Guide for employees on US immigration


US Work Visas – Employee Guide


There are five main methods for individuals to obtain residence and work authorization within the United States:

  • Sponsorship by an Employer
  • Investment
  • A close family Member of the United States
  • The Diversity Visa Lottery Program
  • Asylum & Refugee Status can assist you with the initial 4 items on the list above.

If you’re looking to trade or investment within the USA Please visit the specific E-5 Visa for Investors page as well as the E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visa pages.


The most popular kinds that are short-term US working visas include the H1Band the L-1 and E.

Lawful Permanent Residence -The ‘Green Card’

Many people find that obtaining Green Card is an important personal goal. The legal term is “lawful permanent residency” and the visa has become green, however, we’re happy to utilize the universally accepted term “Green Card’.

The bad news is that it could take several years to get the green card, therefore your employer might need to apply for the temporary (‘non-immigrant’) visa to bring you into the US Once you’re there, you are able to begin the more lengthy process of obtaining your “Green Card’

For more information on obtaining the Green Card through employment please check out the employment Based Visas section. Visas Section.

Can I become a freelancer from the US?

Being a freelancer professional like IT professionals can do work in Australia as well as in the UK (pre IR35), and across Continental Europe, is not an alternative for those in the US.

This restriction isn’t tied to the requirements for visas. In fact, some agencies are able to sponsor visas. However in the US the majority of people don’t work through personal service companies due to the fact that laws require them to be workers of an agency.

H1-B Speciality Occupation Visas


This visa is for individuals who come in America. USA in order to join the US company in a professional job. Valid for 3 years from the start but can be extended to six years.

Candidate Requirements:

The applicant must have at least a US employment offer for a specific field, and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • Have earned the US bachelor’s degree or higher that is required by the particular specialty job from an accredited university or college.
  • You must have a foreign diploma equivalent to the U.S. bachelor’s or higher qualification in the field of specialization.
  • Possess a valid state license, registration or other certification that allows you to practice your specialization and to be employed in that field in the state where you intend to seek work.
  • They have completed their education, training or previous prior experience in the area that corresponds to the attainment of this degree and are recognized as having a level of their expertise in the field by progressively responsible positions connected to the field.

NB If you intend to engage in a profession like law, medicine or accounting, for instance You will also have to obtain the appropriate state or federal license to practice in the area where you plan to work.

If you’d like to know more about the H1B visa, visit the dedicated page on the H1-B visa page.

L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visas


The L-1 visa is utilized to transfer employees from a company that is related to a foreign one to an US parent subsidiary, affiliate, subsidiary and branch office. There are two kinds of visas for L-1:

  • The L-1A form for Executive/Managerial personnel.
  • The L-1B is for Specialist Knowledge staff

L-1 visas are granted for a period of 1 or 3 year. L-1A visas may be extended up to 7 years and L-1B visas may be extended for five years.

Candidate Requirements:

You must have been employed by the company that transferred you to outside of the US in the last year within the last three years.

If you’re a supervisor or executive You must be able to be in charge of a significant subdivision or function within the company’s US operation.

If you’re a expert, you must have a thorough understanding of the specific processes, products or practices.

If you’d want to learn more regarding the visa L1,, go to the dedicated page on the L-1 visa page.

E Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor Visas


They are visas that are granted to employees of companies that are registered under the treaty of Traders as well as Treaty Investors (i.e. companies that conduct significant trade with, or have invested substantial amounts in or have made substantial investments in, the USA.)

E visas are typically issued for a time period of 2 years. They are able to be renewed for an indefinite period.

Candidate Requirements:

  • E-1 Treaty TraderFor companies and individuals involved in substantial international commerce between the US and the country that is a treaty investor. The amount of trade has to suffice to warrant the trader’s their employee’s presence within the United States to manage the trade and should constitute the bulk of the trader’s global trade.
  • E-2 Treaty investorFor people who’ve had an important investment in an US company in which the investor owns at least 50% stake. The amount of investment must be enough to justify the investor’s or employees’ presence in United States. United States, and must be an active US business , not just with property or stocks.

If you’d want to learn more about E Visas, please go to the special E Treaty Visas page.

E-3 Visa for Australians

These visas permit some Australian professionals to travel to the US to be employed in certain’specialty professions’.

E visas are usually granted for a first time period of between 2 and 3 years. They are able to be renewed for a period of time. A specialty job needs a certain amount of professional knowledge field, with at least an undergraduate degree or equivalent to be able to enter into the job within the United States. For Australians looking to apply for E3 visas, the process is similar to the E3 visa, the procedure is quite similar to that of the H1B visa. It is first necessary to locate a job at an employer who will sponsor the visa. There are 10,000 E-3 visas on offer each year.

Spouses of the E-3 applicant are able to enter the US and work. An employee’s position could be in a different position than a specialist occupation.

If you’d want to learn more about E-3 Visas Visas visit the page dedicated to E-3 Visa page.


Exchange visas are available for 18 months via authorized J visa programmes. The purpose in this programme is to promote international relations through welcoming exchange visitors into the US to learn abilities that they can use in their home countries. These programs have to be approved as such by the United States Information Agency. If you plan to work for a brief duration it is possible to be to use the J-1 exchange visitor visa. But if you plan seek a permanent non-immigrant Visa at a later date, or to obtain permanent residency in accordance with the scheme you choose, there could be issues because there is the requirement for two years of residence following you have completed the J visa program has been completed. will assist you in submitting applications for Trainee & Intern, the Au Pair, and the summer work/travel categories which are all part of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program within the private sector. For more details, visit the specific J Visas page.

TN-1 Visas for Canadians

Canadians are often able to gain admission into the US more easily than other citizens; this special status for Canadians is due to specific provisions in the treaty that are part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Although there are numerous NAFTA associated visas available, the most effective one is TN1. It is the TN1 visa was created based on the H1B and can only be utilized if the employer is located in the US and the person applying is a professional within some of the areas listed the following page. If a person, based on their occupation and nationality is eligible in the TN1 visa. It comes with the following advantages over H1B visa:

  • It’s granted for a year, however it is able to be renewed for a period of time.
  • It is usually granted near the US border. US and usually granted in a matter of minutes.
  • The document requirements and the procedure is much less burdensome than the H1B visa.


What happens to my children and spouse?

Dependents of those who have US work visas aren’t typically allowed work within the US except if they be eligible for an US work visa on the first place, and locate an US employer who will sponsor them. However, these rules differ based on the type of work visa issued. Dependents can however take part in studies at a university in the US. Dependents of an US working visa holder can obtain their visas as derivatives simultaneously with the primary visa holder.