Work visa types

Permanent Residence Work Visas

If you have received a valid offer of employment from the U.S., you may obtain an Immigrant Worker Visa.

All the Permanent Residence Work Visas are issued in chronological order.  When the annual limit for your category is reached, you need to wait until the following year. You can visit the Visa Bulletin to check your application status anytime once you have submitted your request.

To qualify for a Green Card for Professionals, you must fall into one of the following categories:

  • First Preference Green Card (EB-1 Visa): for workers with extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers, managers, and executives;
  • Second Preference (EB-2 Visa): for advanced degree professionals who can offer benefit to the U.S. economy or cultural interest;
  • Third Preference (EB-3 Visa): for skilled workers with bachelor’s degrees or at least two years of experience in their field;
  • Fourth preference (EB-4 Visa): for religious workers;
  • Fifth Preference (EB-5 Visa): for foreign nationals who wish to invest at least $1,000,000 or $500,00 in a “targeted employment area”.

Your permanent Worker Visa application process starts when you file a Form I-140. You must submit to the USCIS a written statement from your employer and all the adequate evidence to support your eligibility.

In some instances, you may be allowed to bring your spouse and children with you. After they enter the country, they can apply for a work permit or permanent residence.

Temporary Worker Visas

If you seek temporary admission to the U.S. for employment purposes, you can apply for a Worker Visa. Each permit has its own set of requirements, and some of them are only available to specific professional categories. Based on your visa tier, your spouse and dependants may be allowed to accompany you.

To be eligible for a Temporary Worker Visa, you first need to receive a job offer from a U.S.-based employer. You must also provide evidence of your nonimmigrant intent, meaning you plan to go back to your home country when your permit expires.

The U.S. Temporary Visa types are:

  • H-1B visa, for occupations that require specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree;
  • O Visas, for individuals of extraordinary ability;
  • L Visas, for foreign nationals who are temporarily transferred to a U.S.-based branch of their company;
  • E Visas, for applicants from one of the 80 countries that have signed a bilateral treaty with the U.S.;
  • J visas, for applicants who wish to conduct practical training or research in the U.S.;
  • TN Visas, for Canadian and Mexican professionals under the NAFTA.

Before you can apply for a U.S. Temporary Worker Visa, your sponsor must file a Form I-140 Petition. Your employer must also hold a labor certification approved by the Department of Labor. If you can prove that your service would be of national interest, you may self-petition for your visa or apply for a Green Card for Professionals.

Which work visa do you need?

E1 Visa: Treaty Trader E2 Visa: Treaty InvestorE3 Visa: Australian citizens H1B Visa: Specialty Occupation H3 Visa: Trainees & Exchange Visitors I Visa: Journalist & Media Professionals J1 Visa: Cultural & Education Exchange for Students L1 Visa: Intra-company transfer O1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability P1 Visa: Internationally Recognized Athletes P3 Visa: Artists & Entertainers R1 Visa: Religious Workers TN Visa: NAFTA Professional Workers J2 Visa: Spouse & Child Dependent of J1 Visa EB2 Visa (Green Card) EB3 Visa (Green Card) EB5 Visa: Immigrant Investor Program