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The United States has laws that have given immigrants the opportunity of coming into the country to undertake work on a limited basis. In this article, we would be looking at some of the classifications of work visas that foreign citizens can have in order for them to come to work in the United States.

A work visa is necessary to have if you are thinking of coming to the United States to work, just as a student visa is needed if you are also thinking of coming to the United States to study. There are requirements needed for you to get a work visa in the U.S.

Below are some of the different options of work visas available to work in the USA.

  • H1B Specialty Occupation visa
  • L1 Intra-Company Transfer visa
  • Q-1 Extraordinary Ability visa
  • E-Treaty & Treaty Investor visas

H1B Specialty Occupation visa

The H1B Specialty occupation visa is meant for non-immigrant or graduate level workers to make use of when taking a job role for a US employer. This job role requires the workers to have some sort of theoretical or practical knowledge of the work given to them.

To be eligible for the H1B work visa, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher or the U.S. equivalent to be able to work in the required field expected of you by the employer.

The USCIS dictates what sort of work either theoretical or practical that you would be doing and also determines if you are qualified to do the job. For those immigrants that do not possess the required degree or certificate, you can make up for this with your work experience.

Before you can apply for the H1B work visa, the employer would have to submit a form to the Department of Labor and the USCIS to ascertain if you are in a good labor condition.

L1 Intra-Company Transfer visa

The L1 Intra-company transfer visa from its name implies that if you are already working with a company in your home country that has an affiliate with a US office or branch in the United States, then it allows you to be able to transfer to the branch or parent company in the United States.

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The L1 visa as it is officially known can be used if your home country is trying to start up a new branch in the United States. In this case, your employer would need to file a petition on your behalf with the USCIS before you can apply for the L1 visa.

Before your company can file for a petition with the USCIS, you first have to hold a significant role in your company, more like a managerial or executive role and must be a specialist in some sort of field in the company.

You must also have been employed with the company for at least 1 to 3 years at the time of your application.

Q-1 Extraordinary Ability visa

The extraordinary ability visa as it states requires a foreign worker of a sort to be able to meet a level of professionalism in his field or can demonstrate a certain level of achievement in your professional field.

If this is you, then you can consider applying for the extraordinary ability visa or also known as the O1 visa. Areas of such professions can include business, science, athletics, education, arts, music, etc.

Your level of achievement must be able to match both home and international standards as you would likely be coming to the United States to continue working in such a field. You must be able to demonstrate a high level of skill to be able to apply and be approved for such a visa.

When you are sure of what you hope to bring to the table on a global scale, you can then proceed to file a petition to the USCIS for the Q1 visa.

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E-Treaty & Treaty Investor visas

The E-treaty / investors visa is meant for those immigrants that have some sort of connections with the United States trade unions. You must either have some sort of U.S. trade links or have enough capital to start a business in the United States.

You can also apply for the Treaty investor’s visa if you have funds that you hope to invest in a USA-based company. This visa is also known as the E1 or E2 visa. For you to be eligible for such a visa, apart from having the capital to invest, your home country must also have maintained a treaty of commerce with the United States.

To maintain your E1 visa, you must engage with at least 50% of your trade with the U.S, although the amount of trade or monetary value is not mandated. The minimum amount to invest as a guide is usually around $100,000.

Now that you have gotten your visa approved by the USCIS, you will then be required to file a visa application with the US Embassy or consulate in your home country. After which you will need to pay a non-refundable application fee and schedule an interview.

After your visa has been approved and given to you, you can then travel to the U.S. and undertake the work in whatever capacity assigned to you. Your work visa would remain active as long as you follow all rules and guidelines and can be annulled if there is a breach of an agreement or the rules.