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So you’re interested in living and working in America for a while? Good for you! Do you know how you’re going to do it?
Don’t feel bad if you’re unsure about getting to America, what visa you should apply for and the steps you need to take to ensure your application is successful. Most people are, until they need to do it themselves, and that’s where this guide comes in.
You may, of course, win the Green Card, or Diversity Visa, Lottery, but banking on that is like playing slots at an online casino without using any insider tips and simply waiting for a huge payout. If you don’t like those odds, the good thing is there are many other actions to take and avenues to explore.
Different Visa Options for the United States
The most common types of Visas for non-American citizens who are interested in working stateside are listed below. If you’re trying to organise passage to North America for yourself, these are the ones you need to be thinking about. More specific categories, such as an existing employer arranging your travel to attend a short course, have been left off but are not really of concern here. Anyone interested in staying in the USA for any significant length of time should take note of the following possibilities:
- E-3: Nationals of Australia planning to work in specialty occupations that require a bachelor’s degree (BA) or higher qualification.
- H-1B: Workers in specialty occupations requiring a BA or its equivalent in experience on the job, at a minimum. Distinguished fashion models are also included in this category.
- H-1C: Registered nurses who can work in health areas where professionals are in very short supply.
- H-2A: Temporary agricultural labourers who will fill positions recognised by the United States Department of Agriculture as facing a worker supply shortage.
- H2B: Various kinds of workers who will hold temporary jobs in areas where the supply of available and qualified US workers is facing shortages.
- O-1: People with extraordinary abilities relating to the sciences, education, the arts, business or athletics.
- O-2: Essential support staff for individuals holding O-1 visas.
- P-1: Internationally recognized entertainers, athletes and the essential support staff for these people.
- R-1: Ministers and other people working in relation to recognized religions.
Armed with the knowledge of which individuals are allowed into the United States, you can start to work out which visa you might be able to get. Anyone who is not an Australian national, for example, can cross an E-3 visa off their list of options.
Look at the skills and qualifications you hold now, the current needs of US employers, and the time and money that you have at your disposal. Is it possible for you to further your studies if you need to? You should also look for employers who have experience with hiring people from overseas, and try to make contact with them personally.
Contacting employers yourself is a good idea because, in almost every case, you’ll need the to sponsor your emigration to the United States and apply for a labour certification. Once this is successful, you’re eligible to stay in the county and work. The H-1B visa is the easiest to get, if you have the necessary training or degrees, and you should choose companies that offer relocation packages – starting your American dream can be very expensive!
Make Sure You Do It Right
When you’re preparing your resume, get expert advice on the style and tone that US employers look for. The process of applying for a visa involves several different steps and forms, and a lot of people have benefitted from seeking professional help or getting advice from online resources like the US immigration board.
Whether you think you want to stay in the United States for the next few years or the rest of your life, the process that you need to go through will be the same. Start investigating, making connections and ensuring you are have what it takes to get accepted, and be aware that this can all take some time. Good luck!