Foreign nationals who do not have permanent residence status or a work visa are unable to work in the United States. An employer who wishes to hire a foreign national may submit a petition for an employment visa with the United States Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") on behalf of the potential employee.
If the petition is accepted, the potential employee will need to get a "visa stamp" from a US embassy or consulate (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement). An employer must submit a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to get a temporary work visa in the United States (USCIS). The visa request must contain an authorized petition; visa kinds include the following.
H-1B visas are intended for individuals with a college degree who are employed to do specialized job. The visa is good for three years and may be renewed for another three. The employer who submitted the petition is linked to the visa. If the employee's employer changes, the procedure must be repeated. Each year, 65,000 H-1B visas are available.
H-1B1 visas are available to Chilean and Singaporean candidates with a college degree. Each year, the US government provides up to 1,400 visas to Chileans and 5,400 visas to Singaporeans.
H-2A visas are intended for short-term or seasonal agricultural employment. It is only available to citizens of eligible countries. Usually good for up to a year, but may be extended for up to three years.
H-2B visas are for non-agricultural labor that is transitory. These visas are only available to citizens of certain countries. Usually good for up to a year, but may be extended for up to three years.
L visas are intended for intercompany transfers (people transferred from a foreign company to a US branch of the company.) The candidate must have worked for the firm for a year prior to the transfer and be in a management or higher level job with specialized expertise.
0 visas are reserved for those with exceptional aptitude in science, the arts, education, business, or sports.
The normal approach is for the employee to get a short-term work visa and then apply for an immigrant visa after beginning employment in the United States.
The following are the available visas for persons seeking employment-based immigration visas.
E-1 visas are reserved for those with exceptional aptitude in science, the arts, education, business, and sports.
E-2 visas are reserved for those with advanced degrees or outstanding aptitude.
E-3 visas are available for both skilled employees and professionals, as well as unskilled laborers.
E-4 visas are granted to members of certain immigration groups.
E-5 visas are intended for immigrant investors in US businesses (substantial investment)
Alternatively, an employer may sponsor a potential employee's application for permanent resident status, also known as a "green card," if the employee can demonstrate that he or she is a multinational executive/manager transferee, possesses unique skills, or has been offered a job in the United States. The employer must have been unable to find a U.S. worker who met the minimal standards for the employment.
All employers are required to ensure that all employees they hire are legally permitted to work in the United States.