If you’re interested in moving to the United States, you will need to think about the logistics involved. Tourists can visit on a short-term basis, but anyone who wants to work in the country long-term will need a work visa of some kind.

There are many kinds of work visas, but not all offer permanent permission to live and work in the United States. Before you start the application process, it’s important to understand a little bit about the different kinds of visas and which ones can help you get permanent residency.

What are the Main Types of Work Visas?

Most U.S. work visas are temporary. They are usually given to people working in seasonal industries and agriculture or those with specialized skills and education needed by an employer. Student workers and those with short-term business dealings can also get temporary visas.  Temporary visas can last up to six years or more with extensions. Most allow people to live and work in the U.S. for one to three years.

The other main type of work visa is for employment-based immigration. This is a very limited program that prioritizes people with extraordinary skills and advanced training. Those who receive an employment-based immigration visa will get their green cards and become lawful permanent residents. After a few years, they can apply for citizenship.

Who Qualifies for a Permanent Work Visa?

There are different tiers of priority when the government issues permanent work visas. The main goal of employment-based immigration is to bring the most qualified workers in to boost the economy and promote innovation. For this reason, people who have advanced skills and high-level degrees are much more likely to get a permanent work visa than unskilled workers.

Those seeking a permanent work visa must have an employer petition on their behalf. Therefore, it is important for people who want to move to the United States to have a job lined up in advance. Getting a permanent work visa is not easy and setting yourself up for success is important.

Is Getting a Permanent Work Visa Difficult?

The U.S. government is very picky about who should receive employment-based immigration visas. Only around 140,000 of these visas are issued each year, with specific numbers given to each category of workers. With these strict limits, it can feel like luck of the draw when you’re applying for an employment-based visa.

Those who are interested in employment-based immigration are likely to face a number of challenges, but it is possible to get your green card this way and work toward citizenship. To learn more about your immigration and work visa options, give our Hackensack, New Jersey law firm a call at (201) 883-9800 today.