Do I need a visa first to get a job in the USA?
Get a job in the USA – In our example, we both found French companies. So we interviewed in Paris, and not in. Do I need a visa to the USA first? Or do I need to find a job in the USA first? so confusing…
You know it, and you’ve already heard about it! To be legal, a visa is required to work in the USA. But how to get it, and when in the process?
There are many types of visas: for tourism, transit, student, etc. Here, I will talk about the work visa and the process allowing you to live and work in the U.S.
What’s first? Do I need a visa or a job?
Since I’ve been in that business, I’ve received many emails asking me about the exact process for finding a job in the United States and how to get a U.S. working visa. (Get a job in the USA)
Here’s an example:
I just wanted to ask you a question about working in the U.S. because this is something I don’t understand; Is it possible to apply for a work visa or work permit upon arrival if it is mandatory to find a job and company in the U.S.?
The answer is yes and no! I know it cannot be obvious.
Please be aware that you can’t go to the USA without a visa first, or to work or find your job with ESTA, NEVER. That too for one week!
But don’t think you can get a work visa only by asking the embassy… you can’t get a work visa on your own. To get a U.S. work visa, you must first find your job in a company that will sponsor you for a work visa! (Get a job in the USA)
Isn’t this a vicious cycle?
- no job → no visa
- no visa → no job
So, where to start?
Step 1: Find your company and sign your employee letter
The way to break that circle is to find your career in your home country, in the United States, at a company willing to sponsor you for your eligible visa. And that’s what we did in 2014 with Maxim and me.
We searched day and night for our home country, a company that could sponsor us with work visas. We never came to the U.S. before leaving with our work visa…never got an ESTA or tourist visa. (Get a job in the USA)
How can I get a job at a company sponsored in the U.S.?
What did we use? Internet!
I hear from here that you would think that finding a job far away would not be so tricky because of the Internet. This is true. Without the Internet, you wouldn’t get your work remotely. But this is not easy as it seems… (Get a job in the USA)
Do you need a visa to work in the U.S.?
Why? Because it is also easy for you to waste your precious time applying online everywhere. The thing is, you should target your search as much as you can!
Based on my experience, I strongly recommend searching only among the companies that sponsor visas. Why? Because 96% of companies in the United States are not interested in supporting you for a working visa.
So it won’t be easy to find the right company among all those companies. You can find sponsor companies here. To go even deeper, you should only search among companies that can technically sponsor the visa you are eligible for!
Why? Because not all companies can technically sponsor anyone for all types of visas. And on the other hand, depending on your profile, you are not eligible for all current tickets. Do you know what I mean?
Therefore, your profile should match the company’s profile. And for that, you need to run a visa simulator to determine which visa you are eligible for. Once this is done, find job opportunities among companies based on your ticket.
Finally, after three months of searching, we both got a job with a working visa! Max had two chances in San Francisco and New York. And me, in Miami and New York. So we both chose New York.
Then, only after our employees sign the letter can we apply for the visa. And as far as I know, it’s precisely the same for every U.S. work visa! (Get a job in the USA)
How long will it take to find the company?
For us, it took three months without the kids. But it depends on your position, profile, what you want to do, and your motivation!
Step 2: Apply for your work visa and get it
After that big move, the company has to fill out your form, and you have to fill out your paper so that the application can be submitted to the government.
As a first step, you do not need to be located in the USA to do this. It would be best if you were out of the area once you get the interview appointment at the embassy.
That’s what we did. We both got an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. (Get a job in the USA)
What type of U.S. work visa do you know? Green card?
Since the green card is an immigrant visa, it is the most popular U.S. working permit. However, don’t expect to get a green card from your employer first. It can happen, but it is scarce!
Most of the time, you will have a non-immigrant visa for some time. It can be as seven years as one year. At that particular point, you can also apply for a green card through your employer, but it is up to you and your employer.
Several types of non-immigrant visas exist. I got E-1 Essential Employee, whereas Max, after H-1B failed (no lottery chance), got E-2 Essential Employee.
But again, it depends on your situation, profile, and what you want to do. Depending on your visa type, you can be sponsored by a company or sponsoring organization.
Again, go through the visa simulator to find your future potential U.S. work visa and which sponsor you need, even if you already know what visa you want.
Depending on your situation, it will show you what type of working visa you can have, the advantages and disadvantages of this visa when to apply, and what you need to do! (Get a job in the USA)
Step 3: Start Your Job and Receive Your Social Security Number
Once you have received your visa, you are ready to go! You are in the U.S. I will be authorized to go through U.S. customs and start my work in the USA.
That’s what we did again! I have got a visa of fewer than three months. Once I received it, three days after my interview at the embassy, I flew to the USA to begin a great adventure! (Get a job in the USA)
Do I need a visa to work in the U.S.?
Max worked with me for three months… He applied for an H-1B visa first, but with no success. It took 3 months to get a response or no response!
Even if his case is certified, meaning his visa application has been validated, he hasn’t been a lucky winner of the H-1B lottery. Then, his company sponsored him for an E-2 employee visa, which took three months.
10 days after arriving in United States, we went to the Social Security Administration to get our Social Security cards. It’s the same process for every U.S. working visa!
This card contains your Social Security number, that allows you to work & also allows you to pay your taxes in the United States. That specific number is going to track you everywhere in USA, for better or worse…
Is obtaining a work visa in the USA clearer to you now? Let me know in the comments below!
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