Non-citizens may work in the United States under a variety of work visas. Some enable you to work for a limited time, while others provide a route to permanent residency. You may work in the United States as a non-citizen depending on the visa granted. For example, a student may work in the United States but depending on his visa—F-1 or M-1—his employment is subject to specific requirements. Alternatively, if a visa holder is granted asylum, or granted legal permanent resident status, she/he may work in the United States without employment limitations.
Non-immigrant visas are granted to individuals with no intent to come and reside permanently in the United States. These visas take many forms, e.g., B1/B2 visa (Business/Tourist visa, no employment authorized); J visa (exchange visitor visa; A Visa employment authorization limited; A visas (diplomats and their spouse and children; employment authorization limited). Each non-immigrant Visa has its own requirements for employment-based authorization. For example, there are two types of student needs: F1 and M1 Visa; these are common non-immigrant visas. Depending on the type of student visa and program that the student chooses to pursue, their employment depends on one or the other.
There are also visas that are considered “dual-intent”—where the person has might have two conflicting intents in mind, i.e., nonimmigrant intent and immigrant intent (those who want to pursue a permanent resident status in the U.S.). Dual intent visas are also plentiful and include L visas (intracompany transferees executive or manager/specialized knowledge employee); O visas (extraordinary ability); K visa (fiancée of U.S. citizens). Employment authorization requirements also vary within these visas.
Difference Between Temporary & Permanent Visas
A temporary Visa is within the name; it’s just a temporary Visa. There’s usually a timeframe or more of a goal frame for the Visa. Once you accomplish that goal with that Visa, you would have to depart the United States, and all its benefits are given to you in the Visa, including work authorization.
There’s no such thing as a “permanent” visa; they all have a definite time or goal in mind. And although certain visas can be renewed several times, there’s always an end to the visa’s purpose. For some individuals, renewing is not cost-effective if you are renewing for several years (think of attorney fees and immigration fees); and this is when a more permanent status, i.e., permanent resident status, might be a logical step.
Basic Requirements of Non-Immigrant Visa
It all depends on how you’re trying to get into the United States. The most basic requirement is that you have to be a person of good moral character, and you must not have any criminal crimes in your background. Your education, skills, and goals will also influence your visa requirements. An immigration attorney may assist you in deciding which visa is best suited for your purpose in coming to the United States.
How Can An Immigration Attorney Help?
There are many options for an individual, and sometimes an individual will have multiple visa options to pursue. But, again, an immigration attorney can help analyze the situation and know what is best for the individual’s intent.
Does the individual want to bring his/her family while he/she is working here or studying here? Is he/she going to pursue a career in the United States? Does the person want to eventually live permanently in the U.S.? Depending on the person’s intent or wants, an attorney can guide them towards the right Visa.
Note: Some of these visas not only have different requirements, but they have different fees, they have different time periods and different processes in order to present them to U.S. authorities.
However, an attorney can help and guide the individual to get to the USA as quickly as possible and more efficiently. And while an individual is in the United States, he/she might also need to change their Visa depending on the type of job they have. That’s when an immigration attorney plays a vital role and saves the individual from troubles related to his/her work visa.
Immigration laws are a very complicated subject; you want to have an attorney on your side to guide you to your goal.