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What are work-based visa options?

Many workers have their sights set on getting a job abroad for various reasons. Workers seeking to come to the country have several options available for their visas.

Depending on qualifications, the job itself, and the intended period of employment, this may change which option serves a worker best.

The H-1B non-immigrant visa

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services takes a look at the options that may provide a person with a visa. First, there is the H-1B non-immigrant visa. This is the most common visa for skilled workers coming to the country.

The H-1B visa allows workers to live and work in America for up to 3 years. It is available for one renewal for another 3-year period, resulting in a potential maximum stay of 6 years.

These are for workers in relatively specialized occupations, generally requiring at least a bachelor’s degree. They typically include jobs for accountants, scientists, engineers, educators and business specialists.

Alternatives to the H-1B visa

There are alternatives to H-1B visas, however. This includes O-1 visas for those with extraordinary capabilities, H-2A and H-2B visas for seasonal and agricultural workers, and L-1A and L-1B visas. These are for the employees who work for multinational companies that are being transferred to another branch.

Visas for workers provide a net benefit to both the potential employee and the employer, who often struggle to find workers among U.S. residents for certain positions. Getting a visa is still a long process, though, and being hired and sponsored is often competitive, which is something for aspiring workers to keep in mind.