Legal Immigration

Those looking for opportunities to acquire employable skills in preparation for rewarding careers will find them to be in abundance in the United States. Yet studying and working in the USA may seem unattainable to some, but it really isn’t. In fact, countless international students and aspiring workers gain entry into the country every year. It’s just a matter of knowing the proper steps.

As any immigration lawyer can attest to, coming to America to work can be a complicated process. The first step potential immigrants must take is to secure a visa. They must be in relatively good health, be able to support himself or herself financially, be willing to abide by U.S. laws, and have the intention of ultimately returning to his or her country of origin in order to qualify for the travel visa.

The most common type of visa for those looking to study and work in America is the F1 student visa. These are given to students enrolled in academic or language study programs. Students needing professional training as part of an academic program can also seek a J1 student visa. Vocational school students can secure an M1 visa, while those working in specialty occupations can earn a H-1B visa.

Visas are granted through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. A DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application) form must be completed before scheduling a visa interview. The form is available online for download on the U.S. State Department’s website. The applicant must also pay a corresponding visa fee. F1, J1, and M1 visas have a fee of $160 USD, while H1-B visas cost $190 USD.

The Final Steps

During the final stage, Immigrant applicants must take the completed forms to a visa application center to have their biometric information (e.g., photo identification, fingerprints) recorded. Then they will need to present a passport valid for travel to the United States of America. After all this is completed, the applicant is then ready to meet with a consulate at the local U.S. embassy to discuss his or her visa candidacy.