There are a number of different work-related visas which you could apply for. However, there are some which are more commonly used than others and it is important to understand what they are. It is important to consider what is needed for each type of visa and what the pros and cons are.
The most commonly used work related visa is the H1B visa. This is a non-immigrant visa for people who have specialized occupations that require technical or theoretical expertise. To qualify for this visa, the profession you are in must require you to have a bachelor’s degree or higher or you have to prove through work experience that you have similar experience to a degree level.
The application for this visa is generally quicker than for a green card, but the duration of the visa is capped at 6 years. There is also a visa cap on the H1B visa which means that the application is likely to be unsuccessful. Additionally, the employee is not able to apply directly for this visa and the company will need to petition for entry of the employee.
The H2B Visa
The H2B visa is a temporary work visa and is generally applied for by companies looking to hire seasonal workers. This visa is only available for work which is temporary in nature such as recurring seasonal work, intermittent needs, one time occurrences and peak-load needs. In order to apply for this visa, the employer must show that there are no unemployed US workers who are able or willing to complete the work. They will also have to show that the employment of someone on an H2B visa will not negatively impact the US workers in terms of pay and conditions.
The L-1A And L-1B Visas
The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which is used by overseas companies to transfer managers, executives and specialized employees to new or existing US offices. This visa will be valid for up to 7 years and is a great way for businesses to expand into the US without a large investment. The L-1A visa is issued to executives and managers who are being transferred and a detailed description of the duties of these individuals will need to be provided. The L-1B visa is issued to specialized knowledge staff and will initially be valid for 3 years and increased to 5 years.
TN Visas For Canadians
Canadians can generally gain entry to the US with greater ease than others. However, if they wish to work in the US they will need a visa and the most common is the TN visa. The TN-1 visa has been modeled on the H1B visa and can only be used when the employer is based in the US and the professional falls into one of the specified categories. The TN-1 visa will be valid for 3 years, but can be renewed indefinitely and can be applied for at the border where it is generally granted immediately.