• Picture of Work Visa

    What is a work visa?

    A work visa allows a foreign person to legally work in the United States. It provides legal authorization for travel and admittance to the country. Before an immigrant can legally work and receive payment for that work as a citizen of a foreign country, they must obtain a US visa.

    Obtaining a visa does not ensure your entry into the US. It does designate that a consular officer at a US Consulate or Embassy closest to your residence abroad has decided you are authorized to pursue entry for the specific purpose listed on the visa. For example, the basic requirement of an H-1B work visa is that you meet the minimum requirement for the offered position, normally a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent be met. Contacting an experienced law firm such as Barbeito & Hiatt, Attorneys at Law is a smart move to ensure you are filing the required paperwork to qualify for the employment-based visa.

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    How do I get a work visa?

    It depends on the type of visa. The majority of the work visas require an approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before the foreign person is able to appear at the corresponding U.S. Consulate abroad to request a work visa.

    There are several types of work visas.

    • TN Visa – NAFTA has opened many doors for work visas in the United States. Nationals from Mexico and Canada are permitted to work in the U.S., but the visa is projected principally for professionals in particular fields that are listed in the NAFTA treaty.
    • H-1B - this is the most common work visa in the United States. You are eligible for an H-1B visa if the employer requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in the field related to the position. The employer must pay the visa beneficiary the "prevailing wage" for the equivalent professional classification of employment and corresponding Citizenship Services fees prior to the release of the visa at a consular post.
    • L Visa – for executives already working abroad at a parent, affiliate, subsidiary or branch of an already existing U.S. company, this visa is used by executives and managers that have worked for the company for at least 1 year of the last 3 years as an executive, manager or specialized position. The employee must be transferred to a similar position at the U.S. offices.
    • US Green Cards – eligible if you have a job or offer of employment in the United States. This type of card is also offered in a lottery program that gifts a limited amount of cards for hopeful applicants.
    • Exchange Visitor Visas – these are for individuals who are approved to participate in study-based and work exchange visitor programs. Exchange students are the most common type of person who will hold this visa.
    • H-2B Visas – there are US Temporary Non-Agricultural visas that are available for foreign persons in non-agricultural jobs provided there are an insufficient number of domestic laborers to fill the positions. These visas are commonly for employment that is temporary and not agricultural. Usually, these are applied for employment at beach and ski resorts, hotels and amusement parks.

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    How much does a work visa cost?

    Filing and visa fees vary depending on the type of visa. Most work visas have a basic fee of less than $500. However, other variable fees (depending on the size of the company and the visa classification), may cause the total fees to increase around $5,000.

    Ensuring that you are able to acquire the appropriate visa for what you want to accomplish is imperative to your success on the job. Pair with an experienced law firm, such as Barbeito and Hiatt. They will ensure you have the appropriate information to file for the visa you actually qualify to obtain. Contact us here.


  • Barbeito & Hiatt

    “I always wanted to spend my summer working in the U.S. We contacted Barbeito and Hiatt Law Firm to help us get the proper visas. I will spend my second summer working on the coast thanks to them.”

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  • Barbeito & Hiatt

    “Finding a company to sponsor an H-1B visa was difficult, but I had the required skills and experience they needed to make the plant a success. After working with the lawyers at Barbeito and Hiatt Law firm, I was able to secure a good paying job with many opportunities.”

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