to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which must be approved. If this is successful, the applicant will then need to apply for an H-1B visa at the nearest US embassy in their country of residence.
For the L-1 intra-company category, the employer will need to submit an individual petition on behalf of the applicant to USCIS. Once this is approved, the applicant may apply for the L-1 at a US embassy. Alternatively, multinational companies who frequently use the service will be able to make use of an L-1 ‘blanket’ petition.
What is the duration of an employment visa?
Applicants applying under the H-1B category are usually granted an initial period of stay of up to three years. Extension periods are available up to six years maximum. L-1 applicants are granted an initial period of stay of up to three years, with extensions available for up to a seven year maximum.
Can I come to the USA on a tourist visa to look for a job and apply for any job I find?
It is possible to look for jobs under a tourist visa and to search for work and attend interviews. You are not permitted to work without a work visa, however. If you do enter under a tourist visa, you will need to wait for sixty days to change category from a tourist to work visa.
If I have a partner/spouse/child living in the USA, can they sponsor me to live there?
Yes, as long as the partner, spouse or child is a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident who earns a sufficient salary and is prepared to support you financially, then this is a viable option. The designated sponsor will have to execute a legally binding affidavit that outlines their support for the applicant.
Can I apply for permanent residency and acquire citizenship when I get my employment visa?
To apply for permanent residency, it is necessary to qualify under certain prescribed employment-based criteria, such as the extraordinary ability EB-1 category, or the EB-3 skilled workers category.
The move to permanent residency can be a complex process with many important considerations for both the employer and employee, such as being aware of the impacts that business travel may have on a pending application. As a result, we recommend contacting us for a detailed assessment from a qualified US immigration attorney.
Does the USA have single and multiple visa entries? How do I get a multiple visa entry?
Depending on the applicant’s nationality, a visa can be issued for single entry or multiple/unlimited entry.
How can I ensure my relocation is successful?
Individuals should apply for their visas well in advance of the date they wish to travel to the US. You should not travel until your visa has been issued to you.