There are many visas for non-citizens, and it can be tough to know which one you need. If the thought of working in America has crossed your mind then this article will provide clarity on what qualifications make up each type with tips from an immigration attorney who knows these things inside out!

What is a Work Permit?

A work permit, otherwise known as an employment authorization document (EAD), is a photo identification card issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows the foreign cardholder to work in the U.S. To obtain an employment authorization document, you need to file an I-765 with the USCIS while present in the U.S. You do not have to be a permanent resident to get an employment authorization document; however, you must have an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa authorizing you to live and work in the U.S.

What is a Work Visa?

Typically, a foreign person wishing to enter the United States must first obtain an immigrant visa for permanent residence or a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay. A U.S. visa allows you to travel to a United States land border crossing, airport, or port of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. It does not guarantee entry to the U.S.; it, however, indicates that a consular officer at a consulate abroad or a U.S. Embassy has determined that you are eligible to enter the U.S. for a specific purpose.

Work visas are temporary nonimmigrant visas granted to foreign persons who want to work in the U.S. temporarily. A temporary work visa allows a foreign person to enter and take up employment in the U.S., as opposed to a U.S. visitor visa, which is issued to foreign persons who only want to visit the U.S. In some cases, to obtain a work visa, your prospective employer must first file a petition with the USCIS. Since work visas are temporary, if you want to live and work in the United States of America permanently, you need to apply for a Green Card, an immigrant visa showing that you are a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.  

If you are looking to get a U.S. visa, look no further than Elliot Immigration Law. As experts in processing U.S. visas, we can help you find the right visa. We deal with visa applications day in, day out and are familiar with which visa categories are ideal for your specific purpose for seeking entry into the U.S. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

What are the Differences between Work Permits and Work Visas?

A work visa authorizes you to live in the United States and work for a specific employer. The employer will sponsor you for the visa, which will be valid for as long as you work for them. With a work visa, you can only work for that employer while you are in the United States, and if you leave that employer, you cannot work for another employer until you get another immigration status.

On the other hand, a work permit does not tie you to a specific employer. With an EAD, you can work for any employer in the United States. You can also get a permit without a job offer; however, you will have to renew your permit every year if your immigration status allows you to keep working.

Both EADs and employment visas authorize foreign employees to work in the U.S.; however, these documents differ significantly. The eligibility requirements and application procedures for EADs and visas are different; therefore, it is important to know and understand the differences between the two. If you are unsure about whether you should get a visa or a permit, contact the professionals at Elliot Immigration Law, who will help you get the right document for your specific purpose of travel to the U.S.  

Should You Apply for a Permit or a Visa If You Plan on Working in the U.S.?

If you plan on relocating to the U.S. for work-related reasons, you will need to obtain a visa but it can be tricky to determine which work visa for you (or your spouse) will provide you with the appropriate work authorization. Visas act as permits, allowing you to live and work in the United States. Moreover, visa holders do not have to get additional documentation to start working in the U.S. EAD’s allow noncitizens to work legally in the U.S.

What are the Different Types of Work Visas?

There are many types of work visas, each of which has a specific purpose for the nature of employment or travel. The most common visa options include:

Temporary Visas:

·  E-2 Visa

for Treaty Investors;

·  J Visa

for Exchange Visitors;

· R Visa

for Religious Workers;

· P Visa

for Entertainers, Athletes, and Artists;

· H-1B Visa

for Specialty Occupation Workers;

·H-2A Visa

for Temporary Workers in Agriculture;

· H-2B Visa

for Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers;

·  E-3 Visa

for Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia;

· GB Temporary Visitor to Guam

for the U.S. territories of Guam;

·TN Visa

for NAFTA Professionals who are either Canadian or Mexican Citizens;

·E-1 Visa

authorizes nationals of certain countries to perform trade activities in the U.S.;

·I visa

for foreign press members such as editors and reporters when the outlet has a home office in a foreign country;

·The WB Temporary Business Visitor under Visa Waiver Program for nationals of 39 countries chosen by the U.S. Department of State to travel to the U.S for business.; and

·  O-1 Visa

(Extraordinary Ability) for persons with exceptional abilities in the fields of sports, science, education, or business. The requirements for this visa m category are very high, and this category usually requires a U.S. professional association to verify the applicant’s qualification.

Additionally, there are permanent visa options (green cards).

At Elliott Immigration Law, we provide a host of immigration services, so get in touch with us today, and we will assist you with a visa or permit of your choice.

How to Get a Work Permit or Work Visa

If you are eligible to apply for an employment card in the U.S. (work permit), you need to:

1. Complete Form I-765;

2.      Prepare your supporting documents, including:

·  A copy of your passport photo page;

·  A front and back copy of your original Form I-94 travel record;

·  Front and back copies of your previous permits;

·  Two (2) 2-inch by 2-inch photos;

If you have never had a permit, you will need to attach the following forms to your Form I-765:

· A copy of your birth certificate;

· A copy of your visa;

·  A copy of any other national identity document that has your fingerprint or photo on it.

3.      Pay the filing fee; and

4.      Submit your permit application.

The visa application process is fairly simple once your employer has completed the sponsorship requirements. You need to:

1.      Fill in Form DS-160;

2.      Compile documents required for your application;

3.      Pay your visa processing fee;

4.      Attend the visa interview.

Schedule an Appointment with the Trusted Immigration Lawyers in Atlanta, GA

Elliot Immigration Law provides clients with various immigration services, including permanent residency for foreign employees, temporary employment visas, and counseling regarding obtaining foreign employees abroad or in the U.S.

Our law firm consists of professionals familiar with the immigration process and do everything possible to help clients obtain immigrant visas (permanent employment visas) and nonimmigrant visas (temporary employment visas). We know the ins and outs of immigration law, and we provide our undivided guidance and focus on ensuring that your employment permit or visa application process runs smoothly.

Contact us today at (404) 890-0372 or visit our website to schedule a consultation and legal advice with Atty. Erin Elliot or Atty. Carrie Toth. We have helped hundreds of clients get employment visas, employment permits, and green cards.

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