The United States of America is a land of opportunities that attracts individuals of various backgrounds with its thriving labor market and diverse cultural landscape. However, if you are dreaming of embarking on your professional journey in the US, you need to navigate through the complex process of obtaining a USA work visa.
The USA work visa is mainly an employment-based visa that makes a foreigner’s stay and work in the US legal. These types of visas do not stand for permanent residence, as they are just temporary. The duration the visa holder is allowed to stay in the country is dependent on the type of working visa he/ she is issued.
In this blog, we will provide you with a step-by-step approach to how you can apply for a USA Work Visa and make your path to building your career in the US a successful journey.
Step by step Guide on how to apply for a USA Work Visa
To obtain a USA Work Visa, an individual must secure a job offer in the US from an employer who is in need of such an individual’s service. The prospective employer basically files a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The individual can only start to apply for the visa once the USCIS approves the petition.
The process of obtaining a visa can be quite complicated as several steps need to be followed throughout the visa application process.
Step 1: Finding a Job Offer
The first step in applying for a USA work visa is finding a job offer from an American company/employer. This is after confirming your eligibility by knowing the type of working visa you are applying for. You can find available jobs through online job boards, networking, and applying directly to companies that are in line with your qualifications. You can also find jobs through recruitment agencies.
Once you are able to secure a job offer, your potential employer must file a petition with the USCIS on your behalf. Without this petition, you cannot start the application process for a working visa. You should, however, be aware that having an approved petition doesn’t 100% guarantee your working visa approval. This is because there are other important steps you must follow to get your visa approved. If you are applying for H-1B, H-1b1, H-2A, or H-2B working visa, your employer must receive a certificate from the Department of Labor before submitting the petition.
Step 2: Visa Application
Once your petition has been approved, the next step is for you to complete Form DS-160, which is an online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form. The form collects your personal information, employment details, and other relevant data. You must however ensure that all the information you enter into the form is truthful, accurate, and up-to-date, as inconsistencies can cause serious delays and in some cases, cause visa denials. You must also provide all answers in English Language id the application form is available in different languages. Once you complete and submit the form, you must print the confirmation page.
Step 3: Schedule an Interview
After successfully completing your application; Form DS-160, you will need to schedule an interview at the nearest US Embassy or consulate in the country where you live. You need your approved petition receipt number to schedule this interview. Due to the high visa application demands, it is important that you schedule your interview well in advance. You should also prepare well by gathering all necessary documents, including your passport, visa processing fee receipt, DS-160 confirmation page, passport photo that meets the guidelines, approved petition receipt number, and other supporting documents as requested by the embassy. You can also check the embassy or consulate’s website to ensure you have all the necessary documents.
Step 4: Attending the Interview
Punctuality is one of the critical etiquettes of attending a visa application interview. You should arrive on time, be well dressed, and prepared to provide answers to all questions you are asked. You will meet the consulate officer at the interview. The officer will review your application and assess your eligibility and intentions to determine if you really meet all the requirements for the USA work visa. It is very important to be honest, and confident and provide clear and concise answers to the questions. The officers are trained in such a way that they can notice the slightest deception. They have the authority to deny an applicant a visa if they feel the applicant is not honest.
It is advisable to show the consulate officer that you have a strong bond with your home country and you plan to return back home once your USA Work Visa is due. This can come in the form of you owning a residence you plan to return to or having family relationships back at home.
At the interview, your fingerprint will be taken, and once the visa is approved, you can pay the visa insurance fee.
Note that the fee is non-refundable and it can be different depending on the category of working visa you are applying for. You should ensure you have the necessary funds and keep to the payment instructions as provided by the US embassy or consulate.
Step 5: Await Visa Issuance
If you visa application is approved, you will be notified by the consulate or embassy in your home country. You may be required to submit your passport to be issued the visa. The passport will be returned to you with the visa stamped inside. Once you have your visa, you can proceed with your travel arrangements and prepare for your exciting journey to the United States.
Applying for a USA work visa can be a complex and time-consuming task, but with careful preparation, it can become easy and also increase your chances of having a successful application. You should however remember to stay organized and ensure to provide accurate information throughout the application process. You should also endeavor to comply with the requirements set by the US immigration authorities. The process of obtaining a USA Work Visa might seem daunting but the opportunity to work in the US can open other doors for you.