One of the benefits of learning English is gaining an advantage in the competitive job scene. Those who come to the United States, whether for a short time or on a longer term basis, will often be quizzed on their knowledge of the language and their ability to use it while performing daily tasks. If you’ve decided to move forward learning English, you may have already thought about the types of careers you’d be interested in pursuing in the United States. In order to legally obtain work, you’ll need to get the appropriate visa or status. Here’s a look at the most common visa options available.
Employment Authorization Document / Work Permit
Foreign workers may get temporary permission to work in the U.S. by obtaining this permit, which lasts for one year and can be renewed annually. Those who are eligible to apply include students seeking specified types of employment, refugees, asylees and asylum seekers, foreigners who are in the final stage of pursuing permanent residence, and several other specific groups.
H1-B Non-Immigrant / Skilled Worker
Most people who fall under this category are considered to be highly skilled or educated in a specialized occupation. Permission to work under this status is for a designated amount of time and for one specific employer, so you would need to know exactly where you’ll be working when applying.
H2-B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker
Because the government recognizes an insufficient number of domestic laborers to fill all positions, some immigrants can obtain this specific permission for employment. Positions must be non-agricultural in nature, such as seasonal jobs at a tourist destination.
H2-A Seasonal Agricultural Worker
Like the H2-B option, this visa allows foreigners to fill available positions due to lack of domestic laborers. In this case, employment is related to agricultural work.
Permanent residency can be obtained with a green card. If you are offered a job, the organization may be willing to help you with this process. It may be necessary for you and the organization to obtain a type of approval letter from the U.S. Department of Labor stating the position can not be filled by a U.S. worker. Green cards are also granted to 50,000 immigrants each year through a lottery program.
This temporary status gives immigrants permission to come to the United States to participate in a work- or study-related program, often one in which they are learning English and studying. If you’re learning English in an approved exchange program, this is the type of visa you will most likely be given by the U.S. government.