Skip Navigation

How hard is it to get work/work permit for the USA?

Travel Forums North America How hard is it to get work/work permit for the USA?

Last Post This thread is marked as being about USA
1. Posted by MerB (Full Member 147 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

How strict is the USA on work permits and work for foreigners?
Is there any websites where I can go look?
I am in a field where there is a shortage (IT, computer programmer, 10+ years experience but no degree)

2. Posted by urbancow (Full Member 47 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Check out --youll likely want to look at H-1B and H-2B visas--though these arent that easy to get since there are quotas-- america doesnt want foreigners displacing americans in the work place (which is logical) but if there is a shortage, that is crucial. If youre actually serious about it, i would suggest you talk to an immigration lawyer bf filling out your paper work.

3. Posted by MerB (Full Member 147 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks. It's hard to find a proper website because of all those 'spam' websites out there promising us green cards etc.

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Being in IT, the best thing to do is to get an offer from a company first, and then apply for the visa. The most likely visa you would get would be an H1B. Check out this page from the above mentioned site for details on the H1B: H1B FAQ. You will need an employer to sponsor you, therefore you need the job.

Find out what their policy is on getting you a green card (you can only work on an H1B for 6 years). Most companies will sponsor you for a green card, but want to stay with them, and usually won't give you the green card until after 5 years. This guarantees them that you won't leave their employ (as you can't work elsewhere with your existing H1B, you would need to reapply and get a new one).

Some IT people working on H1Bs complain they don't get treated all that well as they are locked into working for a single employer. They get passed up for promotions and raises. Of course, lots of naturized citizens complain about the same thing, but at least they have recourse in being able to find a new employer.

Getting a visa without an employer is very, very difficult.

You could apply to the "green card" lottery, but they aren't running another one until 2008. Check here for details, and be wary of any scams - there are a lot of them out there.

Best of luck.

5. Posted by Deanna1017 (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hey GregW,

What about temporary work in the States? What sort of Visa does that require and how hard is it to find work this way?

I've heard of summer jobs for instance that someone such as myself could apply for, but i've been out of school for 3 years and work in advertising.

Any help from you, or anybody on this, would be great!

6. Posted by evilflair (Budding Member 5 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I would go through the legal methods at all cost. With the illegal alien issues we have from Mexico and homeland security from 9/11 etc...... trying to work under the radar will only bring you unwanted attention should you ever get caught. The USA is very strict about having legal documentation in order to work. Some places do not follow the law but they are generally not the place that hires skilled labor either. People get fake ID and some employeers overlook it, but the consequences could include your not being welcome back in the future, I won't even get into being detained without a trial if you seem suspicious. In the long run doing it properly will save you a lot of trouble and you will be eligible for employer and state benefits should the need arise.

7. Posted by Twinkle (Respected Member 1112 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Im in the same situation, I was offered a job with a company I wasnt too keen on working for and they made me feel that if they sponsored me I would be indebted to them which sounded a bit shady to me. The BUNAC work america would be perfect but im in my final year of University so I am no longer eligable, nightmare!There are several programmes which they call "career development" and although they are expensive and you wouldnt be able to enter a job at a great level, I think its worth it to get the visa then look elsewhere for a job!
Does anyone know the status if you were to apply to study over there, as I considered taking a couple of classes in order to get a visa?or do you have to be able to be a full time student to get a visa?Its so complicated!