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How to work in the United States legally

Many people who are not citizens of the United States seek to obtain Work Visas or a Green Card to be able to work and live in the United States legally. Employment immigration can be challenging, but it is worth it to get the benefits of living in the U.S. Each year, 140,000 permanent work visas are available from the U.S. government. There are also temporary work visas available, but those are much harder to come by. Those who plan to come to Louisiana or any other U.S. state should be aware of the steps they will have to take in order to do so.

Non-U.S. citizens who hope to enter the United States can do so by applying for one of nine different types of visas. While a work Visa does not make a person a naturalized citizen, it is part of the process to become a citizen. Green Card holders are considered lawful permanent residents, but they are not naturalized citizens.

When applying for a Visa, downloading information and applications from the U.S. Immigration website will require a payment of $49.95 for processing. Work visas are typically sponsored by employers who are not able to find qualified U.S. workers to fill the position at the current wage. The government also requires that the new foreign worker who is hired won't affect the working conditions or wages of current U.S. employees.

Once the work visa information is filled out and submitted, the applicant may be permitted to work in the U.S. temporarily, and their family will be allowed in as well. They will also be permitted to get an ID and driver's license. Work visas can be renewed as needed. An H1-B Work Visa is for professionals with a bachelor's degree, whereas a H2-b Work Visa is for non-professionals for a temporary position. By following the steps of this process, non-citizens can work and live in the United States legally.

Source: Examiner, "The money and many steps to getting a work visa in the US," Christina Dagnelli, Feb. 8, 2014

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