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Working in the United States


Many aliens want to come to the United States to work.  employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications and other categories of aliens who are eligible for employment authorization. A common way to work temporarily in the United States as a nonimmigrant is for a prospective employer to file a petition with USCIS on your behalf. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience, you may be able to live and work permanently in the United States by seeking an employment-based immigrant visa.

H-1B Visa | L-1 Visa | J-1 Exchange, 

and other Work Visas

For individuals looking to work in U.S. 

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H-1B Visa

An overview - The H-1B program applies to employers seeking to hire nonimmigrant aliens as workers in specialty occupations or as fashion models of distinguished merit and ability. A specialty occupation is one that requires the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The intent of the H-1B provisions is to help employers who cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the U.S. workforce by authorizing the temporary employment of qualified individuals who are not otherwise authorized to work in the United States.

L-1 Visa 

An overview

L-1 visas are available for temporary intracompany transferees who work in managerial positions or have specialized knowledge.


L-1 visas may be issued when an employer files a petition to obtain authorization for qualified employees to be allowed to work and live in the United States.

  • The L-1A visa is for intracompany transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company that is located outside the United States.

  • The L-1B visa is for intracompany transferees who work in positions requiring specialized knowledge.


J-1 Exchange Visa 

An overview

The J-1 classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training. 

In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 nonimmigrants are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science. 

Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:

  • Professors or scholars

  • Research assistants

  • Students

  • Trainees

  • Teachers

  • Specialists

  • Au Pairs

  • Camp counselors


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