How to Find a Job in the U.S as an Immigrant

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If you are planning to travel or immigrate to the United States in order to explore and enjoy everything this culturally diverse and exciting nation has to offer, then you are most likely looking into your employment options.

Whether you have come to the U.S to study and you need a part-time job, or whether you are looking for more long-term employment opportunities, it can be helpful to know how you can go about finding a job as an immigrant.

From exactly who is allowed to work in the United States, to what documentation you need, to the industries in which you are mostly likely to find work, keep reading to find out how you can find a job in the U.S as an immigrant today and start your new life as early as tomorrow.

Who is permitted to work in the United States?

There are several types of foreign workers who are legally allowed to work in the U.S including permanent immigrant workers, students and temporary workers.

As one of the above you will need to acquire one of the following:

  • An exchange visitor visa
  • A U.S Green Card
  • Temporary work visa (skilled or non-agricultural)
  • Seasonal agricultural worker visa

What other documentation do you need?

As well as an appropriate work visa, you will also need a work permit, also known as an Employment Authorization Document, in order to legally work in the United States.

Your work visa will need to be obtained before you come to the United States from the U.S Embassy or Consulate in your own country or the country that is closest to where you live abroad.

If you are seeking permanent residence and employment in the U.S, you will need to obtain a green card. Unfortunately, this is not always straightforward, and has recently become a lot harder, therefore, you may wish to look for an immigration lawyer to help you become a U.S resident as well as find gainful employment.

Finally, you will need a social security number to be permitted to work in America.

What industries can immigrants in the U.S expect to find jobs in?

According to recent data, immigrants make a substantial and significant contribution to the U.S workforce and economy, with more than half of the number of immigrant workers currently employed in one of the below industries:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Social assistance
  • Administration
  • Waste management services
  • Manufacturing
  • Arts & entertainment
  • Management
  • Recreation
  • Accommodation
  • Food services

Despite current misconceptions, only 9% of all U.S immigrants work in the construction industry, compared to 19% working in either education, social or healthcare.

Furthermore, there are many immigrants who choose to be self-employed, with the state of Florida, which is home to over 4.4 million immigrants, having a whopping 375,000 immigrant entrepreneurs.

It is important to remember that although U.S businesses are open and enthusiastic to employing immigrant workers, that does not mean that they fully understand the processes involved and therefore, it is vitally important that you are prepared with all your relevant documentation when you go for an interview.

It is also a good idea to make your eligibility to work in the U.S clear on your resume to avoid being turned down immediately before even getting the opportunity to sell yourself and showcase your talents.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.