How Much Cost A Work Permit In Usa

It is always fun to do an exercise in fantasy and wonder. Fantasy and wonder of what will happen if the opposite happens. And the need for a work permit in the USA is something that will attract your sense of having a different result, different from what we all imagine would be the case.A work permit is required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in order to perform employment duties within the United States of America. It is important to know that there are different kinds of work permits and they are issued according to many factors, such as the type of visa under which you enter the country, your nationality and how long you will be working in the country among others.

How Much Cost A Work Permit In Usa

People from all over the world want to relocate to the U.S. and live the life of their dreams. Whether it is for school, a tourism visit, or a new job, you will have to apply for a visa. However, you need to understand that obtaining a visa is not an easy task and there are numerous factors that determine whether you get it or not.The H1-B visa is the most popular amongst companies looking to hire foreign workers with various specializations under different categories. One of such categories is H1B1 for Chile and Singapore nationals. The main purpose of the H1B visa program is to allow US businesses to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.

Work Permits and Employment-Based Visas

Whether you are a professional in a specialized field or a skilled worker, you will need an employment visa and, in some cases, an additional work permit that allows you to pursue a career in the US.

Keep in mind that once you have determined which type of visa is appropriate for your situation, you will usually not be able to apply for it unless your employer petitions for your stay. The petition document is called form I-129 and the filing fee is 460 USD.

Unfortunately for self-employed workers, the US does not have any specific visa options.

If you need a business visa for a short-term stay, look into the type B visitor visa that allows you to stay in the country for under six months. The Visa Waiver Program might also be an option if your country of origin is on the list of eligible nationalities.

US Work Visas

If you are moving to the US for work-related reasons, you will need to get yourself a work visa. Work visa acts as a work permit, allowing you to live and work in the US. Thus, you do not need to get any additional documents in order to start working in the country.

US Work Visa Types

In a country as complex and expansive at the US, there are many different visa types foreigners can apply to. Some cover a broad category of professions, while others are specific to your job type and your nationality.

Below is a look at the different types of work visas expats can apply for.

  • E-1/2/3: Traders
  • E-2: Investors
  • E-3: Special occupation professionals from Australia
  • H-1B: Special occupation professionals
  • H-1C: Registered nurses
  • H-2A/B: Agricultural workers
  • H-2B: Non-agricultural workers (hotel, food service, etc.)
  • H-3: Non-immigrant trainees
  • I: Foreign media representatives
  • L-1A/B: Intra-company transferees
  • O: Individuals with extraordinary abilities or achievements
  • P-1A: Internationally recognized athletes
  • P-1B: Entertainment groups
  • P-2: Performers performing under a reciprocal exchange program and
  • P-3: Artists that are part of a culturally unique program
  • Q: Visas for cultural exchange
  • TN NAFTA: Visas for Canadian and Mexican professionals

The Most Popular US Visa Types

Visas for People in a Specialty Occupation (H-1B Visa)

H-1B type visa is the most popular work visa in the US. A variety of occupations can apply for this visa such as physicians, engineers, IT specialists, and more.

To be eligible for this type of US work visa, you should meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have a US or foreign equivalent of a bachelor’s or higher degree.
  • Have completed training and hold a significant amount of work experience that is equivalent to a bachelor’s or higher degree.
  • Hold a form of certification that authorizes you to practice your specialty in the US and proof that you are planning on doing so.

The position that you are applying for must require a higher education degree, or an equivalent of it. Keep in mind that the specific diplomas and qualifications you hold need to meet US standards. In some cases, this means that you will need to get additional documentation proving your skills. You will find more information on that in the working section of this guide.

In order for you to get H-1B visa, your employer will need to file a Labor Condition Application form (form ETA-9035) that demonstrates your wage will not affect the wages of other employees. Additionally, they will also need to petition for you (form I-129).

The limit of H-1B visas granted per year is 65,000, with 20,000 of them given to applicants with masters degrees or higher. You are not subject to this cap if you apply for a job in a higher education institution or non-profit organization.

If you are granted an H-1B visa, you are allowed to stay in the country for three years. The period of stay may be extended to three more years after that (six years total).

Family members of individuals with H-1B visa can apply for an H4 visa.

H1-B1 Visa

H-1B1 visa is often qualified separately from H-1B visas, as it has a few notable differences:

  • The visa is valid for 18 months with a possibility of extension.
  • The cap allows for 1,400 Chilean and 5,400 Singaporean workers under H1B1 visa (this number is a part of the overall cap for individuals applying for H1B visa).
  • The visa allows alternative credentials instead of the bachelor’s degree (specialized training and a sufficient amount of experience is still required).
  • The applicant can present their professional licenses after applying for a visa rather than before.
  • The visa does not allow for the change of status.

Visa for Intracompany Transferees (L visa)

If you are being transferred to a US-based workplace within your company, you will need to get an L visa. The type of L visa you need depends on your position within the company. Executives and managers qualify for L-1A type of visa, while L-1B is for workers with specialized knowledge.

To get the US L visa, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You need to have worked for the company for at least a year before your admission to the US.
  • You need to be seeking an executive or management position (L-1A), or a position that requires specialized knowledge (L-1B).

Intracompany transfers can be made between affiliates, parent companies, branches, and subsidiaries.

Your employer will need to petition for you in order for you to get this visa (form I-129).

Employers that meet certain qualifications sometimes choose to file a so-called blanket petition that covers more than one transferring worker. In most cases, that means you will need to pay additional fees for your visa processing, but it can make it go faster. Workers that are being transferred to the US but are not staying in the offices of the company that is petitioning for them, also qualify for this visa.

L type visa allows workers to stay in the US for three years with possible extensions of two additional years (five years total for L-1B type and seven years total for L-1A type). Workers that are transferred to the US to establish new offices are allowed to stay in the country for one year with the same extension possibilities.

The family of an expat with an L type visa will need to apply for the L2 visa. Family members are usually allowed to stay in the US for the same period of time.

The US Visa Application Process

Once your employer has filed the necessary documents on their behalf and they get approved, it is your turn to take action. The steps you need to take might differ depending on the country you are in, so make sure to check if your local embassy follows the same standard procedures that are discussed in this section.

Step One: Complete the US Visa Application Form

The DS-160 form should be completed online. The following information is necessary when filling in the form:

  • A valid passport
  • A copy of your employment petition (form I-129)
  • Your travel itinerary (if you have one)
  • Your recent travel history
  • Your resume
  • Your photo

You may be asked to provide additional information as well, depending on the type of visa you apply for.

Once you have filled in your application, make sure to print the confirmation page as you will need to present it in your interview.

Step Two: Schedule and Prepare for the Interview

If you are between 14 and 79 years of age you will need to have an interview with a consular officer to get your visa. The wait times for the interview vary from embassy to embassy and can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Once you have your appointment scheduled you will have to pay the appropriate fees. The fees for the US visa will depend on the country you are from as well as the type of visa you apply for.

Nonimmigrant Visa Type Visa Processing Fee (USD) Petition-based 190 Non-petition-based 160 Trader/Investor or Australian Professional Specialty 205 Spouse/Fiancé(e) of a US citizen 265

These fees are non-refundable. Applicants of the US L type work visa will be required to pay additional costs (500 USD) if they are applying for a visa under a blanket petition. Other US visa costs, like the issuance fee, will have to be paid after your visa gets approved.

Another stage in the interview preparation process is getting all your paperwork in order. You should have the following documents on you when going to the interview:

  • Your passport
  • The printed confirmation page of the visa application form (form DS-160)
  • Receipt of payment for processing fees
  • Receipt number for your approved petition (form I-129 or form I-129S for L visa applicants)
  • Your photo (if you did not upload it when filling in the online application form)

Additional documentation may be required, depending on the visa you apply for. For some visa applications, you may be required to prove that you do not intend to stay in the US for an extended period of time.

This is also the perfect time to read about your rights in the US as a nonimmigrant.

Step Three: Attend the US Visa Interview 

On the day of the interview, make sure to dress appropriately and be on time. When answering the questions be convincing and do not hesitate. You might be asked about:

  • Why you want to go to the US
  • Who is coming with you to the US
  • How long you plan on staying in the US
  • Where will you be staying in the US
  • Any relatives in the US

At some point during your interview appointment, you will be asked to provide your fingerprints.

After your interview, the consular officer will inform you about the further processing of your visa.

Step Four: Finalize the Paperwork and Get Your Visa

Now you will enter the final visa application stage: waiting. Once again, wait times will depend on the embassy; however, the process should not take longer than 60 days.

Depending on the country you are from, at this step of the process, you might need to pay the visa issuance fee. In a lot of cases, the issuance is free; however, for some nationals, the nonimmigrant visa costs vary between 200 to 2,000 USD.

Some additional processing of your visa might be required as well. If your application is subject to it, that means that some facts you brought up during the interview might be checked in the appropriate databases (criminal record, security risks, prior overstays, etc.). If that is the case, you will be informed about it as it might delay your visa issuance.

You will receive your visa together with your passport by mail.

These rules and regulations are always in a constant state of change. That is why it is important to keep up with the latest news about visa processing in the US.

Who Needs a Work Permit in the US?

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or US work permit, is necessary for individuals that hold specific types of visas that limit their employment opportunities in the States. This is especially relevant for expat families as this document is necessary for spouses of employees with a US work visa that seek job opportunities.

You need a work permit in the US if you:

  • Have a nonimmigrant visa that allows you to work but requires evidence of this approval (U visa, or spouses of L-1 and H-1B visas, for example).
  • Have your permanent residence status application pending.
  • Have your asylum application pending.
  • Have an immigrant or a nonimmigrant visa that does not allow you to work without permission (F-1, K-1, K-3, M-1, E-21, E-22, E34, EW4, etc.).

Note that F-2 visa holders (family-based immigrant visas) are not eligible for the US work permit.

In order to get an EAD, you need to file a US work permit application form (form I-765). The eligibility requirements to get one vary depending on which visa you have. However, there is some general documentation you need in order to apply:

  • Your passport, travel document, or departure-arrival record (form I-94)
  • A copy of your last EAD or a government-issued ID
  • Two passport photos
  • G-28 form if you are represented by an attorney

Additional documents might include proof of your spouse’s visa status, marriage certificates, or an employment proposal letter.

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