A work visa is a non-immigrant visa classification for individuals who wish to engage in employment in the United States. In order to obtain authorization to work in the U.S., applicants need to obtain a visa from a U.S. consulate, based upon a petition filed by a U.S. employer; however, those already in the United States may be able to change their statuses while remaining in the United States. There are several categories of non-immigrant work visas, including but not limited to, H-1B (specialty occupation), H-1B1 (specialty occupation from Chile & Singapore), L-1A/B (intra-company transferee), R-1 (religious workers), TN (treaty national for Canadian & Mexican citizens), and E-3 (certain specialty occupation professionals from Australia).
- H-1B has an annual numerical limitation;
- The amount of time a worker may remain in the United States is limited and depends upon the visa category;
- Each visa category has different educational requirements;
- Employment offer from a U.S. employer is generally required.
- Individual’s spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany individual on a derivative visa;
- Some non-immigrant visas are considered “dual intent” which allows an individual to apply for U.S. permanent residency (green card). Other non-immigrant visas, however, require an individual to demonstrate non-immigrant intent.