All non-U.S. citizens must obtain work authorization if they wish to seek employment in the United States. Below are some of the categories under which a foreign citizen may qualify for a U.S. work permit.
You might be eligible for a work permit if you have family ties to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Green card applicants
Once you have a U.S. green card, you do not need to apply for a work visa since all green card holders can legally work in the United States. However, if your green card application has not yet been approved, you must apply for a permit if you wish to work while the application is being processed.
If you are applying for a green card based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen or you are the child of a U.S. citizen, you can submit your work permit application at the same time as your green card application. If your spouse or parent is a green card holder, you must wait for a visa number to become available to apply for a work permit.
Individuals with a K-1 visa
Are you in the United States on a K-1 (fiancé) visa? Then you may qualify for a work permit. You must apply for work authorization before your K-1 status expires within 90 days of your arrival in the United States.
Spouses of U.S. citizens with a K-3 visa
The K-3 visa allows spouses of U.S. citizens to obtain temporary status while they apply for permanent residence. If you hold a K-3 visa, you might be eligible to apply for a work permit.
Student work visas
Certain international students can apply for a work permit, including those enrolled in optional practical training programs or vocational studies, interns with international organizations and students participating in a cultural exchange study program. Spouses and children of an exchange student can also apply for work authorization. In some instances, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will grant work permits to international students facing economic hardship.
There are several employment-based visas for which a foreigner may apply. Including:
EB-1 visa. Individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, business, education and athletics, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational managers may apply for an EB-1 visa.
EB-5 and E-2 visas. The EB-5 and E2 work visas are available to those who invest in the U.S. economy.
TN visa. The TN visa is offered to Canadian and Mexican citizens under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It is the fastest way to obtain a U.S. work permit.
H-1B visa. Workers with a job offer in a specialty occupation that requires a university degree or its equivalent and theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge can apply for an H1-B visa.
L-1 visa. If you work for an international company and wish to move to one of its offices in the United States, you can apply for an L-1 visa. To qualify for this work visa, you must be moving into a managerial or executive position or a role requiring specialized knowledge.
Are you searching for a U.S. immigration lawyer in Montreal?
If you need help to obtain a work visa and are searching for a U.S. immigration lawyer in Montreal, contact us at Silver Immigration. We help workers, executives, and business owners secure status to live and work in the United States.
At Silver Immigration, we care about more than the transaction. We want to make your immigration experience easy and enjoyable.