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Work Permit Visa in USA: U.S. Work Visas and Eligibility & How to apply for a U.S. Work Permit as a Foreigner


A USA work visa is just a top-notch for anyone that wants to travel to the USA for employment specifically or for a study and work program, therefore as an international student or scholar, the first thing that comes to your mind is how to secure a work permit Visa in the USA and the visa requirements that will allow you to work fully as a citizen or get a residence permit while you continue with your work. if this is part of what you are looking for then maybe you should consider reading this article to learn more on how to secure a work permit visa in the USA.

Work Permit Visa in USA

Guideline on securing the visa as a Foreigner

Are you a foreigner interested in employment in the U.S.A? If so, you will need a work visa to be legally employed in the USA.

There are several types of work visas available to foreign nationals who want to work in the United States; green cards (for permanent residency), temporary work visas, seasonal work visas, and exchange worker visas.

The type of visa you may be eligible for will depend on the type of work you do, and if you have a relationship with an employer.

Yes, People from all over the world want to work in the U.S because of the high salaries and good working environments.

One of the reasons for this is that the country is where many people go for touristic purposes, the U.S is also a popular working destination.

However, if you want to work in the U.S. temporarily as a nonimmigrant, under U.S. immigration law, you need a specific visa regarding the type of work you will do.

The guidelines for obtaining authorization to work in the United States vary depending on the type of visa and the eligibility requirements for that visa.

Finally, this article will contain different types of U.S. work visas, including eligibility and requirements, how to apply for a visa.

What is the American Work Visa?

Let’s start up with the visa in the USA  so that all can understand what the visa is all about before we take you to the visa requirements and benefits.

Note: Applicants need to fulfill a list of US visa requirements and submit the documents specified before they can be granted the visa.

USA Work Visa is used for people to go and work temporarily in the U.S. for a specified period of time. The period of time that you will be working should be noted in the employment contract or the visa application.

Difference between a Work Permit and a Work Visa

Yes, we have to discuss or talk more about this before we go further, some people confuse themselves with a work permit or work visa.

Work Visa allows you to live in the U.S. and work for a specific employer and the employer applies for the visa for you. The visa is only valid for as long as you continue working for that employer.

However, you only work for that employer while in the U.S. and if you leave that employer, you will not be able to work for anyone else until you get another immigration status.

Work Permit on the other hand is not tied to a specific employer. Here if you have a Work Permit, you can work for any employer in the U.S. but you will need to renew your Work Permit every year.

Also, you will only be able to renew if you have an immigration status that allows you to keep working.

How long does it take to get a work permit?

Once you submit your Work Permit application to USCIS, the processing time is usually 5–7 months. USCIS will send you a “Receipt Notice” when they receive your paperwork.

Also, if you receive this notice, you will be able to use the Receipt Number that it provides to track your application status on USCIS’s website.

Who is eligible for a Work Permit? (Work Permit Visa in the USA)

Many immigrants can apply for a Work Permit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS provides detailed information about who is eligible to work in the U.S.

Eligible immigrants for this include:

  • Immigrants with extraordinary abilities.
  • Spouses of some visa holders.
  • Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
  • DACA recipients.
  • K-1 Fiance Visa holders, asylees.
  • Immigrants with pending adjustment of status (Green Card) applications.
  • Certain exchange visitors.
  • Approved “temporary workers”.
  • F-1 students who are experiencing financial hardship who want to apply for optional practical training (OPT).

US Work Visa Requirements

You will need to have these documents:

Note: You should contact your local U.S Embassy for more detailed information.

  • Valid passport – which needs to be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the U.S and an additional six months after you return.
  • US visa photo – which you need to upload when you fill out the online application form.
  • The Receipt Number, which you can find on your approved Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (I-129 Form) which your employer filed.
  • A confirmation page that you have completed your Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160 Form).
  • A receipt that proves that you have paid the application fee. For US work visas, the application fee is $190.
  • Proof that you will return to your home country after your work in the U.S ends. Examples of how you can prove you will return from the U.S include the following:
    • Submitting your economic situation
    • Your family relationships
    • Any long term plans you might have
    • The residence that you plan on returning to
  • For those applying for an L Visa, you will also need to have a filled I-129S form (Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition).
  • You should bring this form with you when you have your visa interview.

USA Work Visa Types (Work Permit Visa in USA)

Here are the types of US Temporary Work Visas:

  • H-2B visa: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker For temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
  • H-3 visa: Trainee or Special Education visitor To receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
  • I visa: Representatives of Foreign Media The visa allows journalists and those who work in the information or media sector to complete their work while in the U.S.
  • L1 visa: Intra-company Transferee To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.
  • H1B visa: Person in Specialty Occupation To work in a specialty occupation requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development.
  • H-1B1 visa: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional – Chile, Singapore To work in a specialty occupation that requires a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. (Note: This is not a petition-based visa).

read more (Work Permit Visa in the USA)

  • H-2A visa: Temporary Agricultural Worker For temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
  • P-1 visa: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group.
  • P-2 visa: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) For performance under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.
  • P-3 visa: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) To perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation.
  • R-1 visa: Temporary Non-immigrant Religious Workers To help foreign nationals to come to the U.S and work in a religious organization only ministers and those who are directly tied to religious work are qualified.
  • TN visa: NAFTA Workers This visa allows lawyers, scientists, engineers, teachers from Canada to work in the US temporarily.
  • O1 Visa: Visa for persons with extraordinary abilities The O1 visa is for those who show expert knowledge in science, business, education, athletics, or art, including international recognition for their work.

How to apply for a Work Permit in the USA (Work Permit Visa in the USA)

on getting to this after reading the above information, you must have a good knowledge of what the USA is all about. Therefore lets’s move further by checking up on how you apply for a work permit.

1. Apply for an immigration status

Firstly, you have to apply to get a Work Permit, then after that, you need to have an immigration status that allows you to work in the U.S. If you already have this type of status, then you prepare for the FORMs.

2. Prepare Form I-765

The forms you need are very necessary for this visa process. You will use USCIS Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to apply for a Work Permit.

Form I-765 is very simple. to get down your details; You’ll fill in your name, contact information, and information about why you are eligible.

There are just important but smart questions you might see:

  • Question 22  You need to list your most recent entry into the U.S., even if you have been living here for years and only left for a short trip. “Manner of entry” refers to the visa you used to enter the U.S. after your most recent trip abroad.
  • Question 27 – You need to choose the correct code for the reason you are eligible to work in the U.S. You can find these codes in the Form I-765 instructions. Some of the most common categories are (c)(9) for immigrants who have applied (or are currently applying) for a Green Card, (c)(3)(C) for students doing OPT, (a)(5) for Asylees, (a)(12) for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and (c)(5) for spouses of J-1 visa holders.

3. Get ready supporting documents

You will need to submit six supporting documents with your Form I-765 to get a Work Permit:

  1. A copy of your passport photo page
  2. A copy of your current U.S. visa (if you are in the United States already). This visa will almost always be in your passport.
  3. A copy of your original Form I-94 travel record (front and back), or a printout of your electronic I-94, from your most recent entry into the U.S. You can get your electronic I-94 online.
  4. Copies of any of your previous work permits (front and back)
  5. Two 2-inch-by-2-inch passport-style photos of yourself taken recently (print your full name and Alien Registration Number on the back of each with a pencil or felt-tip pen)
  6. A copy of the “receipt notice” you received from the U.S. Government when you submitted your immigrant visa application. Note: If you apply for permanent residence at the same time as your Work Permit, you do not need to send in a receipt notice.

However, if you do not have a work permit before, you will also need to send one of the following forms with your Form I-765:

  1. A copy of your Birth certificate from your home country and a copy of a photo ID
  2. copy of a visa you received from a consulate of a country other than the United States
  3. A copy of some other national identity document that has your photo or fingerprint on it.

4. Pay the filing fee (Work Permit Visa in the USA)

USCIS charges a $410 fee to process Form I-765. If you are applying for “Deferred Action” you must also pay an $85 biometrics fee.

These fees change regularly, so be sure to double-check USCIS’s fee schedule for the most up-to-date amount before you file.

Some immigrants do not need to pay the fee when they file Form I-765. Check the instructions for Form I-765 for a full list of immigrants who do not need to pay the fee.

One can pay the fee by money order, personal check, or cashier’s check made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

If you are filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you can pay with credit or debit card by submitting Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions with your Form I-765.

5. Submit Your Work Permit application

Once you have completed your Form I-765, assembled your supporting documents, and paid the filing fee, it’s time to submit your application for a Work Permit to USCIS.

You can decide to include a cover letter with your paperwork so that the government knows precisely what they are receiving from you.


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