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What Is Employment-Based Visa Sponsorship

Foreign nationals can work in the U.S. through employment-based visas sponsored by U.S. employers. The process involves USCIS review and job specificity.

Elektra B. Yao

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Employment-based visas allow a foreign national to work in the U.S. for a period of time. This usually involves sponsorship for employment visa by U.S. employer to work in the U.S.

When a company decides to hire a foreign national, it must abide by the process of the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In order for the foreign national to secure a visa, USCIS reviews an employer’s offer of sponsorship, which includes information about the worker’s credentials and the nature of the job offer.

Employer must be prepared to sponor

Future employees who are approved may only work in the position that sponsoring employers offer. Furthermore, a foreign national is not able to apply for a work visa until he/she finds an employer prepared to sponsor him/her.

USCIS categorizes temporary, or short-term, employment as nonimmigrant. Every fiscal year, around 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants. To be considered for an immigrant visa under some of the employment-based visa categories, the applicant’s future employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor.

Some types of employment sponsorship visas may also require work certification, which includes a process that validates that the employer needs that specific worker for the job and are unable to find similar employees in U.S. laborers.

The most common temporary work visas provided are the following: H-1B, O-1, TN, and H-2B.


  • The H-1B Visa provides the opportunity for foreign professionals to work in the United States. It allows employers to hire qualified foreign workers in the U.S. in specialty occupations on a temporary basis.


  • The O-1 Visa is designed to allow foreigners at the very top of the arts, sciences, sports, education, business, motion picture or television industries entry into the United States for work for an initial period of up to three years.


  • The visa for Professionals Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), also known as a TN (Treaty NAFTA) visa, is available only to citizens of Canada and Mexico, under the terms of the NAFTA.


  • The H-2B working visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals to enter into the U.S. temporarily and engage in nonagricultural employment which is seasonal, intermittent, a peak load need, or a one-time occurrence.

Filing an application for immigration visa or a non-immigrant visa is challenging. Contact Yao Law Group if you want to file for an employment based visa.

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