How to Change Visitor Visa to Work Permit in USA

If you are visiting on a tourist visa or Visitor Visa, you may be wondering if you can work legally in the country.

The answer is yes, but you need to follow some steps to change your visitor visa to a work permit.

How to Change Visitor Visa to Work Permit in USA
How to Change Visitor Visa to Work Permit in USA


In this article, I will explain How to Change a Visitor Visa to a Work Permit in the USA and what are the requirements and benefits of working in the USA.

Find an Employer Who Will Sponsor You

The first step to changing your visitor visa to a work permit is to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you for a work visa.

There are different types of work visas, but the most common one is the H-1B visa, which allows you to work in a specialty occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher.

To apply for an H-1B visa, your employer must file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf.

The petition must show that you have the necessary qualifications and skills for the job, and that the employer will pay you the prevailing wage for your occupation and location.

Apply for a Change of Status from B-1/B-2 to H-1B

Once your employer has filed the petition, you need to apply for a change of status from B-1/B-2 tourist visa to H-1B nonimmigrant worker before your B-1/B-2 visa expires.

You must have a valid I-94 card, which shows your arrival and departure date, and your authorized period of stay.

You must also pay a filing fee and submit an Application for Employment Authorization (Form 1-765) along with your employer’s petition.

You can also request premium processing, which means that USCIS will process your application within 15 days, by submitting an additional fee and form.

Receive Your Work Permit (EAD) and Start Working

If USCIS approves your application, they will send you a notice of approval and a work permit (Employment Authorization Document or EAD). The EAD proves to employers that you can be hired to work in the USA.

It will also show your name, photo, expiration date, and immigration category.

You can start working as soon as you receive your EAD, or on the start date indicated on your employer’s petition, whichever is later.

Your EAD will be valid for up to three years, depending on your employer’s petition and your visa category.

READ ALSO: How Long Does a Work Visa Last? A Comprehensive Guide for Immigrants


Changing your visitor visa to a work permit in the USA is possible, but it requires some planning and preparation.

You need to find an employer who will sponsor you for a work visa, apply for a change of status from B-1/B-2 to H-1B, and receive your work permit (EAD) before you can start working legally in the country.

Working in the USA can offer you many opportunities and benefits, such as earning a higher income, gaining valuable experience, and expanding your network.

However, you should also be aware of the challenges and risks involved, such as facing competition, complying with immigration laws, and adjusting to a new culture.

Therefore, you should weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding to change your visitor visa to a work permit in the USA.

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