Which Visa is Best for US?
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If you want to travel to the US, the first factor you must consider is what type of visa you must obtain. To enter the US, you must have a valid form of travel authorisation, which would either be an ESTA, or a relevant type of US visa.
Travel authorisation is required as a method of border security so that US border officials can monitor who is entering the US and prevent high risk travellers from entering the country. People who are citizens of a visa waiver country are able to apply for an ESTA if their visit is for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes of less than 90 days.
If the applicant is not eligible for an ESTA, they must apply for the US visa that applies to the purpose of their visit e.g. student or working visas in the USA .
The most popular US visas for foreign professionals
There are many different US visa types but the most commonly applied for US professional visas are:
For people who have a job that qualifies as a specialty occupation, which would require a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, if they successfully apply for a job that matches the criteria then they can obtain a H-1B visa. They would be sponsored by their employer.
- E-1 Investor Visa
If the applicant is a national of a treaty country, then they can carry out international trade and be granted a E-1 visa for this.
Similar to E-1 but the amount of the investment must be deemed to be sizeable.
Where the applicant invests $1m in a US business that will create at least 10 US jobs, (or $500,000 in an area with a high unemployment rate).
Multi-national firms are able to transfer employees to their US office, provided they meet the right criteria, including that they must be an executive or in a management position.
These visas are exclusively for people who are at the very top of their profession, such as award-winning film directors or scientists with the highest accolades in their field.
The most common US visa type is the visitor visa which has less requirements and less documents needed to be produced. It covers business travel and the applicant must still have permanent residence in their home country.
Student visas are another type of US visa that can be obtained when an applicant has an acceptance offer at an educational institute in the US. After completing studies in the US, the student visa holder would need to return to their home country or obtain a different type of visa to extend their stay in the US.
These are just a selection of types of American visas but there are many more that cover different types of occupations and other reasons for visiting the US. Working visas in the USA are not easy to obtain and you will need to have a specific type of occupation, matching the required jobs that will get you a US visa.