Convert a U.S. Tourist Visa to a Work Visa
How to Convert a U.S. Tourist Visa to a Work Visa
Converting a US tourist visa to a work visa is a common request among visitors who wish to extend their stay in the country for employment purposes. The process of converting a tourist visa to a work visa is a complex one that requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are the steps to help you convert your tourist visa to a work visa in the United States.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility for a Work Visa
The first step in converting your tourist visa to a work visa is to determine your eligibility. Not all visitors to the United States are eligible to work in the country, and eligibility depends on several factors such as the type of work you will be doing and your country of origin. Some common work visas include the H-1B visa for skilled workers, the L-1 visa for intra company transferees, and the O-1 visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in their field.
Step 2: Find a Job Offer
Once you have determined your eligibility for a work visa, the next step is to find a job offer. You must have a job offer from a U.S. employer in order to apply for a work visa. The employer must also agree to sponsor your visa application.
Step 3: Obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA)
Your U.S. employer must obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). The LCA is a certification that the employer is offering you a job and that the working conditions are in compliance with the immigration laws and regulations.
Step 4: Apply for a Work Visa before your Tourist Visa expires
After obtaining the LCA, your U.S. employer can start the process of applying for your work visa. The employer will need to complete and submit the appropriate forms and documentation, such as the I-129 Petition for Non immigrant Worker to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Step 5: Attend a Visa Interview
Once your work visa application is approved, you will be required to attend a visa interview. You may also be required to provide additional documentation or information.
After your work visa is approved you can start working for your U.S. employer. You must comply with all the terms and conditions of your work visa, including maintaining lawful immigration status and reporting any changes in your employment or personal circumstances.
Converting a tourist visa to a work visa in the United States requires careful planning and consideration of several factors. It is important to understand your eligibility for a work visa, find a job offer, and complete the necessary steps to obtain a work visa. With the right preparation and guidance, the process of converting a tourist visa to a work visa can be successful.
Convert a U.S. Tourist Visa to a Work Visa in the H1-B, L-1 and O-1 Categories
H-1B Visa for Skilled Workers
The H-1B visa is a non immigrant visa for foreign workers in “specialty occupations.” A specialty occupation is defined as a job that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field. Some examples of specialty occupations include engineering, computer programming, finance and architecture.
To qualify for an H-1B visa you must have a job offer from a U.S. employer and a bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant field. Your U.S. employer must also obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor and file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must include information about the job offer, your qualifications, and the employer’s ability to pay your wages.
The H-1B visa is valid for up to three years, with a possible extension of up to three additional years. You may work for multiple employers while on an H-1B visa but each employer must file a separate petition and obtain an LCA.
L-1 Visa for Intracompany Transferees
The L-1 visa is for employees of international companies who are being transferred from a foreign office to a U.S. office, or vice versa. To qualify for an L-1 visa, you must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year in the preceding three years and you must be transferring to the U.S. to work in an executive capacity.
Your U.S. employer must file a petition with USCIS and provide evidence of the company’s ownership, structure, and financial status. The petition must also include information about your qualifications, and the company’s ability to pay your wages.
The L-1 visa is valid for up to seven years for executives and up to five years for specialized knowledge workers. You may also be able to bring your spouse and children to the United States on an L-2 visa.
O-1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in their field, such as artists, athletes, scientists, and business people. To qualify for an O-1 visa you must demonstrate sustained national or international recognition for your achievements and that you are one of the small percentage of people in your field who have risen to the top.
Your U.S. employer or agent must file a petition with USCIS and provide evidence of your extraordinary ability. The petition must also include a detailed itinerary of the events or activities you will participate in while in the United States.
The O-1 visa is valid for up to three years, with possible extensions in one-year increments. You may work for multiple employers while on an O-1 visa but each employer must file a separate petition.
These three visas offer different opportunities for foreign workers to work in the United States. It is important to understand the requirements and eligibility criteria for each visa, as well as the process for obtaining one. With the right preparation and guidance, you can successfully convert a U.S. tourist visa to a Work Visa in-Country. Take a Free Visa Assessment to find out your options in great detail.
Finding a job in the United States while on a tourist visa
Finding a job in the United States while on a tourist visa can be challenging, as tourist visas (also known as B-2 visas) are not designed for employment purposes. However, if you are interested in seeking employment in the U.S. there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of success:
One of the best ways to find a job in the U.S. is through networking. Connect with people in your field and attend industry events, job fairs, and other networking opportunities. You can also use professional networks such as LinkedIn to connect with potential employers and recruiters.
Online Job Search
There are many job search websites and job boards that you can use to search for jobs in the U.S. Some popular job search websites include Indeed and Monster. Be sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to match the requirements of the job you are interested in.
Temporary Work Agencies
Temporary work agencies can be a good resource for finding short-term employment while on a tourist visa.
Volunteering can be a great way to gain experience and build your professional network. You can also use volunteer work as an opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities to potential employers.
Consider Changing Your Visa Status
If you find a job in the U.S. and your employer is interested in hiring you, you may be able to change your tourist visa to a work visa. This process can be complex, so it is recommended that you work with an immigration attorney to ensure that your visa application is handled correctly.
Converting a tourist visa to a fiancé visa (K-1 visa) in the United States
Entering the U.S. on a tourist visa with the intent to change to a fiancé visa is considered visa fraud and can result in serious consequences, including being barred from entering the U.S. in the future. It is important to follow all immigration laws and regulations and to obtain the appropriate visa before traveling to the United States.
Can I win the Diversity Lottery while being in the United States on a Tourist Visa?
No, you cannot participate in the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery program while physically in the United States. The DV program is designed to provide visas to individuals from countries with low levels of immigration to the United States. To participate in the DV lottery, you must be a native of an eligible country and meet certain education and/or work experience requirements.
In order to participate in the DV lottery you must apply online through the State Department’s Electronic Diversity Visa (E-DV) program while physically outside the United States. Once your application is submitted and selected you will then need to follow the normal visa application process, including an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Entering the U.S. on a tourist visa or any other non immigrant visa with the intent to participate in the Green Card lottery is considered visa fraud and can result in being barred from entering the U.S. in the future.
Convert a US tourist visa to a student visa
Converting a tourist visa to a student visa (F-1 visa) in the United States is possible, but it is a complex process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here are the steps you need to take in order to convert your tourist visa to a student visa:
- Enroll in a Degree Program: The first step in converting your tourist visa to a student visa is to enroll in a full-time degree program at a U.S. college or university that is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
- Obtain an I-20 Form: After enrolling in a degree program you will need to obtain an I-20 form from the school. This form is a certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant student status and is required for obtaining a student visa.
- Pay the SEVIS Fee: Before you can apply for a student visa you will need to pay the SEVIS fee, which is a USD$350 fee charged by the U.S. government to cover the cost of maintaining the student and exchange visitor information system.
- Schedule a Student Visa Interview: After paying the SEVIS fee, you will need to schedule a student visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. During the interview, a consular officer will review your application and ask questions about your education and intentions in the United States.
- Obtain the Student Visa: Once approved for a student visa you will need to pay the visa processing fee and submit your passport for visa stamping.
Converting a tourist visa to a student visa is not guaranteed and may be subject to denial if the consular officer determines that you are not eligible for a student visa.
Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.