What is work visa?
Before entering the United States of America, you always have to travel with a valid visa or travel authorization no matter the the reason for the visit. The ESTA and B1/B2 visas are quite straightforward and easy to obtain, but none of those is allowing you to work or start a company.
To start a regular job or go for the summer working holidays, you need to get a working visa. Either temporary or permanent, depending on your contract and plans. We won’t be talking about the Green Card in this section now.
Work visa qualifications
There are three preconditions that someone interested in obtaining a US work visa needs to fulfill before applying. If you do not meet even one of these conditions, the Embassy might deny your visa application. This will make you unable to travel to the U.S and work there.
Here are the preconditions:
USA Work Visa types
To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.
To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. (Note: This is not a petition-based visa. For application procedures, please refer to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Chile or the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.)
For temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
For temporary or seasonal non- agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
To receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. Individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the three preceding years.
For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognized achievements in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
For performance under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
To perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
For practical training and employment and for sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of your home country through participation in an international cultural exchange program.
Despite being focused primarily for students to allow attending a school in Australia, it allows to work 20 hours a week. So together with studying, you can find a part time job.
- Valid passport
- Enrollment as a school/course in Australia
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), of be in an exempt category
- 6 years or older
- Prove you have a welfare arrangement if you are under 18
Allows you to work full time, but only for 6 consecutive months. Also no change of employer is allowed.
- 18 – 30 years old (Canadian, French and Irish citizens up to 35)
- Valid passport
- Cannot be accompanied by dependent children
Valid only for retirees, allows maximum of 40 hours of work every 2 weeks.
It’s not possible to apply for this type of visa since 2019. Only if you are an existing Investor Retirement Visa holder, or a former one.
Things you need to get work visa
In general, these documents are required. However this can vary candidate by candidate, always consult with your local embassy.
- DS-160 form
- Application fee payment receipt
- Personal photo
- Receipt Number from form I-129
All visa applicants, except H-1B and L, will generally need to show proof of compelling ties to your home country to demonstrate your intent to return after your temporary stay in the United States. Examples of compelling ties include:
- A residence abroad which you do not intend to abandon
- Your family relationships
- Your economic situation
- Your long term plans