Introduction to US Non-Immigrant Work Visas
There are different types of work visas available. The type of work visa which may be most appropriate to your situation will depend on factors such as:
- The nature of the position which is being offered;
- The person’s qualifications for the position offered; and
- Duration of the position.
The most common non-immigrant work visas require:
- Actual job offer; and
- Employer cooperation / sponsorship for the application process – the level of employer obligations will differ depending on the type of work visa. It should be noted, however, that the work visa is dependent upon the continuation of the employment so will effectively be invalid upon termination of the employment relationship.
Non-immigrant work visas are employer-specific and granted for a “temporary” period of time—”temporary” defined as a having a finite period of validity such as 1 or 3 years. Unless the employer or employee makes another application before the end of the visa validity period, the employee cannot continue working for the employer in the US past the validity period.
For the most part, work visas are also specific to the position and so if an employee receives a promotion / demotion or experiences a significant change in duties and/or salary, there may be requirements to notify US CIS of the changes or to make another visa application altogether.
Applicants for work visas must also show that they have fulfilled any licensing requirements which may be required for the position that is being offered. For example, if the position offered is that for a Professional Engineer, then the candidate, as part of the visa requirement, must show that he/she has acquired this designation for the applicable state(s) in which he/she will work.
Non-immigrant work visa for the US include: