How Do You Apply for a Work Visa?


Quick Answer

Applying for a work visa in the United States begins with having a prospective employer fill out Form I-129, which is a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, according to the Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. Department of State. After that, the prospective holder of the visa fills out an online application and prepares for an interview.

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How Do You Apply for a Work Visa?
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Full Answer

The U.S. Department of State issues different types of work visas depending on the type of work the immigrant is able to provide. The H-1B visa is for a Person in Specialty Occupation and generally requires a higher education degree; this includes people who work in research and development for government-to-government products or are fashion models with considerable merit, explains the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The H-2A visa is for temporary agricultural workers coming in for seasonal work and is often limited to a set of designated entry countries.

After the prospective employer submits the petition, the immigrant submits an online application and schedules an interview at the American Embassy or Consulate closest to his residence, states the Bureau of Consular Affairs. After paying the application and issuance fees, the applicant must have his passport, receipt of payment, photo, receipt for approved participants and the petition specific for an L visa, if applicable. Except for H-1B and L applicants, all others generally have to show demonstration of a compelling reason to return home after staying in the United States, such as a permanent residence, family relationships, financial situation and an overview of plans for the future.

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