The US immigration law allows Africans to work in the US temporarily as non-immigrant. Getting a work visa does come with a ton of requirements with the most important being that you already have an appointment with a company in the US especially if it is your first time.
The company will also have to file a petition which must be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the US before you can begin your work visa application.
In this article, we are going to dive into the various types of work visas and how to apply for a work visa.
Work Visa Descriptions and Qualifications
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H-1B (specialty occupation)
If you’re coming into the US to perform services in a professional job, you will require an H-1B visa. You will also need a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty to be approved. Your employer will have to file a labor condition application with the Department of Labor detailing the terms and conditions of its contract of employment with you
H-1B1 Treaty-based Temporary Work Visas
This type of visa is only provided to Chilean and Singaporean citizens due to the free trade agreements with both countries.
H-2A (seasonal agricultural workers)
With an H-2A visa, you can apply to fill temporary agricultural work positions in which U.S. workers are not available. The employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for the non-immigrant worker, on your behalf.
H-2B visa (skilled and unskilled workers)
If you’re coming to perform a temporary job in the US for which there is a shortage of U.S. workers, you will have to apply for an H-2B visa. Your employer will have to obtain a Department of Labor certification confirming that there are no qualified U.S. workers to fill the position being offered to you.
An H-3 visa will be required for non-immigrants coming into the US to receive training from an employer in any field for a period of up to two years. You could be paid for your training, however, it cannot be used to provide productive employment.
This type of visa is offered to spouses and unmarried children under age 21 to accompany you to the US. You must be a principal holder of a valid H visa and your family will not be allowed to work.
L-1 (intra-company transferees)
An L-1 visa is provided to employees of international companies being temporarily transferred to a parent brand or subsidiary of the same company in the US.
L-2 (intra-company transferees)
This type of visa is offered to spouses and unmarried children under age 21 to accompany you to the US. You must be a principal holder of a valid L visa and your spouse may seek employment authorization but will have to enter with his/her own L-2 visa.
Other types of work visas
- (foreign nationals with extraordinary ability)
- P (artists, entertainers)
- Q (international cultural exchange participant)
- R (religious worker)
How to Get a USA Work Visa from Africa
- Fill the non-immigration visa electronic application (DS-160). This would be done online.
- Provide a passport valid for travel to the United States. The passport must have a validity date of at least six months beyond your period of stay.
- Provide a recent 5cm x 5cm photograph.
- You will have to pay the non-refundable non-immigrant application processing fee. This will be paid at any GTBank. branch or you can pay online if you have a GTBank account. The visa application fee is $190.
- You will have to present an interview appointment letter to confirm your appointment.
- Academic qualifications that prove you’re qualified for the job.
- Letter from current and previous employers detailing your position and responsibilities.