US work visa cost: Foreign nationals applying for a work visa in the United States should be aware of the cost to get a work visa in the US.
Apart from the US work visa cost, let’s look at the cost of a US visa. All visa applicants, including minors, must pay a visa application fee, also known as the MRV charge, before applying for a non-immigrant visa.
Regardless of whether or not you are granted a visa, you must still pay the application fee. Costs vary widely depending on the visa category you request.
The visa application fees for each category of nonimmigrant visa are detailed on this page. Most visa applicants in Nigeria will pay between $160 and $265 at GT Bank, depending on the visa class they are applying for.
Please be aware that this only includes the costs associated with applying for a nonimmigrant visa.
Here you can find details on the additional visa fees that must be paid directly to the National Visa Center, the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Consulate General, or the Department of Homeland Security.
However, this article covers all you need to know about the US work visa cost and other charges involved in obtaining a temporary work visa to enter the United States.
US work visa cost, types of US working visa
Foreign nationals without the proper authorization to work in the United States are prohibited from doing so.
Nonimmigrant visas allow visitors to the United States to stay temporarily for business or pleasure, whereas immigrant visas provide permanent resident status in the country.
Nonimmigrant work visas come in a variety of forms and can be used for a wide range of occupations and industries.
Applicants must meet the specific requirements of each visa and follow the application procedures for that visa.
These are some examples of valid visas for employment in the United States:
- Corporate transfers require an L-1 visa.
- For those with exceptional skills, the H-1B visa is available.
- Journalists from other countries need an I visa.
- Foreign investors and business owners can apply for an E-2 visa.
- Application for a work visa might be petition-based or employer-based.
A job offer from a US sponsor who is also willing and able to file a Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) on the visa applicant’s behalf with US Citizenship and Immigration Services usually requires a petition-based work visa (USCIS).
Visas that do not require a petition can be applied for more quickly and easily, with the applicant only needing to fill out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) and submit it to USCIS.
The B-1 visa, for instance, is a non-petition-based visa designed for business travelers who are not qualified for visa-free travel and who are visiting the United States to participate in business activities like attending a meeting or seminar or other legitimate commercial or professional activity.
If the business activity you intend to engage in is one that the B-1 visa does not cover, especially profitable employment, you will need to apply for a work visa based on a petition.
US work Visa Cost: cost of a non-petition-based visa
To apply for a nonimmigrant visa, you’ll need to pay $160.00. Some of the visas that fall under this category are as follows:
- B visas are for tourists and guests.
- The C-1 transit visa is only for short trips.
- D visa is for those who work as a crew on commercial vessels or international airplanes in the United States.
- Students can get an F visa.
- Travelers in the international press and radio are eligible for an I visa.
- Those participating in an exchange program are eligible for a J visa.
- The M visa is for students and trainees.
- Under NAFTA, qualified workers can apply for a TN visa (NAFTA).
Professionals from Canada and Mexico, including accountants, engineers, and lawyers, can apply for temporary entry to the United States under the NAFTA TN nonimmigrant classification to engage in business operations at a professional level.
Petition-based visas are shown below, however, the application fee of $160 is the same as for those that do not require petitions.
We recommend the S visa for potential witnesses and confidential sources.
Human trafficking survivors can apply for a T visa.
A U visa is available to victims of crime.
US Work visa cost: petition work visa fee
Petition-based nonimmigrant work visas cost $190. The following types of visas fall into this category:
H-1B visa holders are required to have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to work in their field of competence and are only eligible for this visa if they have worked in a specialty occupation requiring theoretical or technical expertise.
This covers the Department of Defense-administered research and development or co-production programs with models of exceptional merit and aptitude in the fashion industry.
- L visa — for intracompany transferees, i.e., multinational company employees moving to a US parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary.
- An O visa is granted to foreign nationals who have shown outstanding aptitude in science, arts, education, business, or athletics, who have accomplished extraordinary things in the film and television industries, and who have received widespread praise as a result.
- P visa — for athletes and members of entertainment groups who will perform in a specific competition or as part of a group at an internationally recognized level of consistent performance.
- The same goes for the people who help the athletes or members of the group.
- Temporary religious workers (ministers, priests, rabbis, etc.) who wish to enter the United States for employment are classified as R visitors.
US Work Visa Cost: E-Visa Processing Fees
Only a few non-immigrant classes allow paid work in the US without an employer petition. E-visas for temporary visitors fall under this category (E-1 and E-2).
An E-1 or E-2 Treaty Trader or Investor visa costs $205.00 to apply for.
To get one of these visas, foreign business owners must show a genuine interest in conducting commerce with or investing in a company located within, the United States.
Those who already have trading ties with the US and wish to expand into The market may apply for an E1 visa, while those who wish to purchase or invest in a US business may apply for an E2 visa.
Either way, you need to be a citizen of a nation that has a commercial and navigation treaty with the United States.
US Work Visa Cost: Financial Outlay for Petitioning Authorities
If you want to work in the United States without becoming a permanent resident, your potential employer must first file a Form I-129 petition on your behalf with USCIS and gain approval.
The petition filing fee for your company is $460.
Your employer is entitled to file a single Form I-129S petition on your behalf if you fall within a certain category of work visas for the United States, such as the L-1 visa.
A blanket petition eliminates the necessity for a personal petition. Instead, you can bypass the USCIS and go straight to the consulate if you have documentation of the blanket permission in the form of Forms I-129S and I-797.
A hefty charge under the Border Security Act may be owed from some H-1B and L-1 petitioners. To file an H-1B petition, these petitioners must pay $4,000. To file an L-1A or L-1B petition, these petitioners must pay $4,500.
Petitioners having 50 or more US employees and more than 50% in H-1B or L-1A/L-1B nonimmigrant status must pay these costs.
In addition to the standard processing charge, the premium processing fee, and any other applicable fees (such as the $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee for L visas or the $1,500/$750 American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998), there is now a fee for the Border Security Act.
US Work Visa Cost: Exceptions to the Cost of a Visa
No matter if the visa is officially issued or rejected, the processing fees for nonimmigrant visa applications are nonrefundable and nontransferable, and each applicant is responsible for paying them unless exempted by law.
A few exceptions are made, though.
- Holders of diplomatic passports
- Diplomatic passport holders seeking diplomatic visas
- Personnel of recognized international organizations (G visas)
- Members of foreign militaries stationed in the United States (NATO visas)
- When a machine-readable visa is lost, stolen, or cannot be used due to improper affixing, a replacement can be provided.
The machine-readable visa (MRV) fee, if applicable, can be used for a single visa application for 12 months from the date of payment.
If you need to reschedule your visa interview, you can do so at any time within the next 12 months.
Payment is required in full at the time the interview is scheduled, and debit cards are the only accepted form of payment.
US Work Visa Cost: Fees for issuance
A visa issuance fee must also be paid by nationals of certain countries. Rates are set on a “reciprocity” basis, meaning they mirror what an applicant from the applicant’s home country would have to pay to receive the same service in the United States.
In the case of British passport holders, issuance costs are levied for only the L-2 and E-2 visas. When an L-1 visa holder has a spouse or unmarried kid under the age of 21, that person can apply for an L-2 visa.
An issuance fee may be charged for those applying in person for a visa through a scheduled appointment. The cashier at the Embassy must be paid the issuing charge. Payments can be made using cash (USD or GBP) or a credit card (Visa or MasterCard).
Visa Processing Time in the United States
Temporary Work Visa: 5–7 Months
Green Cards for Work: 6–33 Months
Guidelines for Obtaining a Green Card to Work in the U.S.
Non-U.S. citizens who have been granted permanent residency in the United States are commonly referred to as “green card holders.” Numerous people can secure their green card through either their family or their profession.
Many people annually receive green cards in the following employment-based categories:
Green Cards for Priority Employment (EB-1), (EB-2), (EB-3), (EB-4), and (EB-5)
Transforming Your Nonimmigrant Status Into Permanent Resident Status
It’s not the end of the world if you weren’t granted a Green Card as permanent residency right away; you can still change your citizenship in the future.
This can be done through either the Employment-Based or Family-Sponsored EB Green Card programs.
- Adjust your Temporary Standing
- Check your Green Card eligibility to see if you may enter the United States legally.
- Don’t delay submitting your immigration paperwork.
- Verify the visa status.
- Post I-485 Form.
- Don’t miss out on your biometrics appointment.
- Getting an immigration interview is a must (if needed)
- Addition paperwork must be submitted (if needed)
Appointment & location
The Immigration Visa Unit is conducting interviews with applicants for all types of immigrant visas.
While public health concerns continue to limit appointment availability, the Immigrant Visa Unit is prioritizing the following when setting up visa interviews:
- Appointments for the Adoption of U.S. Citizens’ Children
- Citizen spouses and children.
- Applicants who had their immigrant visa interviews planned between March 22, 2020, and June 30, 2020, but were subsequently postponed owing to the cessation of normal visa services on March 22, 2020.
- These applicants filed a petition by U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPR), including fiancées of U.S. citizens.
- A new interview date should have been communicated to all affected applicants.
- The LPR application for SB-1 boarding passes and foils.
- Visas for permanent residents that will expire between March 2020 and August 2020 can be renewed.
- We’re getting in touch with everyone whose immigrant visa application was delayed because of a presidential proclamation.
- Applicants who fall into one of the aforementioned categories must check their provided email addresses often to get updates and appointment reminders from NVC and/or the Immigrant Visa Unit.
- If a candidate fails to show up for an interview, the process to reschedule can take a long time.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE That those applying for immigrant visas who require urgent appointments can do so by submitting the following forms:
If your immigrant visa petition has already been submitted to the National Visa Center (NVC), https://nvc.state.gov/ask you should send your request there along with any supporting documents.
Please Read If You Are Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa
The Embassy and Consulate General persist to prioritize visitors with urgent travel needs, however routine visa appointments are available when local conditions permit.
Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee validity has been extended until September 30, 2022, the Department of State stated, in response to ongoing service delays caused by the pandemic.
This extension applies to anyone who paid an MRV fee but was unable to book and/or interview during the suspension of services.
Please contact us at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng or +234-1-227-8955 if you need to schedule an emergency appointment because of an unexpected circumstance that requires you to travel right away.
For up-to-date information on the status of visa services around the world and visa limitations due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html.
Can l move to America without a job offer?
It’s feasible, to research the National Interest Waiver option (EB2-C or EB2-NIW). With this classification, you don’t need a sponsor, a job offer, or even to be in the United States at the time of application.
The only exception is, you need to meet one of two criteria: either you have an advanced degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) or you have exceptional ability (Bachelor’s plus 5 years of professional experience in your industry).
You’re still too young for those right now. If you fall into one of these two categories, you are technically qualified to petition for NIW status, but you still need to meet the additional standards for NIW cases, which boil down to this:
- Your work is so novel and valuable that it serves the United States’ interests for you to be admitted without a sponsor, a PERM.
- If you are a software engineer, here is a Master Plan for you to follow if you want to avoid having to find a sponsor from another country or marrying a female from the United States only to obtain a green card:
Please go earn a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in your chosen field. It takes 5–6 years in the EU, but it’s of great quality and inexpensive compared to the United States.
Participate actively as possible in university-level research.
Keep your eyes and ears open as a startup creator and entrepreneur.
You can apply for the National Interest Waiver even if you’re currently living and working outside of the United States if you come up with a fantastic concept — perhaps in software, because that’s your specialty — that helps a lot of people in a meaningful way.
If you succeed, you’ll be able to get into the country, acquire a job as a U.S. citizen without being rejected, and take your startup to the next level in the United States.
How difficult is it to get a US work visa?
You can grow your company, advance your career, and make some additional cash by obtaining a work visa to work in the United States. But it’s always a hassle because of all the paperwork and hoops you have to jump through. I’ll explain how we handled things from my perspective.
The work visa process is complex. Many applicants rely on luck. Many people, including employers and coworkers, might affect an applicant’s chances of being granted a work visa. The good news is that a work visa can be obtained for the United States.
Meanwhile, the H1B visa is a good option if you want to work in the United States. The United States government issues this visa so that you can work and live there temporarily while you apply for permanent residency.
One problem is that it’s hard to get.
When do l need a work visa?
Whenever you intend to work in the United States for a limited time, you will need a work visa. Various work visas to the United States have been outlined. U.S. “nonimmigrant” visas can vary in several ways, including the type of job allowed, the period of stay allowed, and the application requirements.
Be aware that the process of obtaining a work visa to the United States can be lengthy and difficult.
When a work relationship ends, what happens to the visa?
When a worker’s employment with a U.S. company comes to an end, many businesses are left wondering what will happen to the worker’s work visa.
The U.S. work visa is null and void as soon as the employment contract is no longer in effect. When an employer and an employee end their working relationship, the validity of the employee’s visa and any dependent visas that person held also expire.
When an employment relationship ends, the visa holder loses the right to re-enter the country using the same visa that was used for work purposes.
The work visa may no longer be utilized to enter the United States, even though it is technically still valid for a set amount of time.
If the visa holder chooses to go to the U.S. for vacation or business in the future, he or she must reapply for an ESTA or a visa, depending on the type and duration of activities.
How much does a green card visa cost?
Getting a green card when you don’t have H1 or L1 visa and any skills that will help you get a job in the US.
Approximately one million U.S. dollars. Learn more about the EB5 visa category, which can lead to a Green Card in the future.
Your employer must sponsor your green card application if you are currently working on a visa and wish to transition to permanent residency. Each major applicant will cost your company about $2,500, and each dependent about $2,000.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement charge these amounts. In addition, you should budget an additional $5000 – $10,000 for legal representation costs.
Is L1 visa than H1B visa?
The eligibility and prerequisites to apply for a Green Card are equivalent in both cases. Although L1A is quicker, the same method will likely be required for L1B.
Meanwhile, the H1B visa has a longer maximum duration of six years than the L1B visa’s five, it allows you to relocate to the United States and begin the process much faster.
Since you have been working for the company for some time while on an L1B visa, most employers (though not all) would begin the process of applying for your GC far sooner than they would if you were on an H1B visa.
Considering these factors, I’d have to give the nod to L1B, although I can see how H1B might pull off a narrow victory here given the extra time it has to work with its applicants.
You cannot change employers on an L1B visa and would be required to return home if you lose your job. On an H1B visa, the situation is similar but you can seek sponsorship from a new company.