How to Get a US Work Visa When You Don’t Have a Job Offer
Obtaining a US visa is difficult in general circumstances but for those who have a job offer, the process is much simpler. If you are in a position where you do not have a job offer but you want to live and work in the US as a foreign national, your options are fairly limited. These are some of the visas that do not require a job offer and the requirements attached to each:
This type of visa is for people that are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. These types of visa are only attainable by a very small number of people, for example, people who have been awarded international awards for their ability. Outstanding researchers and professors are also able to apply for an EB-1A visa, with the requirement that they have received international recognition for their achievements in their field.
The special immigrant EB-4 visa is for certain religious workers and employees of US foreign service posts.
The EB-5 visa is for investors, and anyone applying for this must have a minimum of $900,000 to invest in a US commercial project. The investment is aimed at providing more employment in areas of the US where there are high levels of employment. There is no requirement for a job offer but the investment project must be approved. The investment minimum used to be $500,000 but was increased to $900,000 in November 2019.
Other working visa options
As you can see, these types of visas that do not require the applicant to have a job offer are only available to a very select set of people. In all other cases, working visas can only be obtained if the applicant has been given a job offer. As part of the relevant visa application process, the applicant will be requested to provide written confirmation of the job offer, the length of time that the working contract is for and the salary that the role is for.
The employer must have labor certification to confirm that the role could not be filled by a US worker, so that US employment is prioritized before any foreign workers are granted a visa to work in the country. The visa will usually be granted to last the length of time that the employment contract lasts for, although it is possible to apply to extend the visa for some visa types.
It is difficult to gain permanent employment in the US and under tourist visas or student visas, working is not permitted. There are limited numbers of visas that can be issued each fiscal year and the numbers can change, making it even more difficult for employers to hire under certain types of strong working visas. There is also the cost of the visa to account for, which is another factor that has seen changes, with many of the working visas being subjected to recent fee increases.