The Path to Working in the U.S.

To immigrate to the United States, foreigners need to find a legal pathway that they will qualify for. If they have valuable skills, they may be able to get an employment-based immigration visa. However, it’s important to note that not all industries and positions qualify for this type of immigration sponsorship. Foreign applicants must fall into one of three specific categories and be able to prove their eligibility.

Multinational Executive or Manager

If a person is working for a U.S. company in an executive or managerial position, but they’re based outside the U.S., he or she may qualify for an employment-based visa. It’s crucial that they are immigrating to work for the same company, a subsidy of the company, or an affiliate, otherwise they won’t qualify. They also need to have an employment history of at least one year with that same company.

Extraordinary Ability

Those who possess skills that no one else does or have international or national acclaim in sports, arts, education, science, or business, may be able to obtain an employment-based visa. Although there are no work requirements for this option, they still need to document their abilities. An immigration lawyer can help foreigners gather the right documentation to prove their eligibility to use their talent or skills in the United States.

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Researchers and Professors

Researchers or professors pursuing tenure in the U.S. may be eligible for an immigration visa. They’ll need to prove that their work qualifies as outstanding by providing proof of association memberships, academic awards, or authorship of scholarly publications. This immigration track also requires employment, so they’ll need to have documentation showing a position at an institution of higher education.

The Application Process

While there are three different avenues for immigrants seeking employment-based visas, the paperwork is the same no matter which one is chosen. To apply, applicants need a Form I-140. If they’re seeking entry to the U.S. as an outstanding researcher or professor, or as a multinational executive or manager, their employer will need to fill out the form. If they’re seeking entry based on extraordinary abilities, applicants can file it themselves.