How Much Is a Work Visa for America? A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

If you are planning to work in the United States, you may be wondering how much it will cost you to get a work visa.

The answer depends on several factors, such as the type of visa you need, the duration of your stay, and the country you are from.

How much is a work visa for America
How much is a work visa for America | photo courtesy | Bing

 

In this article, I will explain the different types of work visas available for working in the US, their requirements, fees, and benefits.

I will also give you some tips on how to apply for a work visa and what to expect from the process.

Types of Work Visas for America

There are two main categories of work visas in America:

  1. temporary.
  2. permanent.

Temporary work visas allow you to work in the US for a limited period of time, usually from a few months to a few years.

Permanent work visas, also known as green cards, allow you to live and work in the US indefinitely.

Temporary Work Visas

Temporary work visas are divided into several subcategories, depending on the purpose and nature of your work.

Some of the most common temporary work visas are:

H-1B visa

This is the most popular type of work visa in the US and is available to people from other countries who work in specialty occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or higher and have a job offer from a US employer.

The annual cap for this visa is 85,000 and the duration is up to six years.

L-1 visa

This type of visa is for employees who work for foreign businesses that have direct affiliations with US companies.

An employee would apply for this type of visa if their organization transferred them to its US location.

The duration is up to seven years for managers and executives and up to five years for specialized workers.

O-1 visa

This type of visa is for people who have extraordinary abilities or achievements in the fields of science, art, education, business, or athletics.

They must have a job offer from a US employer or an agent who will represent them. The duration is up to three years and can be extended indefinitely.

E-1 or E-2 visa

These types of visas are for treaty traders and investors who engage in substantial trade or investment between their country and the US.

They must be nationals of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. The duration is up to two years and can be renewed indefinitely.

J-1 visa

This type of visa is for exchange visitors who participate in cultural, educational, or professional programs sponsored by the US government or private organizations.

They must have a sponsor who will provide them with a certificate of eligibility. The duration varies depending on the program, from a few weeks to several years.

Permanent Work Visas

Permanent work visas are also known as employment-based immigrant visas or green cards.

They allow you to live and work in the US permanently as a lawful permanent resident.

There are five main categories of permanent work visas, each with different eligibility criteria and quotas:

EB-1 visa

This category is for priority workers who have extraordinary abilities, are outstanding professors or researchers, or are multinational managers or executives.

They do not need a labor certification or a job offer from a US employer. The annual quota for this category is 40,000.

EB-2 visa

This category is for professionals who have advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, or business.

They need a labor certification and a job offer from a US employer, unless they qualify for a national interest waiver.

The annual quota for this category is 40,000 plus any unused visas from EB-1.

EB-3 visa

This category is for skilled workers who have at least two years of experience, professionals who have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, or unskilled workers who perform jobs that require less than two years of training or experience.

They need a labor certification and a job offer from a US employer.

The annual quota for this category is 40,000 plus any unused visas from EB-1 and EB-2.

EB-4 visa

This category is for special immigrants who fall into certain categories, such as:

  1. Religious workers.
  2. Broadcasters.
  3. Translators.
  4. Former employees of the US government or international organizations.
  5. Retired NATO employees.
  6. Certain family members of deceased NATO employees.

They need a petition from their employer or sponsor.

The annual quota for this category is 10,000.

EB-5 visa

This category is for investors who invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers, or $500,000 if the investment is made in a targeted employment area with high unemployment or rural location.

They need to file an application with supporting evidence of their investment and job creation.

The annual quota for this category is 10,000.

Fees for Work Visas

The fees for applying for a work visa vary depending on the type of visa and the country you are from.

Generally, you will have to pay the following fees:

  • A petition fee to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if your employer or sponsor has to file a petition on your behalf. This fee ranges from $460 to $3,675 depending on the type of visa and the size of the employer.
  • A visa application fee to the US Department of State (DOS) if you have to apply for a visa at a US embassy or consulate. This fee is $190 for most temporary work visas and $345 for most permanent work visas.
  • A reciprocity fee to the DOS if your country charges a fee to US citizens for the same type of visa. This fee varies by country and type of visa and can be found on the DOS website.
  • A fraud prevention and detection fee to the DOS if you are applying for an H-1B, L-1, or E-2 visa. This fee is $500 for H-1B and L-1 visas and $3,000 for E-2 visas.
  • An immigrant fee to the USCIS if you are applying for a permanent work visa. This fee is $220 and covers the cost of producing and delivering your green card.

Benefits of Working in America

Working in America can offer you many benefits, such as:

  • A diverse and dynamic culture that embraces people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.
  • A large and competitive economy that offers a variety of opportunities for career growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  • A high standard of living that provides access to quality education, health care, infrastructure, and consumer goods.
  • A flexible and adaptable work environment that values creativity, initiative, and collaboration.
  • A strong and influential role in global affairs that allows you to contribute to important issues and causes.

How to Apply for a Work Visa

The process of applying for a work visa depends on the type of visa you need, but generally involves the following steps:

  • Find a US sponsor for a job/program matching your skills.
  • They file a petition with USCIS.
  • Wait for approval. Apply for visa, pay fee, attend interview.
  • Provide documents.
  • Wait for visa processing.
  • Travel to US, present visa at entry for inspection, admission.

Conclusion

Working in America can be a rewarding and enriching experience that can open up many opportunities for you personally and professionally.

However, getting a work visa can be a complex and lengthy process that requires careful planning and preparation.

You should research the different types of work visas available, their requirements, fees, and benefits, and choose the one that best suits your goals and circumstances.

You should also follow the steps outlined above to apply for a work visa and prepare for your visa interview.

By doing so, you can increase your chances of getting a work visa and working in America successfully.

 

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