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How to travel and work legally in the USA?

Below we share the requirements and processes to work in the United States, quoted directly from the page of the "United States Citizenship and Immigration Services" (USCIS) .

United States flag

The United States is once again the country with the greatest growth potential on our continent, which has caused employment to increase steadily throughout these months. Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Fransisco Vuelvas Lomeli

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Leer en español: ¿Cómo viajar y trabajar legalmente en EUA?

With a considerable proportion of its population vaccinated against COVID-19, the United States is once again the country with the greatest growth potential in our continent, which has caused employment to increase steadily throughout these months.

In the same scenario, Latin American countries have been characterized by not accelerating the vaccination of their population, causing outbreaks of COVID-19 in countries such as Colombia and Argentina, and preventing economies from recovering at the US pace.

Therefore, it is not surprising that thousands of Latin Americans are anxious to emigrate to the United States of America, hoping to achieve greater economic benefits at a time that has been characterized by a scourge of health crisis, with a combination of economic adversities.

However, it is necessary to consider that most of the countries in our region do not have free access to our northern neighbor, which is why a work visa will be needed to access that labor market so longed for by many; Therefore, below we share the requirements and processes to work in the United States, quoted directly from the page of the "United States Citizenship and Immigration Services" (USCIS). ( www.uscis.gov )

Temporary job:

The way most used by people is through a non-immigration process; that is, an employer in the United States files an application with the “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services”, through the website for temporary workers: https://www.uscis.gov/es/trabajar-en-los- united-states / non-immigrant-temporary-workers

Permanent job:

If you are a person with specific training or education, you may be able to work in the United States permanently, to achieve the above, it is necessary that you place yourself in any of the following categories EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 , EB-4 or EB-5, ranging from scientific certifications to investors who wish to establish themselves in the country. Once you have found the category in which you fit, you can start to close the deal with your future employer and do the corresponding procedures with the "United States Citizenship and Immigration Services".

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In both cases mentioned above, it is important that, if you are outside the United States, you request the respective visa at the Embassy or the different United States consulates in your country. It is important to mention that, before applying for the visa, the USCIS must approve the employment petition, and once you have it, you can apply for the corresponding visa.

What if I am in the United States?

All is not lost if you are in the country in question; Latin Americans often enter the United States as tourists, but given the opportunity for growth, they choose to stay and work.

When you are in this case, you only have to apply to the “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services” for a change of non-immigrant status to one of the following categories:

  • To a nonimmigrant classification that provides employment authorization
  • A status to become a lawful permanent resident

Depending on the classification you are seeking, your request for a change of status or adjustment may require a U.S. employer or other qualified applicant to submit an application or petition on your behalf to determine your eligibility before your application can be approved.

If you apply based on certain categories (for example, an alien with extraordinary ability or status as an E-1 or E-2 nonimmigrant entrepreneur or major investor), you may be eligible for a self-petition, which means you can submit an application in your own name and without the need for intermediaries.

Finally, if you are in the United States, regardless of whether a relative of yours has a work permit or not, you can apply to the USCIS for authorization to work through the following formats:

  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Employment Authorization Document

Both are found on the official website of the "United States Citizenship and Immigration Services."

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