Why is Work Permit Needed?
Foreign workers need a proper work permit and work visa for the USA to work legally in the country according to the immigration laws. The work permit must be sponsored by an incorporated and locally licensed entity.
About the USA Job Market
Types of USA Work Visa Available
These are the major types of visas in the USA for working, which one must know before applying for a visa.
H1B Visa – Speciality Occupations (Professionals Graduates)
This visa is issued to international employees and students to work in the USA legally. The validity of this visa is three years and can be extended up to six years.
H2B – Short Term ‘Seasonal Jobs’ Work Visa
This is a temporary work visa of the USA for foreign nationals. This visa is valid for people planning to travel to America to work in theme parks, hospitality, on a cruise ship, in a restaurant, or as a ski instructor. The H2B visa is granted by USCIS for the time mentioned in the temporary labor certification and can be extended for qualifying employment with increments of up to 1 year each. The maximum period of the stay through this visa is three years.
E3 – Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia
This visa is applicable for Australian employees traveling to the United States to provide their services in a specialized occupation. The specialized profession requires relevant theoretical and practical knowledge, and one must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in the subject matter. The validity of the visa is two years initially and can be extended up to 2 years.
TN Nafta Professionals
This work visa of the USA allows qualified Mexican and Canadian nationals to enter the United States temporarily for work or to do business. The validity of this visa is up to 3 years.
L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge
The L-1B is issued to foreign employees transferred from their affiliated foreign offices to one of its parent offices in the USA. To apply for this, the employee must file a Form I-129, a petition for Nonimmigrant worker, along with a fee on behalf of the employee.
The maximum period for qualified employees to enter and stay in the United States to establish a new office with an L-1B visa is one year. For other employees with required qualifications, the maximum stay limit is three years.
L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager
This visa is similar to an L-1B visa, but this is issued to senior managers and executives only. Apart from this, the request for an extension in the visa is granted in increments of up to two years (until the seven years is reached, which is the maximum limit).
E-2 Treaty Traders
This visa is issued to foreign nationals of a treaty country to enter the United States when they plan to invest substantial capital in a US business. However, the E-2 visa holders must intend to travel to the United States on the expiration of their status. The visa validity is two years, and there is no maximum limit to the number of extensions.
H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers
This is a temporary work visa in the USA that allows US employers with specific regulatory requirements to invite foreign employees to fill the temporary agricultural jobs.
Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference EB-1 (Permanent) – This visa is granted to foreign employees who have extraordinary skills, are highly skilled professors or researchers or are multinational company executives.
Employment-Based Immigration Second Preference EB – 2 (Permanent)
This visa is granted to professionals with an advanced degree or an individual with extraordinary ability either in sciences, arts or business. It also includes individuals who have an advanced degree.
Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference EB-3 (Permanent)
This visa is issued to individuals who have a baccalaureate degree or are skilled workers (with a minimum of 2 years of experience).
Requirements for a USA Work Permit
To obtain a work visa for the USA, the foreign employees have to provide the following documents:
- An employment offer from a company situated in the USA.
- A copy of the CV or resume.
- A copy of passport and all the relevant degree certificates.
Required documents from employer:
- Company’s Federal Tax I.D Number.
- Job title and requirements, salary for the designated position, and a detailed job description.
- The name, phone number, address of the company.
- All the necessary filing forms along with fees.
USA Work Permit Application Process
To start the application process for a work visa in the USA, the employer has to file a petition for every foreign employee who requires an H-1B visa. Followed by this, the application process is as follows:
1. For filing a petition, the employer has to include the information related to the job, which consists of the date of employment and the duties associated with the position.
2. The employers will analyze and determine the prevailing wage and the actual wage for the position. Know about the prevailing wage by filing a form with the State Employment Security Agency in the US. After that, you can compare the actual wage with the wage given to other workers in the same position holding the same experience level. Your company must pay the higher of the two wages after comparison.
3. Now, the employer has to file a Labor Certification Application. After signing this, your company agrees to pay the determined wage and provide all the services similar to the other employees.
4. Once the US Department of Labor approves the LCA, the company will get a certified copy of the LCA. You will be required to post a notice at your workplace about your application for the LCA.
5. The employer will have to lodge the petition with the US citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will get a receipt along with a reference number and the estimated processing time.
6. Once USCIS approves the petition, you will receive an official notice (Form I-797). Now the employee is eligible to start working for your company.
Work Permit Exceptions and Special Cases
The USCIS has the power to limit the number of available work visas for the USA (H-1B visas), which are issued in a year. So it is always best to apply earlier. In addition to this, the H-1B visa is valid for only three years and can be renewed only once for a total of six years.
How Multiplier Can Help
We’re a global EOR solution that aims to make the onboarding process seamless for companies like you and help onboard and manage talent from various parts of the globe. We have local entities in over 150+ countries. Our HR suites are designed and developed by our in-house experts to provide end-to-end solutions to our users.