Eligibility to Work . . .
What you need to know.
You want to work in the US, but how? Here are some answers to the basic questions. This a non-exhaustive list and for complete answers you should seek legal advice and guidance.
I entered as a tourist from Holland without a visa - What do I have to do get work?
The United States has a visa waiver program. Dutch nationals are eligible to take advantage of this program. It allows Dutch nationals to enter the US for a period of up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa from the Consulate. However, you can’t change your status when you’re in the US as a visa waiver national. Moreover, you are not allowed to overstay the 90 day period even with one day. Overstaying the validity may make you subject to be barred from entering the US in the future.
If you were to be offered a job, enrolled into a school or were starting your own company in the US, you would have to leave the US, apply for the appropriate visa at a Consulate and re-enter on a valid visa for the purpose of either work or study.
If you entered on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa, which you had to apply for at the US consulate, you are eligible to change your status to a worker or student.
How do I change my status?
If you have entered in a valid status, such as B-2 tourist or F-1 student, an application, called petition, needs to be filed with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by either the employer or yourself, depending on the category. The new status does not take effect until the petition has been approved by the USCIS.
This change of status (COS) should not be confused with adjusting your status from a non-immigrant visa to a green card.
Can this also be done when I’m here on a visa waiver?
The application may still be filed by the employer. However, the employer will have to state that you will apply for a visa at a Consulate abroad when the application is approved. You cannot change your status in the US.
How can an employer become my sponsor?
A US based employer may sponsor a foreign national by filing a petition with the USCIS. The employer becomes the petitioner and the foreign national becomes the beneficiary. There are many categories that could apply. It all depends on the sort of position, type of work, required education or background, length of time and specific circumstances which temporary visa category would be applicable.
- H-1B for a professional position requiring a Bachelor Degree or equivalent;
- R-1 for religious workers;
- L-1 for intra company transfers; or
- J-1 for Foreign Exchange Visitors (possible interns)
For a complete list click here.
What are the requirements to get a work visa?
As mentioned earlier, there are many categories and to determine which category would be applicable it is important to have the following documents in your possession:
- Detailed up-to-date resume (include month and year of previous employment);
- Job description and job title of the proposed position;
- Start date of the new job;
- Job location;
- Proposed Salary;
- Copy of your degrees, certificates and diplomas;
- Translation of the degrees, certificates and diplomas; and
- Credential Evaluation by an accredited evaluation service.
If you have the above mentioned information readily available an immigration expert should be able to make a quick determination which visa category would be applicable.
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