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Understanding the Different Types of Employment Visas

If you are a foreign national seeking employment in the United States, you will need to apply for an employment visa. However, there are a number of different employment visas available – making it difficult to determine which visa is right for you. Whether you want to work in the U.S. temporarily, permanently, or in a specific field, our team at Stok Kon + Braverman can help you determine which visa is best for you. Below we break down the most common employment visas.

Temporary Non-Immigrant Visas

Temporary non-immigrant visas are for individuals who want to work in the United States for a certain period of time. In most cases, potential U.S. employers need to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help a foreign national obtain a temporary work permit. Common types of temporary employment visas include:

  • H-1B Visas: this visa is for people in a certain professional or academic field who at least have a college degree or higher or the equivalent in work experience.

  • L Visas: this visa is for workers who are transferring to work for the same company but in the United States. They must be working at a managerial or executive level.

  • O Visas: this visa is for those with extraordinary and exceptional abilities or achievements, across industries.

  • P Visas: these visas are for professionals who specialize in athletics or artistic endeavors and the people who accompany these extraordinary performers.

Permanent Visas

Permanent visas are for those who want to work and live in the United States permanently. You must have the right skill set, qualifications, and experience to qualify for a permanent visa. There are four different preference types for permanent visas:

  • EB-1: this visa is for those with “extraordinary ability,” such as business professionals, academics and researchers, scientists, the arts, or athletics.

  • EB-2: this visa is for professionals holding an advanced degree or foreign equivalent or for those who are a national interest of the U.S.

  • EB-3: this visa is for people holding a bachelor’s degree, as well as skilled and unskilled laborers who have a long-term offer of employment from a U.S. employer.

  • EB-4: this visa is for (but not limited to) religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, and noncitizen minors who are wards of courts in the United States.

Need help applying for a visa? Contact us today to schedule a consultation!