What is a legal way to start working in the United States?

Who is eligible to work in the U.S.?

All U.S. citizens, as well as Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents), can work in the United States. 

If you are a foreign national, before coming to the United States for work, you must make sure you are eligible for employment.

Obtaining a proper work visa is essential. Violation of visa rules such as illegal employment while staying in the U.S. on the B-1/B-2 visa is absolutely not advised and may eventually lead to deportation.

How to become eligible for a work visa?

These are the tips for foreign nationals willing to work in the United States:

  • If you are an overseas employee of the U.S. company, check if the company is willing to bring you to the U.S. under the Intracompany Transferee program (L-1 visa).

  • If you are willing to invest in the U.S. business, you may be eligible for the E-2 visa.

  • Find a prospective employer — a U.S. company that is willing to sponsor you for a work visa such as H-1B.

VisaLex can't process your work visa application unless you have a job offer and the U.S. company is willing to assist you in getting a work visa. VisaLex can't help you find a prospective employer or provide any career advice.

Who is eligible for employment authorization?

  • If you are in the U.S. on the student visa (F-1), under certain circumstances and with certain limitations you can get employment authorization.

  • If you are a dependent spouse of the work visa holder (you stay on H-4 or L-2 visa) you might be eligible for employment authorization. Note that special conditions apply here and your eligibility depends on your principal's occupation, visa type, and other circumstances.

Contact VisaLex attorneys to explore the visa options available to you.