The USA Work Visa Types
Every fiscal year (from 1st October to 30th September) around 140,000 employment immigrant visas are made available to candidates who meet the eligibility criteria. If you have the appropriate education, skills, qualifications, and work experience then you might be able to live and work permanently in the US with one of their Work visas.
Before applying, though, you need to make sure you understand the differences between the five main types of US Work visas. Applying for a Work visa is a long and complicated process so we want to make sure you choose the right one from the start.
Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker Visas for Turkish Citizens
Temporary Worker visas are for anybody who wants to enter the USA for employment that lasts a fixed amount of time and whose stay will not be permanent. This type of visa has a long history of supporting various areas of the USA’s economy such as agriculture and technology. As such, it covers many types of workers which include, but are not limited to:
- Treaty traders and investors
- Registered nurses (working in health professional shortage areas)
- Temporary or seasonal agricultural workers
- Trainees (excluding medical or academic fields)
- Representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other informational media
- Intracompany transferees in managerial or executive positions
- Specialised knowledge workers transferring within a company
- Internationally recognised athletes
- People with exceptional ability in sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or TV production
- Religious workers
Permanent (Immigrant) Worker Visas for Turkish Citizens
Permanent Worker visas are a particularly popular option as they naturally accompany a job offer with a US employer. In some cases, the US Department of Labour will need the employer to obtain an approved labour certification beforehand.
The Permanent Worker visa is broken down into five ‘preferences’ which are as follows:
- The first preference is for applicants with a high ability in sciences, arts, education, athletics, business, research, and managers
- Second preference visas are for members of the professions who have advanced degrees
- The third preference visa is for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers
- Fourth preference visas are for ‘special immigrants’ including religious workers, foreign service posts, and retired employees of multinational companies
- The fifth preference visa is reserved for business investors who invest large amounts of money into new commercial enterprises that employ at least 10 full-time US workers
Students and Exchange Visitor Visas for Turkish Citizens
There are many reasons why somebody would want to study in the US. Not only is it home to world-leading institutions and education providers but there is an abundance of opportunities for work experience and post-study employment as well. Not to mention the cultural advantages of living in the USA with its bustling music, art, technology, and fashion scenes.
Applicants wishing to undertake full-time academic or vocational studies in the USA can apply for a Student and Exchange Visitor visa. This programme is part of the National Security Investigations Division but it is managed by the Department of State.
This visa is split into three categories and the first two are for students in academic or vocational areas:
- F1 – Academic studies
- F-2 – Spouses and children of F-1
- M-1 – Vocational Students
- M-2 – Spouses and children of M-1
The third category relates solely to exchange visitors:
- J-1 – Exchange visitors
- J-2 – Spouses and children of J-1
Temporary Visitor for Business Visas for Turkish Citizens
There is also the Temporary Visitor for Business visa for applicants who will be participating in commercial or professional business activities. Examples given by the US Citizen and Immigration Services include, but are not limited to:
- Settling estates
- Negotiating contracts
- Consulting with business associates
- Travelling for educational, academic, business, and professional conferences and conventions on specific dates
- Short-term training purposes
- Deadheading (air crew)
- Transitioning through the US
International Entrepreneur Parole Visas for Turkish Citizens
If you are a non-American entrepreneur then the US Department for Homeland Security may grant a period of authorised stay on a case-by-case basis. You would need to demonstrate that your business venture would provide a considerable public benefit.
Under this type of visa, entrepreneurs would only be allowed to work for their startup business and their spouses and children may also be eligible for parole. It is also worth noting that the Department for Homeland Security can grant International Entrepreneur Parole visas for up to 3 entrepreneurs per startup business.
Applying to Change Status for a USA Work Visa
There is also a process that does not involve the above types of Work visas but, instead, has you apply once you have spent some time in the USA and wish to stay longer for employment purposes. If you are currently in the USA with a lawful nonimmigrant status that does not permit you to undertake employment then there are options to change this. In this case, you are able to apply to change your status to a nonimmigrant status that does authorise employment.
Or you could apply for an adjustment to become a permanent USA resident. This application could run alongside your application for an immigrant visa or, in some cases, you may need to obtain an immigrant visa before applying to become a permanent resident.
How to Apply for a USA Work Visa
Generally, USA Work visas depend on an offer of employment for a specific role. In this case, a petition must be filed and then approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Then the individual can apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or a Consulate in Turkey.
It is important to check with the USCIS because some visas will have specific documents and forms that need to be completed alongside regular application processes.
You will be asked to attend an interview and the information on your DS-160 form will help the Turkish US Embassy to make their decision. As with any interview, make sure you arrive on time, dressed appropriately, and with all the relevant documentation, should you need it. You should be as clear as possible and answer all questions in full.
The USA Work Visa Requirements and Application Process
Because there are so many different types of US Work visas, there is no single application route. For example, some visas require your employer to obtain a certification from the US Department of Labour. You will need to identify which visa is right for you and understand its specific process.
Most of the time, your employer will need to file a petition for your visa category with the USCIS. Once this is approved you can proceed to apply for a visa with the Turkish US Embassy.
Regardless of which Work visa you choose, most of them have the same basic requirements, which are as follows:
- A valid passport with enough time for your stay
- Evidence showing that you intend to depart the US once your stay has ended
- A receipt number for your petition form
- Receipt to show your payment of the application fee
How can our lawyers at Total Law help you?
Applying for a USA Work visa is a big step but it can be a complicated and long process, especially seeing as each visa usually has its own individual steps and additional requirements. We recommend that you speak to us here at Total Law to ensure you make the most of your application and increase the chances of a positive outcome.
Here at Total Law, we can assist with various issues including work and tourist visa applications, citizenship problems, and asylum issues. All of our lawyers are very experienced and have decades of experience dealing with international immigration cases. If you have any questions about applications, grants, appeals, or scholarships then simply call 0333 305 9375 or get in touch online to speak to one of our experienced immigration lawyers.
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There are multiple ways for Turkish citizens to apply for a green card including Work visas, Diversity Visa Lottery, and applying for one after having spent some time in the US using a separate visa.
If you are travelling from Turkey and aged between 16 and 55 then you will need a visa to enter the country and applications can be made at your country’s US Embassy.
Whereas a Labour Certificate allows a Turkish citizen to undertake a particular role with a US employer, an Employment Authorisation Document is a general work permit that permits an individual to work for any US employer.
You will need to have a job offer in the US and your employer will need to have a petition from the USCIS, a labour certificate from the Department of Labour, and you will need to fill out the online visa application before scheduling your interview.