If you meet certain criteria, you can legally immigrate to the U.S. for employment purposes. The two primary employment visa categories are (1) permanent employment-based visas and (2) temporary work visas. Prospective immigrants hoping to obtain an employment visa must typically obtain a U.S. employer’s sponsorship.
EMPLOYMENT-BASED PERMANENT VISAS
There are five preference categories of permanent employment-based visas:
EB-1 Priority Workers:
Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.
Outstanding professors or researchers.
Managers and executives transferred to the U.S.
EB-2 Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Persons with Exceptional Ability:
Individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.
Professionals with advanced degrees.
Qualified Physicians intending to practice medicine in under served areas.
EB-3 Skilled or Professional Workers:
Professionals with bachelor’s or equivalent degrees.
Skilled workers with at least two years experience.
EB-4 Special Immigrants:
Employees and former employees of the U.S. Government abroad.
EB-5 Immigrant Investors:
Individuals who are in the process of investing or have invested $500,000 – $1,000,000 in a new business that employs a certain number of people.
TEMPORARY WORK VISAS
There are over a dozen different types of temporary work visas, such as the H-1B visa, which allows foreign workers skilled in certain “specialty occupations” to legally work in the U.S. Entering the country via a temporary work visa can be a positive initial step toward permanent immigration. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help you determine the proper visa to apply for and get you on track for a more permanent immigration solution.