The USA Requirements for a Working Visa

By Gwen Wark
Working in the United States requires a proper visa.
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Working visas in the United States are issued for a number of professions. To obtain a U.S. work visa, the intending immigrant and his employer must complete a number of steps, including a petition to apply, a visa application and an in-person interview. Work visas are applied for outside of the United States; once the visa has been issued, the immigrant is eligible to come to the United States and work.

I-129 Petition to Apply

The first step required in the immigration process for potential workers is the I-129 form. This form is filed by the employer on behalf of the immigrant; this petition is sent to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine if the position and employer are eligible to bring a foreign employee to the United States. The I-129 asks questions about the employer, the type of employment being offered and the details of the position. Some classes of visa require that the employer hold a temporary labor certification with USCIS to send a petition.


The visa application is the employee's responsibility. Once the I-129 petition is approved, this is forwarded on to the U.S. embassy in the immigrant's home country. From there, the embassy sends a packet of information to the immigrant, including an application and information on making a visa appointment. This packet will contain the DS-156 Application for a Nonimmigrant Visa and the DS-157 Supplemental Nonimmigrant Application. Once the information required has been gathered and the applications completed, the immigrant moves to the interview stage.

The Interview

The final step to obtaining a U.S. working visa is the in-person interview held at the U.S. embassy. During this interview the immigrant will submit his application and supporting documents for review by a consular officer. The officer will also ask questions about the employment and the immigrant's plans in the United States. If the application and interview answers are satisfactory, the visa will be stamped into the new immigrant's passport, and he will be able to travel to the United States to work for his employer.

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