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What’s the Difference Between Work Permit and Work Visa?

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The Differences You Need to Know Between Work Permits and Work Visas

In a post-Covid world, the emphasis on remote work has become even stronger than it was. Along with this shift, there may be opportunities to work abroad, hire employees who are not in this country, and more. Some recruiters will hire for short-term projects and permanent positions when necessary.

Another aspect to consider is that many companies offer a global presence or have a niche market with a unique skill set, requiring some of their employees to travel abroad or hire those abroad to work on projects in the U.S.

It’s essential to understand how it all works so you can ensure that you are compliant, regardless of what you are trying to achieve.

What is a Work Permit?

While both a work permit and a work visa are legal documents proving the holder’s legal right to work abroad, they serve quite different purposes.

A work permit is commonly a tangible card or document issued by the immigration service or the government of the country. They are commonly used for those who wish to legally work in another country for an extended period of time.

In some cases, the process can begin while the applicant is already in the country.

A work permit is typically necessary in addition to a visa and can be required for viable employment in a foreign country. Obtaining the permit can be challenging, as it sometimes involves proof of authorized diplomas, work history, proven experience in relevant fields, and more.

What is a Work Visa?

A work visa is typically a stamp on a passport or a tangible document and can be issued by the consulate or by an embassy. Contrary to the work permit, a work visa is typically used for short-term work commitments, providing permission to leave or enter another country for work. They can also be used as authorization to travel for further training, study, or tourism.

Work visas typically grant the user single entry or multiple entries, allowing them to enter and leave multiple times during the valid dates of the visa. Obtaining a work visa notifies that a foreign national has applied and has been thoroughly examined.

Who is Eligible For a Work Permit?

Immigration law is very strict with whom they grant a work permit. Some of the common examples are listed below, but this list is not exhaustive;

Adjustment of status applicant

E1/E2 Dependant spouse of an E1/E2 investor or treaty trader

Eligible dependents of international organizations or NATO

F-1 students who have been offered off-campus employment or who are seeking Optional Practical Training

Further Information on Work Visas

Many options for work visas exist and can be applied for based on whether or not the work will be temporary or long-term and what type of work you intend to do.

H-1B Specialty occupation visas are available to eligible applicants from other countries who work in a specialty field such as engineering, medicine, or computer science. Those who are eligible typically need a bachelor’s degree or higher and a viable job offer in the U.S.

O-1 visas are for those applicants who exhibit extraordinary skills within their field of study. Those who qualify may include those in sports, entertainment, the arts, sciences, and more. Proving that these applicants are at the top of their field can be challenging. Still, if they are known nationally or internationally for their area, it can be easier to obtain an O-1 Visa.

Seasonal Agricultural work visas allow eligible foreign workers to come to the US temporarily on a seasonal basis when there may be a shortage of domestic employees in agriculture. This category typically requires that the temporary visas last a year with a three-year maximum, and the applicant must be from a country on the approved list of acceptable countries that can apply.

E-1 and E-2 Visas allow people from specific countries access to the US to carry out trading activities. Those from other countries that have a trade agreement with the US to perform ongoing trading activities. E-2 visas are for those who have invested a large sum of money into a US-based business that they intend to develop.

Which is Right For Me?

Navigating the world of work permits or work visas can be challenging, but with the right team as your advocate, you can rest easy knowing that you will have the best chance at obtaining the required solution to work abroad.

With several years in immigration lawf, our team is comprised of those who have extensive knowledge and compassion for those seeking immigration processes. Our leader has a personal immigration story from El Salvador, making her undying passion the forefront of her life and our office. After ten years of working alongside immigration attorneys, her passion became the foundation for obtaining her degree and opening her own firm to assist clients.

Everyone deserves to be treated equally and better themselves through work, career development, and experiences in other countries. Let us work with you to determine which options are best for you based on your specific background and skill set, and pursue that aspect with tireless productivity.

You are not alone in this venture; you can lean on our team and their experience in helping countless other clients achieve their dreams.

Contact our office today at (973) 313-5794 to learn more and to schedule your appointment. We will thoroughly review your needs and help formulate a winning strategy to obtain the necessary steps to achieve your goals.

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