US Work Permits
A work permit can be your gateway to a whole new life in the USA. As the world's largest economy, the USA remains a top destination for immigrants and tourists, welcoming an annual influx of migrants eager to become part of its diverse society and add to its already booming economy.
US Work Permits
There are several visa categories for foreign nationals wishing to work in the USA, and a preference system for ranking workers seeking permanent immigration is in operation. To find out more about your eligibility, take the Brighter Candidates free assessment.
US Visa Types
Under its visa waiver regulations, many foreign nationals can enter the USA for up to 90 days without a visa. Where this waiver does not apply, there are a number of USA working visa categories covering foreign nationals, including:
- - Category G visas for employees of international bodies entering the USA in pursuance of official duties.
- - Category I visas for journalists and other media workers. They are not permitted to enter the USA under visa waiver regulations or via the B1 business visa.
- - Category L1 intra-company transfer visas are for managerial/executive level employees of international companies on secondment to the USA.
- For information about B1 and B2 business visas see the US Business Visa page. For information about the J1 exchange visa see our separate page.
USA Work Visas allocated by Preference
When issuing working visas, the US ranks potential applicants in five preference categories:
- - The First Preference Category covers priority workers deemed to possess an outstanding ability in their field. This could include world-class athletes and performers, or internationally acclaimed professionals in science or education. Such individuals can file an immigrant visa petition without the need for an offer of employment.
- - The Second Preference Category covers those with exceptional ability in arts, science or business. In order to obtain a work permit under this category, an applicant would require a specific job offer.
- - The Third Preference Category is broader, encompassing professionals with a baccalaureate degree, and skilled or unskilled workers. To obtain a work visa, applicants need a specific offer of employment.
- - The Fourth Preference Category covers special migrant classes, including religious workers.
- - The Fifth Preference Category covers investor visas and targets applicants who wish to create a commercial enterprise in the USA which will generate employment.
US Visas – alternative options
There are a number of further US visa options which also grant permission to live and work in the country, including family, business and investment options. Use our Brighter Candidates free assessment to find out which options apply in your circumstances.
Taking the First Step
Applying for a US work permit can often be an excellent way to live and work in the States without having to commit to longer term immigration. Many of our clients require just a temporary arrangement to complete a work commitment before returning home.
“When I was offered a job working in America, I couldn’t believe my luck. To be honest, my head was all over the place- I was so excited that I really wasn’t thinking straight! The position was only temporary but I would be working with some of the brightest talents in my field, so I jumped at the chance. As I was so excited, I needed to quickly calm down and begin organising my trip. After a quick internet search I found Brighter and I gave them a call. Their advisor helped me to understand all of the different options there were out there for me- and he answered all of my questions in such a clear way, it was great. The job was more than I ever could have hoped for- I learnt so much- and it was all possible thanks to the hard work and experience of Brighter.”
October 4, 2014