Do you wish to Work and Reside in The US?

The US is a Federal Republic of 50 States, neighboring Canada and Mexico. With a population of about 316 million people that currently work and reside in the US, and a GDP equivalent to a quarter of the world total. It is the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP.
The US is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a founding member of the Organization of American States (OAS) as well as a member of various other Pan-American and International organizations.

See our FAQ’s for more information on Working and Residing in The US


A B-2 visa is what is commonly known as a “Tourist Visa”. It allows the holder to enter the country and stay temporarily in the US for tourism or leisure purposes or for medical treatment.

No, you would need to apply for another category of non-immigrant visa, the B-1 visa. The B-1 “Business Visa” is aimed at persons entering the US temporarily to conduct business activities such as: meetings, conferences, consultations and negotiations. The B-1 visa does NOT allow you to work or to be paid by a source in the US.

Yes, you are citizen from a country which requires a visa to enter the US – visa B category – and you must file in your visa application form on-line, print-in, and schedule an appointment for your visa interview (you must attend in person, no third party allowed), generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live.

Your spouse is a national from a country which is part of the The Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This means that she can travel to the US, for tourism or business, for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa. All she needs to do is to complete the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) online – it is valid for 2 years – and print it for travel purposes to present at port of entry.

It will depend on several factors such as the nature of your business, your nationality, etc; it is at the discretion of the issuing authorities to grant a single-entry or multiple-entry visa which can be valid for a few months or up to a year.

You wife can come with you however she will to qualify in her own right to a B category visa as the B-1 visa doesn’t have an ‘accompanying dependent’ visa category.

If you are a foreign professional, qualified (minimum bachelor’s degree) and working ‘speciality’ occupation (experience AND highly specialised skills) AND you have been sponsored by an employer in the US, then you can ask for an H-1B (non-immigrant) work visa.

The employer in the US would have to prove a need for a specialty worker as the minimum requirement for taking up the job on offer. The employer would then have to get an approved LABOUR CONDITIONS APPLICATION with relevant wage and working conditions and a list of other conditions as well. Finally, the employer would have to file an application with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service).

Even if you comply with all the requirements you are not sure to be granted an H-1B work visa as the issuance of H-1B work visas are limited to a quota of 65,000 per year.

H-1B visas are issued by the USCIS and are usually valid for 1 to 3 years and renewable. The H-1B visa is only valid to work for the sponsor therefore, should you want to change employer, and you would need to apply for a brand new H-1B visa.

It takes approximately 30 days to obtain an H-1B work visa and you will apply at the US Representation abroad.

Yes, it is referred to as L-1 Work Visa.

Applying for an L-1 Work Visa involves 2 steps:

  • Step 1: The employer must file a petition with USCIS requesting an approval for L-1 classification (to authorise employee to work in the US).
  • Step 2: Once the L-1 petition is approved, the employee can apply for an L-1 visa at a US Representation abroad.

The L-1 (ICT) work visa itself is divided in 2 categories: L-1A visas and L-1B visas.

L-1A visas: are for employees who are coming to the U.S. in a managerial function. These employees manage either people or processes. It is not necessary for these employees to currently be managers to be eligible for L-1A visa classification but the proposed U.S. job MUST be a managerial position.

L-1B visas: are for employees who are coming to the U.S. and who have highly specialised (‘critical’) skills.

To qualify, the applicant must comply with the following:

  • Have been employed, outside the US, as an executive (L-1A) or a person with specialised skills (L-1B) for a minimum of 1 to 3 years and who are transferred to the US to be employed in a similar position.
  • The ‘receiving entity’ (company in the US the employee is being transferred to) must be a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or joint-venture partner.
  • The ‘sending entity’ must remain in operation during the duration of the L-1 visa.

They are no quota limits on L-1 visas.

It is a ‘non-immigrant’ visa reserved for investors (foreign nationals) and is referred to as a “Treaty Investors B-2 Visa” because the home country of the applicant must have a treaty with the US for the applicant to qualify. The ‘investor’ must prove that he/she had invested a substantial financial amount AND created jobs in the US.

You will apply at the US Representation abroad. The US Department of States is the Government office responsible for issuing student visas.

There are 2 types of Study Visa:

  • The F-1 visa: for foreigners wanting to go to the US for academic studies and/or language training programs.
  • The M-1 visa: for foreigners wanting to go for non-academic or vocational studies.

It actually depends. You can of course go to visit your fiancé on a B-2 visa; however, you also have the option to apply for a K-1 “Fiancé Visa” should you intend to get married within 90 days of your arrival in the US. You can enter the US and marry your (US citizen) fiancé – within 90 days – And then you can apply IN COUNTRY to change the K visa to a green card.

Not quite. Once you get married you will get a “2 year conditional Green Card” which will give you a CONDITIONAL permanent residence status. If after the 2 years period the marriage is still in existence then the foreign-national spouse may apply for a 10-year, non-conditional Green Card and eventually US citizenship.

Your wife is eligible for a “V” visa: V-1 is for spouse and V-2 is for children of a US PR holder.

A foreigner can apply for permanent residence in the US based on relative in the following circumstances:

  • The foreigner is an immediate relative to a US citizen. Are considered “immediate” relatives: parents, spouses and children under the age of 21.
  • The foreigner is an unmarried son or daughter of a US citizen.
  • The foreigner is a married son or daughter of a US citizen.
  • Brothers and sisters of a US citizen.

Yes. The U.S. have legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Married same-sex couples now enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples. Same Sex marriages, if legal where made, are now recognized as valid marriages under the US immigration laws. Therefore, “K” and “V” visas will apply for a spouse in same-sex marriages as well.

Actually, strangely enough, this is not the case as only a few states in the United States recognize common-law marriages (or ‘life partnership’). Therefore, accompanying life partner are advised to apply in their own right.


Work and Reside in the US