Ways To Apply For The Visitor And Working Visa To Us From Abroad
Nonimmigrants are people who enter the country temporarily, and they are allowed to stay up to 90 days. The most common nonimmigrant visas are B-1/B-2 business visitor, F-1 student, H-1B foreign worker, L-1 transfer of ownership, E-3 international sales representative, TN tourist, and O-1 extraordinary ability. They may also be able to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitors Visa or an R-1 Religious Worker Visa.
Nonimmigrants need to get a nonimmigrant visa before entering the United States in order to remain here legally. Once you’ve been authorized to enter the country as a nonimmigrant, you can change your status to become a permanent resident by getting a green card. If you’re already living here and want to adjust your immigration status, you can do that too. Visit our guide on how to do that if you aren’t sure what type of visa is right for you.
There are multiple ways to apply for a nonimmigrant visa to the U.S. You can go through an embassy in another country, such as Canada or Mexico; you can travel directly to the U.S. border crossing; or you can use a service like Worldly Vets to submit your application online.
How to apply for a visitor’s visa to the U.S. from abroad
If you’re not planning on staying long term in the U.S., you can apply for a visitor’s visa. This type of visa allows visitors into the country for a short period of time, typically between 30 days and six months. A visitor’s visa doesn’t require you to have any special skills or qualifications, but it does require that you have a return ticket out of the U.S. once your visit has ended.
The easiest way to obtain a visitor’s visa is to contact a U.S. consulate near you. You can find a list of all the consulates here. Some countries also have embassies in the U.S.; however, these usually only provide services for their citizens and don’t offer visitor’s visas.
You should arrive at the consulate with everything you will need to support your claim. Your passport must be valid for three months after your expected date of departure, and you will need two photos (two different poses, please). You will also bring proof of sufficient funds to cover your trip. Be aware that some consular officials may ask to see additional documents depending upon your circumstances.
To apply for a visitor’s visa, you will need to fill out Form DS-156, which asks for basic information about yourself. Here is a sample copy of the form:
- Applicant Name: (Your first name)
- Middle Initial: (Leave blank)
- Date of Birth: (MM/DD/YY)
- Sex: Female
- Country of Citizenship: (Your home country)
- Nationality: (U.S.)
- Passport Number: (Your passport number)
- Home Address: (Street address and city)
- Place of Work: (City, state, zip code)
- Reason for Traveling To U.S.: (Check one)
- Duration of Stay: (Days)
- Number of Appointments: (Check one)
(You can download this form here)
Once you’ve filled out your application, take it along when you travel to the consulate where you originally planned to apply. It will save you some hassle later.
Note that there is no official language requirement for visiting the U.S. as a nonimmigrant, so you should be fine using English when filling out the form.
How to apply for a work visa to the U.S. from abroad
If you plan on staying longer than just a few weeks, you should consider applying for a work visa instead of a visitor’s visa. A work visa allows you to come to the U.S. to perform a particular job, and unlike a visitor’s visa, you won’t need to leave the country once your visit is over.
To apply for a work visa, you will need to fill out Form I-129F, which asks for basic information about yourself and your employer. Here is a sample copy of this form:
- Employer Name: (Your company’s legal name)
- Business Type: (Check one)
- Location Of Business Operation: (State, city, zip code)
- Address: (Street address and city)
- Phone Numbers: (Work, cell phone)
- Email: (Your email address, including @yourdomain.com)
- Website: (URL)
- Status Of Application: (Check one)
- Type Of Employment: (Check one)
- Start Date Of Employment: (MM/DD/YY)
- End Date Of Employment: (MM/DD/YY)
- Nature Of Employment: (Check one)
- Reason For Leaving Country: (Check one)
- Length Of Contract: (Days)
- Number Of Appointments: (Check one)
(You can download this form here)
Once you’ve filled out your application, take it along when you travel to the consulate where you initially planned to apply. It will save you some hassle later.
How to apply for a work visa to the U.S. from within the U.S.
If you’re already living in the U.S. and want to change your status here, you can apply for a work visa from within the U.S. This type of visa allows you to live and work in the U.S. for up to one year. It requires that you have a sponsor who agrees to help you while you apply for the visa and once you’re approved. After you’ve received approval, you can begin working under this program and then apply for a green card.
To apply for a work visa, you will need to fill out Form I-140, which requires basic personal information and a detailed description of your relationship with your employer. Here is a sample copy of this form:
- Sponsor’s Name: (The person who will help you get a work visa)
- Sponsoring Employer: (Your current employer)
- Sponsored Position: (Position title, check one)
- Job Description: (Description of duties, including hours)
- Education Level Required: (High school diploma, associate degree, undergraduate degree, graduate degree)
- Current Job Location: (State, city, zip code)
- Relationship With Sponsor: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Phone Number: (Work)
- Sponsor’s Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sponsor’s Street Address: (Street address)
- Sponsor’s City: (City)
- Sponsor’s State: (State)
- Sponsor’s Postal Code: (Postal code)
- Sponsor’s Country of Origin: (Country)
- Sponsor’s Age At Time Of Sponsorship: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Gender: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Race: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Nationality: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Relationship With Applicant: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Relation Kind: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Religion: (Check one)
- Sponsor’s Marital Status: (Married, single, widowed, divorced, separated)
- Sponsor’s Years In Current Occupation: (Years)
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