The Department of Labor is responsible for administering visas for foreign nationals looking to work in the United States. These visas are designed to provide legal status to work in a specific industry for a set period of time. Although it might seem extremely difficult to get a working visa in the United States, the DOL does provide a number of different options.
For a lot of people, getting working status is the first step in trying to achieve permanent status (in the form of a green card). Aside from having family already in America, getting a work visa is the most important step in this process. In 2013, the Department of Homeland Security Issued 1 million green cards, most of which were given to those already living in the States. The Program Electronic Review Management System (PERM) takes in a lot of employer-sponsored work visas each year, but there are many other options.
Types of Work Visa Aside from PERM
Aside from PERM, here is a list of the visa options:
- D-1 – A temporary visa for alien crewmembers to work in US ports.
- E-3 – Specifically designed for Australians looking to work in America. It offers temporary employment status of up to two years in “speciality” occupations. The maximum number of applicants is 10,500.
- H-1B – Temporary working visa for speciality occupations, or as fashion models. The applicant must prove their ability and merit, and also have attained a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
- H-1B1 – Designed specifically for individuals from Chile and Singapore. It is temporary and specific to certain occupations.
- H-1C – This visa is specifically for foreigners working in healthcare (including nursing). It is designed to help America recruit workers when there is a professional shortage.
- H-2A – For temporary employment in agriculture. This is usually for seasonal labor only, and applicants must reapply each year. The employer must file a general petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and a specific file with the Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) stating that there is a shortage of laborers for the kind of work required. This employer must also show how they initially attempted to find American labor to fill the position.
- H-2B – This applies for temporary seasonal labor in all areas other than agriculture.
Any foreigner interested in working in America should think hard about these visa options. Successfully applying for a work visa is a great way to start the long hard road to working status in America. Furthermore, any employer seeking to hire foreigners should contact an advertisement agency that specializes in matters of immigration and visa application regulations.