How To Legally Work In the United States Of America
Many people in Latin America see traveling to the United States as an option to work to improve their economy. If you are one of them, consider the requirements to do so legally.
It is advisable to apply for a visa from the United States Department of State, unless it is not required for people from your country of nationality. With this mechanism you will be able to enjoy all the rights of any other worker, in addition to avoiding legal or immigration problems.
One of the most requested is the H-2 work visa, which can be classified as H-2A or H-2B, is for temporary jobs in the United States and have a duration of one year, although they can be extended to three years.
Depending on the type of H-2 visa, you can work in the industrial and restaurant sector, in fishing or gardening. In general, they are jobs in which academic education is not so necessary, although experience in the area tends to be prioritized. Agricultural work is excluded, as there is a special permit for day laborers.
Within the H-2 visas there are also permits to work in specialized sectors, such as engineering, which offers the largest number of job vacancies for foreigners. In these cases, academic training and experience are requested.
In order to process these types of visas and for you to enter the United States legally as a nonimmigrant (aliens who do not intend to stay permanently) to work temporarily, your potential employer usually has to file a petition with your name with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
That is, before processing the visa, it is best to have a job offer from a company in that country. In addition, having a valid passport and, in most cases -some jobs do not require it-, a basic level of the English language.
It is also recommended to verify the authenticity of the company for which you plan to work in the United States and remember that no recruiter or agent can request a payment in exchange for a job position. The only expense, legally, is the work visa through the consulate or embassy, without supposed extra or anticipated services.
In many cases, the USCIS must approve your petition before you are eligible to apply for a visa or apply for admission at a port of entry. Before entering the United States, you must report to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer and receive permission to enter that country and participate in your proposed activity.
If you have the right combination of skills, education, and / or work experience, you may be able to permanently live and work in the United States if you seek an employment-based immigrant visa.
In this case, there are five immigrant visa ‘preferences’ based on that category, such as people with skills in the sciences, arts, education, business, or sports; outstanding professors or researchers; and executives or people with managerial positions of multinationals. Also people who are professionals and have postgraduate degrees.
If you are a nonimmigrant and you are in the United States.
If you are in the United States in legal nonimmigrant status that does not provide employment authorization, you can generally request:
– A change of status to a nonimmigrant classification that provides employment authorization.
– Or an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident. This may be a concurrent filing with an immigrant visa application or, depending on the circumstances, may require an applicant to obtain an approved immigrant visa before applying for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident.
Visa appointment cancellations
Remember that due to the pandemic, visa processing to the United States has been delayed in many countries.
For updated information on operational status due to COVID-19 you can visit this link for non-immigrant visas and this link for immigrant visas.