Table of Contents
- What are the different US work visa categories?
- Eligibility criteria for the US work visa
- Application process for a US work visa
- Documents required to obtain a US work visa
- Key takeaways
The United States attracts millions of people across the world into its national workforce on an annual basis. The plethora of lucrative career opportunities and well-paying employment packages makes the United States one of the top countries to live and work in. A US work visa helps you achieve these goals you’ve always dreamt off.
In case your goal is to work in the United States, ensuring you have all the relevant permissions is necessary. This is often granted via a work visa that allows you to earn in the United States for a specified duration of time. If you are also wondering how to obtain a US work visa for Indian applicants, you have come to the right place! Keep reading to learn more!
What are the different US work visa categories?
There are two ways through which you can consider employment opportunities in the United States-
- As a temporary employee
- As a permanent/sponsored employee
There is a wide range of work visas for people who want to work temporarily in the United States. The period that you will be working in the country should be clear in your visa application or employment contract. The following are 5 different types of US work visas for Indian applicants-
The H-1B type visa is for workers in specialty occupations. As an Indian applicant, you should have a Master’s education or higher degree. You should also be earning a minimum of USD 60,000 to qualify for an H-1B work visa.
H-2B work visas are primarily for skilled and unskilled workers. The employer needs to obtain a Department of Labor certification well in advance before the visa application process can initiate.
Applicants who are visiting the United States to receive training from an employer need to apply for an H-3 visa. You must submit the form along with the completed Form DS-160 receipt number from the USCIS and a letter of employment.
The dependents of H-1B, H-2B, and H-3 visa holders can apply for an H4 visa to visit the country with the principal H visa holders who are not permitted to work in the United States.
The L-1 visa is for intra-company transferees and applicants at an international company’s managerial or executive level. The applicant should have documents stating their transfer temporarily. The applicant also needs to have an approved petition from the USCIS before initiating the work visa process.
Eligibility criteria for the US work visa
If you are looking at the US work visa for Indian applicants, it is important to go through the relevant list of eligibility criteria.
- You should apply for a US work visa from India.
- You should have confirmed employment in the United States. This can be proven with a job and a letter from the organization confirming your employment for a specific work category. You will also need to present I-129 and I-797 forms from your employer. Finally, your employer should possess a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor in the United States.
- You should also meet the required health criteria. You should be healthy enough to travel to the United States.
- You should also be within the age limit to apply for a US work visa for Indian citizens. For Indian citizens, this is a minimum of 21 years of age.
- You should also be of good moral character and have genuine intentions behind working in the United States.
Application process for a US work visa
The process of applying for a US work visa for Indian applicants is as follows-
1. Form DS-160 (non-immigrant visa application)
As an Indian applicant, you need to fill out the Form DS-160 online and take a photocopy of the confirmation page after submission. You need to carry the confirmation page along with a recent photograph (as per specifications and guidelines) along with other documents for the visa interview.
2. Visa Fee
You will have to pay the visa fee of USD 190 and schedule an interview for document submission. There may be additional fees that you will have to pay and more information will be available with your local US Consulate.
3. Visa Application Center (VAC)
Before visiting the US Consulate, you will need to visit one of the VACs in your country to provide fingerprint scans. The VAC will also capture your photograph.
4. Visa Interview
Finally, you should schedule an appointment for your US work visa interview and submit your application along with the required documents. Applicants under the age of 13 years and over the age of 80 years are not required to appear for the visa interview.
Documents required to obtain a US work visa
When appearing for your interview as the last step of the process, the documents you will need to carry to obtain a US work visa for Indian applicants are-
- A passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of the intended travel.
- Your completed DS-160 application form with all relevant details.
- Photographs are required as per specifications listed on the official website.
- One copy of each of the I-129 and I-797 forms.
- Relevant higher education documents.
- Your original employment contract.
- Your resume
- Your employment offer letter
- Your experience letter
Please note that you may need to present additional documents based on the exact type of work permit you are applying for.
- The United States attracts millions of ex-pats from all over the world for the lucrative career opportunities it offers.
- To work and earn in the United States, you need to have a relevant work visa.
- If you are looking for a US work visa for Indian applicants, you will have to register yourself online and follow all relevant steps.
- Ensure you are carrying authenticated documents with you for the final round of your application process (the visa interview).
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. In case of any queries, reach out to us or drop a comment below!
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Q1. Am I eligible to work in the United States if my first language is not English?
Answer – Depending on the kind of work visa you are applying for, you will need to display proof of proficiency in English. Therefore, this is often provided with valid TOEFL and IELTS test scores.
Q2. Should I carry my payslip to the visa interview?
Answer – A copy of your payslip can serve as proof of financial support if required in the United States.
Q3. When can I enter the United States with a work visa?
Answer – You are allowed to enter the United States within 10 days before the joining date mentioned in your employment offer letter.