The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues different types of work visas, which may apply for distinct categories depending on their rules and eligibility criteria. In this article, you will find out the most popular visas used by foreign nationals to work legally in the United States. 

Can Foreign Nationals Work in the US? – Immigrant Visas (Permanent Employment-Based Immigration) 

EB-1 Priority Workers  

The EB-1 category is an immigrant visa that applies to priority workers. Subdivided into three different categories, it encompasses persons of extraordinary ability (EB-1A), outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1B), and executives and managers working for multinational companies (EB-1C).  

While self-sponsorship based on specific qualifications is available for the EB-1A category, the other categories require applicants to find a US employer to sponsor a permanent offer of employment and file an employment-based petition with USCIS. 

EB-2 Professionals with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability  

The EB-2 category encompasses individuals who are members of professions that require an advanced degree (or its equivalent) or that possess proven exceptional ability in the arts, science, or business. 

This category also requires a US employer to sponsor the applicant. Nonetheless, applicants may apply for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) under specific circumstances. 

EB-3 Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers  

The EB-3 category applies to a wide array of professionals, which includes: 

  • Skilled workers (with at least two years of training or experience) 
  • Professionals with college degrees 
  • Workers for unskilled labor (that is not temporary work) 

Accordingly, this category is one of the most sought-after options among work immigrant visas, considering its less demanding eligibility criteria. However, it also results in a longer backlog due to the colossal amount of applications. 

Can Foreign Nationals Work in the US? – Nonimmigrant Temporary Work Visas  

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa  

Eligible foreign investors from countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation may qualify for the E-2 visa. As provided by USCIS, an eligible E-2 investor may enter the United States legally upon: 

  • “Investing, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States” 
  • “Seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise” 

Accordingly, a passive investment will not fulfill the requirement, as the capital must be at risk in an operating business enterprise.  

H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa  

The H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that permits applicants to enter the United States upon receiving an employment offer to occupy a job position in a specialty occupation. USCIS has specific requirements for this category, but most successful H-1B applicants enter the United States to occupy a position that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

Due to the high demand and the limited number of H-1B visas annually issued by USCIS, applicants may have to face longer processing times than other similar visas. 

L-1 Visa Temporary Intra/Intercompany Transferee Visa  

The L-1 work visa is a nonimmigrant visa category that is divided into two categories – the L-1A visa (Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager) and the L-1B visa (Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge).  

Generally, this type of visa is utilized by multinational companies to transfer executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge to either occupy an existing position or open a new office in the United States. 

Do You Want to Work in the US Legally as a Foreign National? – Consult with Attorney Romy B. Jurado Today  

Each type of employment-based visa has different requirements, which requires a strategic approach. If you want to succeed in your application, call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation.