Obtaining a US Work Visa

By Catherine Johnson
a work visa, the United States

A United States visa allows foreign nationals to temporarily reside and work in the country. Although the H-1B visa is the most common type of work visa, there are numerous other types of temporary visas available, depending upon your education, industry, and skills. Although the process and requirements are quite extensive, the U.S. and its businesses are committed and open to hiring qualified foreign nationals and bringing them and their families within its borders.

Go to the United States Department of State Visa website to view the requirements for the different temporary work visas that are available. Each visa type has different requirements in terms of education, job type, or industry. You can find a link in the Resources section below.

Apply for a job in the United States that suits the requirements of your selected visa type. Once you are hired, your employer must now sponsor you for a visa to work in the United States.

Your employer files Form I-129, a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security.

Apply for a temporary work visa through your local US embassy or consulate. You must provide the following documents and materials: the Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-156), the Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-157), a valid passport, and one 2x2 inch photograph. You can fulfill the visa application forms online and print them out to bring to the embassy or consulate (see Resources).

When the Form I-129 petition from your employer is approved, you must present the receipt number provided on the approved form. This will allow you to undergo the required interview process for the visa.

Once you are approved for a work visa and are also able to prove financial stability and support, you may also bring over your spouse and children to the United States. Unless they also meet the qualifications for a work visa, they will not be permitted to work in the US.

About the Author

Catherine Johnson is a freelance writer and designer. Her writings on computer software, electronics, cooking, digital photography, home office productivity, organization, and online technologies have been published by Demand Studios, eHow, Bright Hub, and Associated Content. She has also produced award-winning graphic design, digital images, and websites since 2003.