Not only are many foreigners are interested in working in the U.S., the U.S. also welcomes skilled foreign workers. However, foreigners need to obtain permission to work here. There are different employment categories and the requirements for each category are different.
USCIS permits foreign workers to come to the U.S. on temporary non-immigrant work visas. Such workers can come to the U.S. for a specific purpose and work here for a particular period of time.
There are several types of non-immigrant work visas available for foreign workers. For example, U.S. employers bring highly skilled foreign workers to the U.S. by getting them H-1B visas. Likewise, H-1A visas are meant for agricultural workers and H-2B visas are for non-agricultural workers. O visas are granted to foreign workers with extraordinary ability and P visas to athletes, artists and entertainers.
In certain cases, U.S. employers offer foreign workers permanent jobs. They also sponsor such workers for legal status. Such workers can get immigrant visas and immigrate to the U.S. Workers who immigrate to the U.S. and get permanent resident cards (green cards) can live and work permanently in the U.S.
International students and exchange visitors may also be allowed to work in the U.S. International students must obtain permission from the Designated School Officials (DSO) at the schools in which they are studying. Exchange visitors must obtain permission from the Responsible Officers (RO), before they take up a job.
Prior to hiring foreign workers, U.S. employers need to make sure that the employees who they want to hire are eligible to work in the country. The immigration status of the green card holders, refugees and asylees permits them to legally work in the U.S. They need not get permits to work here.
There are some categories of non-immigrants who need to get employment authorization documents to work in the U.S. People who need to get employment authorization documents to work here are:
- non-immigrants whose status permits them to work in the U.S.
- those who are authorized to work for particular U.S. employers
- persons whose non-immigrant status requires them to obtain work permits to work in the U.S.