There’s a dearth of occupations in the U.S. for nonimmigrants that can be attained through foreign national visas. But what are the most common and sought-after occupations for nonimmigrants that are petitioned for in the U.S.?
A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report released in FY 2020, reveals computer-related occupations account for the largest occupational category for about 69.5 percent. On the other hand, occupations such as engineering, architecture, and surveying contributed to about 9.1 percent. The field of Medicine and Law were known to be the highest-paid in FY 2020.
In this blog, we will discuss top career options in some of the highest-ranked occupational fields in the recent past. We also explore the visa categories that candidates looking for a job in the U.S. may qualify for.
H-1B is one of the most common work visas for nonimmigrants in the U.S. To qualify for an H-1B visa, individuals need to ensure that their job qualifies as a specialty occupation.
The USCIS defines a specialty occupation as one that requires theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge and requires the candidate to have attained a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent). The candidate should also have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.
Some of the common areas of specialty occupations include:
Note: For an H-1B application to be approved, the applicant should have obtained a degree in the specific field in direct relation to the job title. If the petitioner accepts a general bachelor’s degree, it may not be considered a specialty occupation.
The L-1A classification for Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager, allows a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager to their affiliated offices in the United States. It is also applicable for foreign companies that are not affiliated with the U.S. to send in their executives to the U.S. for establishment.
The L-1B category for Intracompany Transferee of Specialized Knowledge, allows a U.S. employer to transfer an employee with specialized knowledge (in the field related to the organization’s interest) from one of their affiliated foreign offices to their offices in the U.S. It may also enable a foreign company that is not yet affiliated with the United States, to send a specialized knowledge employee to the U.S. to help establish one.
An employer must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for the L-1 category:
Note: The term doing business implies the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization in the U.S. or abroad.
An O-1 category visa is granted to individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or those with extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized internationally or nationally for the same.
The O-1 category visas can be classified into O-1A and O-1B.
O-1A is for individuals possessing extraordinary abilities in sciences, education, business, or athletics. Extraordinary abilities in the field of arts would mean distinction or a high level of achievement in the field. A degree of skill or recognition above the ordinary to extent that the candidate is well-known in the field of arts is required. Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, or athletics may be indicated through a level of expertise where the candidate may be recognized as one of the top talents in the field.
O-1B is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the motion picture or television industry. The candidate must demonstrate extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, evidenced by a degree of skills that makes them recognized in the field.
The USCIS report for FY2020 suggests some of the following job titles have high approval rates:
Note: A complete list of SOC Occupations can be found on the official website for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
To petition for a temporary work visa, employers must file Form I-129 (petition for nonimmigrant worker) on behalf of the beneficiary. It should be submitted not more than 45 days before the start date of employment. The employers may petition USCIS for a noncitizen beneficiary to be allowed temporarily in the U.S. as a nonimmigrant, to receive training or perform services for them. Form I-129 consists of a basic petition, individual supplements for specific classifications, and H-1B data collection and filing fee exemption supplement (for H-1B and H-1B1 categories).
Several job titles can qualify for a work visa in the U.S. for nonimmigrants, if they fulfill the criteria mentioned above. It should be noted that these job occupations can only be approved if the candidate demonstrates specific skills or abilities that may not be obtained from employees in the U.S.
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