How to Hire Someone with a Work Visa: A Complete Guide

How to Hire Someone with a Work Visa
How to Hire Someone with a Work Visa


Employers seeking to hire foreign workers for their companies face a distinct set of legal and procedural challenges.

Unlike hiring US citizens or permanent residents, employing someone with a work visa involves navigating specific steps and adhering to immigration laws.

This article serves as a comprehensive guide on how to legally and efficiently hire individuals with work visas, covering visa types, application steps, and the advantages of sponsoring foreign workers.

Understanding Work Visas

A work visa allows foreign nationals to enter and work in the United States, either permanently or temporarily. Distinguishing it from a work permit, which authorizes work for individuals already in the US, a work visa grants permission to enter the country.

Types of Work Visas

Work visas are categorized into nonimmigrant visas for temporary stays and immigrant visas for permanent residence.

  1. Nonimmigrant Work Visas: a. H-1B visa: for highly skilled foreign workers in specialty fields. b. L-1 visa: for multinational companies to transfer managers, executives, or specialized knowledge employees. c. O-1 visa: for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in various fields. d. TN visa: for professionals from Canada and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  2. Immigrant Work Visas: a. EB-1 visa: for individuals with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, or multinational executives or managers. b. EB-2 visa: for those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business. c. EB-3 visa: for individuals with bachelor’s degrees, skilled workers, or unskilled workers. d. EB-4 visa: for special immigrants like religious workers, broadcasters, translators, or former US government employees.

Read also: Why is my Visa Vanilla card not working?

How to Hire Someone with a Work Visa

Understand hiring options and choose the appropriate visa program based on worker skills, qualifications, employment duration, and visa availability.

  1. Start the process early, recognizing that obtaining a work visa can take months or even years.
  2. Prepare within the company, obtain necessary certifications or registrations from relevant government agencies, and conduct labor market tests if required.
  3. Obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) to verify that hiring a foreign worker won’t adversely affect US workers’ wages and conditions in the same occupation and area.
  4. Petition the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for visas after obtaining a labor certification. Submit the required forms, fees, and supporting documents.
  5. Review the potential hire’s background, ensuring they meet specialty or degree requirements and have no disqualifying criminal or immigration history.
  6. Evaluate the recruitment and selection process to ensure compliance with sponsorship criteria, including fair and competitive compensation.
  7. Review the rate of pay to ensure it meets the prevailing wage for the position and geographical area, avoiding penalties or visa denial.


While hiring someone with a work visa presents opportunities to diversify and expand talent pools, the process requires meticulous planning and adherence to legal requirements.

This guide equips employers with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of hiring foreign workers legally and efficiently.

For additional support, consulting an immigration lawyer or reaching out to Bing for resources is recommended.

Leave a Comment