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How and where for foreigners to look for work in the USA: useful resources and advice

The United States labor market remains among the most coveted in the world. It is an incredibly large country with some of the largest and most innovative companies in the world. In addition, the US is either the leading or one of the leading producers in the world in many sectors such as agriculture, energy and technology. The economy often needs foreign workers to sustain growth and do jobs where there is a shortage of domestic labor. Skilled or unskilled, temporary or permanent - The United States is a prime destination for workers around the world. As a result, many people have a question: how to get a job in the USA? Where to begin? How to get the attention of companies? Answers to these questions and not only were given by the publication Citizen path.

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Work for people already living in the USA

The easiest way to find a job in the United States is if you are already in the country. To do this, you need to apply for a work permit (EAD). Being physically present in the United States does not automatically mean that you are eligible to work. You must be legally present in a status that allows you to obtain a work permit. For example, visitors on a B-2 or F-1 visa are usually not eligible. Some of the categories where you can apply for an EAD include:

Changing the status of an applicant

The end result of the status adjustment process is the green card. She gives permission to work in the United States for a permanent resident. But it takes time to process status applications (Form I-485), and many people would like to work while they wait to receive their green card. Obtaining an EAD allows you to work while you wait for your permanent status.


Individuals who have been granted dreamer status or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the USCIS have legal residence status, which means they are eligible to obtain a work permit.


Generally, enrolled students are not in the category that is eligible for a work permit. If you have an F or M visa, you must apply for an EAD as part of an Application for Supplemental Practical Training (OPT), which will allow you to gain experience related to your field of study after completing your college degree in the United States. An office at your college or university is a great place to start if you're looking for a job.

Asylum seekers

If you are applying for asylum in the United States, you can apply for an EAD while your case is pending. The EAD application for asylum seekers is the same as for other immigrants.

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Apply for an EAD by completing Form I-765, Application for Work Permit. Each category has specific eligibility requirements and supporting documentation.

Finding a job in the United States as a foreign citizen outside the United States

Either way, you need a permit to work in the United States. You can't just show up on a visitor visa and start looking for a job. US employers are required by law to verify the identity and work permit of individuals hired to work. Therefore, you usually need to obtain a work permit. There are several types of visas for this. The exact type of visa you need depends on:

  • Area of ​​work
  • Links with your employer
  • Country of origin (some countries have visa quotas or may have more options than others due to partnership agreements in certain areas such as education and nursing).

If you are not sure which visa you will need for a specific job, you can visit the website Visa Wizard Department of State.

If you do not have a US work permit, you can still find work. Let's consider several possible options:

Investor visas

E-2 Visa for Contract Investors

Citizens of countries that support a trade and shipping treaty with the United States may be eligible for an investment-based nonimmigrant visa. The visa is designed to give certain foreign nationals the opportunity to start a business and get a job in the United States. It requires a significant financial investment and you must be a citizen of one of these countries.

Temporary Employment Visas

L-1A visa for executives and managers

If you are in a management or management position in a multinational company, you may be able to move to the United States to work for the same company. With this visa, you can come to work in the United States either at your company's office in the United States, or create one if it is not already open. To qualify for an L-1A visa, you must have worked in a managerial or management position with your company for at least one year. The L-1A visa allows you to stay in the United States for a year with a possible two-year extension until you reach seven years in the country.

TN Visa for Canadians or Mexicans

Citizens of Canada and Mexico have a unique opportunity to apply for a work visa that allows them to work in a wide variety of industries. It is also fairly easy to obtain. In addition to Canadian or Mexican citizenship, you will need education or relevant experience in your field of work. With TN status, you can live and work in the United States for an initial period of three years. You have the right to renew your status for a three-year period if necessary.

H-1B for special professions

The H-1B visa is attracting a lot of attention due to its popularity. These visas usually run out quickly due to demand. American employers are sometimes unable to find domestic workers to perform certain special duties. This is common in the technology industry. After going through an exhaustive process, these employers can hire foreign nationals to fill vacancies. These are mostly highly qualified and well paid positions. The initial period of stay on an H-1B visa is three years, but usually you can extend this period.

Seasonal and temporary work

The United States grants visas to unskilled labor to enter the country for seasonal and temporary work in certain agricultural and non-agricultural facilities. An employer in the United States begins the H-2 temporary work visa process by requesting that he cannot find workers in the United States. Once approved by the United States government, the employer will send the documents to the foreign national. The company prepares all paperwork in the United States, and the applicant goes to the United States embassy or consulate only as a final step for visa processing after the employer submits the paperwork.

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Types of seasonal and temporary visas

Seasonal and temporary jobs are divided into two types:

  • Agricultural (H-2A visa)
  • Non-agricultural (H-2B visa)

Department of Labor (DOL) website for seasonal vacancies is a great place to start looking for such offers. Agricultural positions can include workers for planting, harvesting, tending greenhouses, fertilizing, and general farm maintenance using hand tools. Some agricultural work is done outdoors in harsh weather, and prolonged standing or kneeling is possible. Remember this if you have an injury.

Non-agricultural jobs include landscaping and gardening, housekeeping, restaurant jobs, seafood processing and packaging, and construction jobs.

The Seasonal Jobs website highlights major job categories, specific jobs (important if you want to go where you have family or friends), seasonal job categories, and even crops if you are an agricultural worker looking to choose something concrete.

A similar website for finding and applying for seasonal and temporary jobs is H2 Job Board... As with the DOL website, there is the option to create a profile and apply for jobs in different parts of the United States. You can also subscribe to notifications to receive emails about vacancies that match your profile.

It is possible to extend the H-2 visa, but there are number and country restrictions on it. Special visas are available for workers from the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador). The rest of the limit goes to all other candidates. In recent years, businesses employing workers on these visas have requested a numerical increase, indicating a high demand for seasonal workers.

Visitor exchange programs

BridgeUSA Is a State Department program that brings professionals such as teachers and doctors to the United States. It also brings together au pair, consultants, interns and professors among other categories. You can see the requirements for each type of position in this comparative table... Typically, exchange visitor visas are valid for one year and you can potentially renew them for up to three years.

To apply for the Visitor Exchange Program, you can click on the program categories to find a sponsoring institution and apply for vacancies. You are only allowed to work for your sponsoring employer in the activities specified on your visa application.

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The best job search sites for foreign nationals looking for a job in the USA claims to be the largest and most trusted job site for foreign workers in the United States. It strives to provide self-service data-driven job search services. The company uses data from a variety of sources for analysis and modeling, including public websites, message boards, social media and government agencies. This is a great place to explore the labor market.


Jooble able to make finding a job in the United States simple and affordable. It is an international job search website that brings together numerous job openings in one place. Jooble works the same way as search engines. When a user searches, all active jobs are displayed. Jooble helps foreign job seekers refine their search for work-based visa opportunities in the United States. For example, you can add "visa sponsorship" to your search to find matching jobs in the United States.


CareerBoard Is a nationwide job search engine that brings together skilled and unskilled professionals with current job openings in the United States and other countries. CareerBoard's search filters include a Visa Sponsorship option that allows applicants to see which employers will complete the required visa procedures on their behalf to work in the United States.


LinkedIn allows you to communicate with professionals from all over the world and demonstrate your experience and knowledge. While LinkedIn allows you to include certain information on your profile that you would include on a traditional resume, this goes beyond a simple resume.

It is primarily a site for business contacts, as well as a tool for finding a job. For example, you can include links to your previous work and any achievements such as awards. This will help recruiters understand if your experience suits their needs. It is possible to directly indicate that you are looking for a specific type of position. In addition, you can communicate with opinion leaders and in professional conversations speak directly with people in different positions. Then look for the vacancies that interest you the most.


Indeed Is the world's largest job search website with over 250 million monthly users. You can search for jobs ranging from entry-level to executive positions. It is possible to search for vacancies that provide visa sponsorship.

Despite all the possibilities of the American labor market, obtaining work visas, temporary or otherwise, is still a long and laborious process. This was especially true in 2020 when the government suspended many types of work visas. The number and country restrictions in many visa categories that allow foreign nationals to work in the United States make the process time sensitive and mean that even with a job offer, you may be denied a visa for any of a variety of reasons.

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