How To Get A Work Visa

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 2,247 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Work Visa?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

You need a visa to work in any country you aren't a citizen of. Whether permanent or temporary work visa, many intending travellers do not know how to get a work visa, consequently making their travel plans longer than desired.

We have carefully explained everything you need to know about getting a work visa in your country of employment. So, let’s get right into the details!

What Is a Work Visa?

Let's start from the basics: what is a work visa?

As the name implies, a work visa is a permit granted to persons seeking employment in a foreign country – that is, a country where the law doesn’t recognize you as a citizen. Typically, all countries, including the United States of America, demand a work visa for foreigners. It is impossible to find an employer without such permission.

Using the US as an example, you need a specific type of work visa based on the kind of work you seek to do in the US. There are various types of work permits you can get – we have explained further about this later in the article.

Various countries have different work visa requirements. Hence, ensure you carefully study and familiarize yourself with the requirements of your desired country. You can do this by checking with the consulate or embassy of the country you plan to work.

For some countries, work visas are available by application, while in others, your employer needs to apply for the work permit on your behalf.

Here is an article that defines a work permit visa.

What Qualifies You for a Work Visa?

As mentioned, various countries may have different requirements for giving a work visa. As a prospective worker, you must take your time to identify these requirements and fulfill them accordingly. These requirements can change over time, so you must be up-to-date with the information to help you put a stronger foot forward when applying.

Certain eligibility conditions are common when applying for a work visa. These conditions include:

  • You must have enough money to provide for yourself and your dependents. This is otherwise called proof of funds .
  • You must prove, beyond reasonable doubts, to return to your country immediately your work is completed, and your stay duration is over in their country.
  • You must have no criminal record.
  • A certificate of good health is also required.
  • You won’t take another job apart from that which your employer allots to you.

How To Get a Work Visa Permit – Step-by-Step

Immigration can be complicated, especially if you do not know how to go about it. Below is a general step-by-step framework of how to get a work visa. To make sure you’re successful, your employer must be corporative - otherwise, your efforts may be futile.

Step 1: Visa Application Preparation

You and your employer must fulfil three (3) major requirements before applying to get a work visa. Failure to meet these requirements might result in a failed work visa application. These requirements are:

  • Job Offer : You must have applied and received a job offer in your destination country before applying for a work visa.
  • Employer Petition : After the job offer, your potential employer must also file a petition on your behalf. With the approved petition, you can’t start your work visa application process. However, an approved employer petition doesn’t guarantee the acceptance of your work visa application.
  • Department of Labor Approval : Certain types of visas require that your employer gets a DOL certificate of approval. Such work permit visa types include H-2B, H-2A, H1B1, and H-1B visas . This certificate proves that your employer truly has an open position suitable for a foreign worker.

Step 2: Visa Application Process

After appropriate preparation, you can now start your work visa application process. You must follow the steps below to stand a greater chance of work permit approval:

  • Visa Application : You must completely fill the form DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application . While filling, ensure the information provided are as accurate as possible to your best knowledge. Ensure your answers are in English, too.
  • Interview Schedule : After applying, you will schedule an interview at the country’s embassy in your country of residence. That is, if you are applying for a US work permit visa but you live in Ireland, you will schedule an interview at a US embassy in Ireland.
  • Interview Preparation : This is an essential prerequisite to acing the interview. You must pay a non-refundable application fee before the interview. Ensure your documents are complete and up-to-date. Documents needed include passport, visa application fee payment receipt, nonimmigrant visa application confirmation page, etc. Check the consulate or embassy website to know the required documents.

Step 3: Interview

This is typically the final stage of getting a work visa. The interview involves meeting with a consulate office to review your application and answer various questions. The surest way to ace your interview is to be honest, and detailed with your answers. These consulate officers have been trained to identify deceptions quickly and would consequently deny you the work visa if you’re caught.

Here is an article on how to get a work visa.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Samuel R.

22 projects on CC
View Profile

Craig M.

4 projects on CC
View Profile

Tabetha H.

6 projects on CC
View Profile

Angela Y.

1 project on CC
View Profile

Types of Work Visas

There are different types of work permits depending on the kind of work you want to do and your duration of stay, whether temporary or permanent. Understanding these work visa types is instrumental to having a successful work visa application process.

The types of work visas include:

Nonimmigrant Visas

These visas instruct that you leave the country immediately after your visa expiration, except you choose to reapply for a date extension. Below are the various types of nonimmigrant visas:

  • H-1B : This is a very popular work visa issued by the US for foreigners with special occupations, such as computer engineering, computer science, and others.
  • L-1 : This is a work visa available for foreigners seeking to work for businesses owned by foreigners but affiliated with US companies. To qualify for this visa, you must have worked in such affiliated company for at least one (1) continuous year within the last three (3) years before application.
  • O-1: Do you have extraordinary skills within your field, then consider applying for the O-1 work visa! A criterion often considered is being atop your field and known internationally or nationally for your achievements.
  • E-1 : This is a work permit for persons looking to enter the US for trade activities. These people can apply as a Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor. To do this, you must be willing to invest large sums of money into a US business and prove that you want to come to upscale your investment.

Other nonimmigrant work visas you can get are the TN work visa, the Australian professional specialty visa, and the seasonal agricultural work visa.

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are offered to foreigners who plan to permanently work and live in the United States. Types of immigrant visas are:

  • EB-1 extraordinary ability.
  • EB-1 multinational executive.
  • EB-2 advanced degree.

Here is an article on types of work visas.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Work Visa?

It’s nearly impossible to predict the duration of a visa application process accurately. It’s an individual process that depends on various factors, including the applicants themselves.

Some applications may be delayed because of an applicant’s failure to follow certain instructions, or for further administrative processing, etc. Nonetheless, on average, it takes about 5-7 months to get a work visa.

Get Help with a Work Visa

So, there you have it, the step-by-step explanation of how to get a work visa permit. However, please note that the instructions discussed in this article are based on the US work permit visa application procedures.

Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get bids from lawyers to help obtaining or consulting on your work visa. All lawyers are vetted by our team and peer reviewed by customers for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

View Sammy
Member Since:
November 4, 2020

Sammy N.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Raleigh, NC
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC
Campbell University School of Law

Sammy Naji focuses his practice on assisting startups and small businesses in their transactional and litigation needs. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Sammy worked on Middle East diplomacy at the United Nations. He has successfully obtained results for clients in breach of contract, securities fraud, common-law fraud, negligence, and commercial lease litigation matters. Sammy also counsels clients on commercial real estate sales, commercial lease negotiations, investments, business acquisitions, non-profit formation, intellectual property agreements, trademarks, and partnership agreements.

View Brad
Member Since:
November 5, 2020

Brad H.

Principal
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Raleigh, NC
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC
University of North Carolina

Brad is a business attorney with experience helping startup and growing companies in a variety of industries. He has served as general counsel for innovative companies and has developed a broad knowledge base that allows for a complete understanding of business needs.

View Matthew
Member Since:
November 6, 2020

Matthew R.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Denver, Colorado
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO, OH
Case Western Reserve University

I am an attorney located in Denver, Colorado with 13 years of experience working with individuals and businesses of all sizes. My primary areas of practice are general corporate/business law, real estate, commercial transactions and agreements, and M&A. I strive to provide exceptional representation at a reasonable price.

View Christopher
Member Since:
November 6, 2020

Christopher S.

Partner
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Toledo, Ohio
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in OH
University of Toledo

Chris Sawan is a JD/CPA who practices in the area of business law, contracts and franchising in the State of Ohio.

View Elizabeth
Member Since:
November 23, 2020

Elizabeth C.

Contracts Specialist
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Sarasota, FL
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
Quinnipiac University School of Law

As an experienced contracts professional, I offer an affordable method to have your contracts reviewed! With my review of your contract, you can understand and reduce risks, negotiate better terms, and be your own advocate. I am an Attorney, Board Member, and Freelance Writer with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Film, Television and Theatre (“FTT”) from The University of Notre Dame. I was awarded The Catherine Hicks Award for outstanding work in FTT as voted on by the faculty. I graduated, cum laude, from Quinnipiac University School of Law, where I earned several awards for academics and for my work in the Mock Trial and Moot Court Honor Societies. Additionally, in my career, I have had much success as an in-house Corporate Attorney with a broad range of generalist experience and experience in handling a wide variety of legal matters of moderate to high exposure and complexity. My main focus in my legal career has been contract drafting, review, and negotiation. I also have a background in real estate, hospitality, sales, and sports and entertainment, among other things.

View Elizabeth
Member Since:
January 20, 2021

Elizabeth R.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Columbus, Ohio
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, OH
Florida International University School of Law

Elizabeth is an experienced attorney with a demonstrated history of handling transactional legal matters for a wide range of small businesses and entrepreneurs, with a distinct understanding of dental and medical practices. Elizabeth also earned a BBA in Accounting, giving her unique perspective about the financial considerations her clients encounter regularly while navigating the legal and business environments. Elizabeth is highly responsive, personable and has great attention to detail. She is also fluent in Spanish.

View Abby
Member Since:
December 7, 2020

Abby V.

President
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Washington, DC
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, NJ, NY
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Abby is an attorney and public policy specialist who has fused together her experience as an advocate, education in economics and public health, and passion for working with animals to create healthier communities for people and animals alike. At Opening Doors PLLC, she helps housing providers ensure the integrity of animal accommodation requests, comply with fair housing requirements, and implement safer pet policies. Abby also assists residents with their pet-related housing problems and works with community stakeholders to increase housing stability in underserved communities. She is a nationally-recognized expert in animal accommodation laws and her work has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, and Cosmopolitan magazine.

View Brit
Member Since:
December 29, 2020

Brit B.

General Counsel
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Remote (company based in Houston)
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of Maryland, School of Law

First in-house counsel for small TX-based company operating in the Middle East. Experienced with drafting, revising, and editing a variety of domestic and international contracts.

View Matan
Member Since:
January 4, 2021

Matan S.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Philadelphia, PA
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, PA
Rutgers

Matan is an experienced M&A, corporate, tax and real estate attorney advising closely held businesses, technology start ups, service businesses, and manufacturers in purchases, sales, and other exit strategies. Matan works with founders and first-and-second generation owners to strategically transition businesses.

View Octavia
Member Since:
January 30, 2021

Octavia P.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Chicago, IL
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
The John Marshall Law School

I am a business law attorney with over 10 years’ experience and a strong background in information technology. I am a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, a member of the Illinois bar and a licensed lawyer (Solicitor) of England and Wales. I actively partner directly with my clients or indirectly, as Of Counsel, to boutique law firms to streamline business practices and manage legal risks by focusing on essentials such as - business contracts, corporate structure, employment/independent contractor agreements, website terms and policies, IP, technology, and commercial related agreements as well as business risk and compliance guidance.

View Sean
Member Since:
January 26, 2021

Sean D.

Business Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Elkridge, Maryland
24 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MD
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Accomplished and results-driven business attorney with extensive experience in commercial real estate / project finance, commercial transactions, and entity formations, that possesses a winning blend of subject matter expertise, skill in client relationship management, and practical experience. Leverages a unique mix of legal, strategic, and analytical expertise that consistently meets and surpasses client expectations. Specialties: Commercial Real Estate Law, Contract Negotiation, Entity Formation, Joint Ventures, Procurement, Lease/Buy/Sell Transactions, Business Consultations, Team Leadership, and Economic Development

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call