If you are a noncitizen with the right combination of skills, education and/or work experience, you might be able to work and live in the U.S. But do you need a job offer from an employer to do this?
Here is what to know:
You will need it in most instances
To obtain certain immigrant visa preferences, one needs a job offer from a U.S. employer. Examples of professionals in this category are outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years of experience in teaching or research and multinational managers/executives employed for at least one of the three prior years by a U.S. employer’s overseas branch, subsidiary, affiliate or parent.
If you need a job offer to get a visa, your employer will be considered your sponsor.
You may not need it
If you are a person with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, athletics, education or business with extensive documentation to showing your acclaim and recognition, entering the U.S. to continue work in the fields you have extraordinary ability in, you may not need a job offer from a U.S. employer to apply for a visa. You will file your own Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140.
Note that if you have exceptional ability in the above-mentioned fields, but lack extensive documentation to prove your recognition, you may need a job offer to apply for a visa. Your employer will file the petition on your behalf.
Can you be exempted?
If the visa category you want to apply for requires a job offer, you can apply for a National Interest Waiver. Your reason for the exemption should be in the interest of the U.S.
It’s vital to seek legal guidance to know if the employment-based visa you want to apply for requires a job offer or not to make informed decisions earlier.