Work Visa

Here are the different types of non immigrant working visas:

H1B Work Visa

This visa is for temporary and specialized workers. To qualify for an H-1B, you must therefore come to the US with a job offer for a specific role in a company, meaning that you need to prove that it required highly specialized skills and that you own them (with a bachelor or higher educational background or its equivalent in professional experience. The H-1B is, for example frequently issued for fashion model, but also architects, engineers, accountants, healthy specialists (such as nutritionists, physical therapists, pharmacists or chiropractors) and upper-level business managers.

Your employer must offer you the same wage than an American for a similar position, and have filled a LCA (Labor Condition Application) before you can start your application.

E1 and E2 Essential Employee Visa

The E-type non immigrant visas (the E1 and E2) were originally intended for foreigners wanting to invest in their on business or do trades with the US. But you can also be eligible if you want to work within this companies and help them develop. This is called the “essential employee” visas, for which you must :

  • have the same nationality as the company and be a citizen of one of the countries which have signed a trading treaty with the United-States (they are all listed here);
  • have a strategic position within the company and being “essential” (which is pretty vague) to its functioning and development; 

J1 Visa

There are 15 programs of J1 visa, completely different from each other.

J-1 Visa: the J-1 Program started to temporarily bring scholars into the United States temporarily for a specific educational purpose (teaching or conducting research). Today, it also focuses on promoting cultural exchange, especially to obtain a business or medical training in the US.

To be eligible, you must be a student, scholar, intern, trainee, intern, teacher, medical graduate or research assistant. You must also prove your participation in a program of study, research, training or cultural exchange create by the DOS (Department of State). Most of the J-1 visas are issued with a scholarship program for medical graduates and foreign teachers.

The other main eligibility criterias concern your budget. Meaning that you have to prove that you own enough from your personal resources, and not from a work activity, to cover your personal expenses in the US (thus the importance of the scholarship). You also have to prove your ability to speak, read and write the language so that you can effectively participate to the program. The J-1 visa is therefore not a good option if you want to live in the US to improve your english.

The application process differs for each type and requires a thorough knowledge of each requirement. Indeed, if you don’t do the proper paperwork, the foreign national’s application may be denied. Here are the different programs and specific eligibility criterias: 

  • Short-Term Scholar : this maximum 6 months visa is intended for teachers, researchers, post- doc or pre-doc, and graduate students participating in a lecture, training or observation in the US;
  • Professor & Research Scholar : intended for a duration of 3 weeks to 5 years, this program teachers or researchers participating to a research or teaching project in the US;
  • Alien Physician: limited to 7 years, this visa is for graduated medical students to pursue their education in the United States;
  • Intern: for a maximum duration of 12 months is for students enrolled in an academic university or college outside of the U.S, or graduated within 12 months of program start wanting to participate in a internship program in their field of study;
  • Trainee: this is the visa for you if you have a post- secondary degree or certificate from outside of the U.S plus one year of work experience,  or 5 years of work experience in total. It will allow you to participate in a structured program in your professional field for a duration of maximum 18 months;
  • Specialist: a visa for recognized experts participating in a observation or consultation program;
  • Secondary School Student : this visa (for a maximum of 2 semesters) is for secondary school students between the ages of 15 and 18.5 years old participating in an accredited public or private secondary schools,
  • College and University Student: for college/university degree or non-degree applicant from outside the U.S. enrolled in a a degree or non-degree program at an accredited post secondary academic institution, or in a student internship program;
  • Summer Work Travel: for university students working in unskilled seasonal or temporary jobs;
  • Camp Counselor: for youth workers, students, teachers, or individuals with specialized skills of more than 18 years serving as counselors in a U.S. summer camp;
  • Au Pair: this visa is for 18 to 26 years old with a secondary school level and provide child care to host families and take courses at a U.S. post- secondary accredited academic institution;
  • Teacher; this visa will allow you to stay in the United States for up to 3 years to teach full-time in an accredited primary public or private school.

L1 Visa

  • Managers/Executives (L1A Visa)
  • Specialized Knowledge Staff (L1B Visa)

Please see the article below for more information.

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