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The United States has the world’s largest economy, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $23 trillion, according to the latest figures. Overall, the US economy is known for its innovation, entrepreneurship, and productivity, which has helped to drive economic growth and improve the standard of living for millions of Americans. As a highly developed country, the US possesses excellent infrastructure, a highly educated workforce, and access to abundant natural resources.
As with many other major economies, businesses in the US sometimes struggle to find the talent that it needs to drive growth, and for this reason, it has introduced a range of visa categories for educated professionals: The 0-1, EB-1 and HB-1 visas are all focused on bringing highly skilled professionals into the USA.
Read on to find out more about the different types of USA visa, and the steps you need to go through to apply for one.
There are several types of work visas available in the United States, each with a set of specific eligibility criteria and restrictions. Key work visas include the:
To be eligible for any of these visas, individuals must have a valid job offer from a US employer, meet certain qualifications, language requirements and pass a health examination. Additionally, for some of the visa types, individuals may also be required to provide proof of financial support, such as a bank statement or letter of guarantee. The quotas for some of the visa types, such as H-1B, are limited, and the selection process is done through a lottery system.
While the details vary by specific visa class, generally the process proceeds as follows:
Wait for the visa decision — once the application and interview have been completed, the applicant must wait for a decision on the visa application. It typically takes around 4-6 weeks for a decision to be made. If the application is successful, the visa will usually be received by registered post
Prepare for the move — if the visa is approved, the applicant will need to prepare for the move to the United States. This may include finding accommodation, arranging for belongings to be shipped, and making travel arrangements.
With a variety of different work visas and vastly different eligibility criteria for each, businesses need to ensure that they are applying for the correct visa on behalf of their potential employee. This is especially true, given how stringent some of the visa criteria are (such as those applying to the 0-1 work visa).
To ensure that you follow the process correctly, consider the support of a leading global PEO. Global PEOs (global Professional Employer Organizations) are specialists in international visa support and can help ensure that your USA visa process goes smoothly.
The processing time for a work visa in the United States of America can vary depending on the type of visa and the individual circumstances of the applicant. Generally, the processing time can take several weeks to several months. It is recommended to apply for a work visa well in advance of the intended start date of employment in the US.
Yes, in most cases you will need sponsorship in order to obtain a work visa in the United States. The sponsor is typically the company or organization that is hiring you, and they are responsible for submitting the necessary documents and information to the U.S. government on your behalf. They will also be responsible for ensuring that you comply with all of the conditions of your visa while you are in the United States.