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Working Visa for USA from India: Learn How to Get it

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The American Dream exists for many. However, we all know how difficult it is to settle down in the US. While many heads to the States to study, others wonder how to get a work visa in the US. It may seem complicated, but it is possible to obtain your working visa for USA from India. Based on the nature of your work, there will be different types of working visas for the USA from India. Let’s break it down and look at how to get a work visa for the US, the eligibility criteria and the application process.

US Work Visas Categories for Indians

While there are multiple US work visa types, a foreign worker can only apply for a specific visa as per the country they are from. Each type of work visa is subject to US immigration policy. Applicants can choose to apply for the following types of working visas for the USA from India:

H-1B (Workers in a speciality occupation)

Applicants are required to have a Master/Higher Degree and earn at least $60,000 yearly to be eligible for the H-1B visa application.

H-2B (Skilled and Unskilled workers)

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Working Visa for USA from India: Learn How to Get it

Your employer will need to get a Department of Labor certification before initiating the visa application. H-2B visas are reserved for seasonal/temporary jobs. This allows employers in the US to hire skilled or unskilled workers to overcome shortages in the workplace.

H-3 (Trainee)

Applicants coming to the US to undergo training from an employer must submit a completed DS-160 form along with their application form. You will also need the receipt number from USCIS and a letter of employment.

H-4 (Dependents)

The principal H visa holder may be accompanied by the dependents of the H visa (H-1B, H-2B, and H-3) holder. They can apply for the H-4 visa to visit the principal H visa holder. Those with H-4 visas will not be permitted to work in the US.

L-1 (Intra-company transferees)

Applicants holding a managerial or executive level in an international company and are to be transferred to the US on a temporary basis may apply for the L-1 visa. However, these applicants need to have an approved petition from USCIS before beginning their L-1 application.

L-2 (Dependents)

The principal L-1 visa holder can be accompanied by dependents. The dependents of the L-1 visa holder are eligible to apply for the L-2 visa the same. Presently, those holding an L-2 visa can apply for a work permit in the US.

O (Extraordinary ability)

Persons with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, athletics, or extraordinary achievement in television production/motion pictures are eligible to apply for the O work visa.

P (Artists/entertainers)

Athletes, artists, entertainers, and support personnel wishing to visit the US must apply for a P work visa.

Q (Cultural exchange)

Individuals planning to visit the US to participate in an international cultural exchange programme and/or impart knowledge based on their native country’s culture, history, and tradition may apply for the Q work visa. The visitor can also apply for the Q work visa to offer training or employment at an international cultural exchange program.

US Work Visa Application Prerequisites

There are certain prerequisites you will have to prepare for while beginning your application for a working visa for USA from India. They are as follows:

  • Non-immigrant visa category applications require the Department of Labor certification (Form I-129) and/or USCIS Notice of Approval/Action (Form I-797) to be obtained by the applicant’s existing/potential employer. The employer may need to obtain one or both documents before starting the specific visa application.
  • Employers may use the USCIS official website to identify the eligibility criteria of their potential foreign workers.

Bear in mind that the approval of a petition or the possession of a US visa need not guarantee your entry into the US. The US immigration policy undergoes regulation through authorised departments such as USCIS, US Customs and Border Protection, etc. These bodies may decide to cancel a visa application or visa for several reasons.

US Work Visa Application Process

The application process for your US work visa will depend on the location of the US Embassy or Consulate. Before you start your application, ensure that you thoroughly read and understand the guidelines and instructions as offered by the specific US Embassy or Consulate. We have outlined below the general process for work visa application:

Form DS-160 (Non-immigrant Visa Application)

An applicant will need to fill out the Form DS-160 online. Once submitted, they must get a photocopy of the confirmation page. You will need to carry the confirmation page and a recent photograph (as per guidelines and specifications) to your visa interview.

Visa Fee

You will only be able to schedule an appointment for your interview and document submission after paying the non-refundable $190 non-immigrant visa fee.

Visa Application Centre (VAC)

Before you visit the US Embassy or Consulate, you will be required to visit your closest VAC to provide biometrics or a fingerprint scan. The VAC will need to take a picture of you as well.

Visa Interview

You will need to schedule a visa interview for submitting your application and all the required documents. However, applicants under 13 years of age and over 80 years need not attend a visa interview.

Documents Required for US Work Visa Application

There are certain documents you will need to submit while applying for your US work visa. They are as follows:

Passport

Your passport must have a minimum of six months of validity beyond your intended return date from the US. Your passport must also have enough blank pages for immigration stamping.

Form DS-160

Most types of US visa applications, including the work visa, will require you to submit the confirmation page of Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application).

Receipt of Visa Fee Payment 

On completing payment of the visa fee, you will receive an acknowledgement receipt. You will need to print this and carry it with your other documents. 

Receipt Number from USCIS

If you require your employer to obtain approval of your petition according to the specific visa category, you will notice that the approval from USCIS will have a ‘Receipt Number’. You will need to submit this receipt along with your other documents.

Other Documents

You will have a few other supporting documents of employment to submit, such as an employment letter, letter of appointment, payslip, etc. You will also have to submit educational documents such as transcripts, graduation certificates, course completion certificates, etc. Beyond this, you might need certain documents based on the specific visa category.

Conclusion

To get a work visa for the US, your first step would be to identify which visa category you fall into. The following process will be defined by that category. As the process is long and arduous, you must begin well in time, keep track of all the required documents, and most importantly, be patient. Be confident during your interview and ensure you arrive well on time. After your visa application is reviewed and approved, you will receive the visa along with your original passport, which you submitted at the time of application. Before you know it, you will have your work visa and find a job in the USA.

For any further guidance on the process of getting a working visa for the USA from India, contact our experts today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can relatives staying in the US sponsor my US work visa?

No, your relatives will not be able to sponsor a US work visa. Only your employer or the company hiring you can sponsor your work visa.

When am I allowed to enter the United States with a work visa?

It will take 5-7 months for the visa to get processed. Upon approval, you will have a joining date mentioned in your offer letter. You will be allowed to enter the US only 10 days before your joining date.

What is the age limit for applying for a temporary work visa in the US?

Currently, there exists no age limit to apply for a temporary work visa.

Is a US work visa granted for casual work?

No, a US work visa will not be granted to anyone for the purpose of casual work. You must be eligible for specific types of work visas.

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Atima Khurana

Atima has 12+ years of experience in the field of overseas education and she specializes in U.S. admissions.

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