Immigration is continually in the news, and the media may make it seem as if it is becoming increasingly impossible for immigrants to obtain a visa to work legally in the United States. However, the truth is that US Citizenship and Immigration Services runs a robust program of nonimmigrant work visas that are available for a variety of professional positions.
There are several legal avenues to temporary work in the United States if you have the right skills and an employer who is willing to sponsor your application. Here are three things you should know about the nonimmigrant visa program in the United States and how you may be able to access it.
1. Types of nonimmigrant visas
"Nonimmigrant visa" is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of different types of visas for temporary employment in the United States. Each of these individual visas is designated by a letter and/or a number, and it is important that you understand the type of visa you can seek based on your employment. For example, if you have highly specialized knowledge in a field, you may be eligible for an HB-1 visa.
2. Employer petition
In order to obtain a nonimmigrant visa, your employer needs to submit a petition for the visa. This is different than a Green Card application. For nonimmigrant visas, the employer submits specific paperwork regarding your position. This document is called Form I-129.
3. Nonimmigrant visas are for temporary stays
It is important to distinguish between a nonimmigrant visa and an immigrant visa. A nonimmigrant work visa does not allow you to permanently live in the United States. Because the various nuances and requirements in immigration law and visas can be so complex, it is in your best interest to speak to an immigration law attorney to help you with your case. An attorney who works in immigration law knows what your particular situation may require and can help you move through the process in a streamlined and efficient way.