Sponsorship Visa For Employment: How To Obtain Sponsorship For Employment

Written By: Armando Du Preez
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Jun 13, 2022

13 min read

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If you want to work in the US, this post is just for you. However, before packing your bags and buying your plane ticket, you must first know a few things. The first and most important thing is that you need a job and a visa sponsorship. What is a visa sponsorship, you ask? We'll get to that shortly.

In this post, we'll go through everything you must know before you can start working in the US. I will cover important information such as a visa sponsorship, a visa sponsorship letter, and more.

Let's get you ready for your new adventure:


What Is A Visa Sponsorship?

Visa sponsorship is a bundle of documentation that specifies and ensures a person's working status and job profile in the United States. For example, suppose you want to relocate to the United States. In that case, you'll need to find a job, and the business will have to be willing to hire a non-resident employee for the position.

In other words, the US employer would know that you are not a US citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. So, they'd have to pledge to the US Visa department that you'll soon be a legal working resident earning a particular amount of money. This is known as Visa Sponsorship. It occurs when a corporation agrees to sponsor you and submits the necessary documentation to the US citizenship and immigration services (USCIS).

Visa sponsorship, to put it simply, can also be when a family member pushes for a person's visa. As a visa applicant, you have an advocate who supports your entry into the United States for the visa's specified purposes. There are many different sorts of visas and ways to obtain a sponsor. In most cases, sponsorship includes a financial component.


Who Can Be A Visa Sponsor?

You can receive a Visa sponsorship if you have a job offer from a US company in your name. In other words, your employer would sponsor your Visa and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf. However, they can only do so in specific circumstances.

For example, the employer must post a job advertisement for the position and submit all necessary documentation to the Department of Labor. Suppose there are no skilled workers for the job in the US. In that case, the organization may decide that a non-US citizen is qualified to fill the position.

This supports their decision to hire a foreign national and sponsor their visa. As a result, an employer can only sponsor your Visa if they comply with the immigration law. This means they have a relevant opening inside the company and can demonstrate why hiring a foreign worker is necessary for this situation.

However, you can also be sponsored by a family member or a friend. The most prevalent method of obtaining a Green Card is through family immigration. In fact, each year, over 600,000 people receive a green card through their families. Visa sponsorship is usually provided by the petitioning relative, although it can also be provided by others.

The petitioner sponsors the relative by completing an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) and several necessary documents. Suppose a relative does not have the financial means to sponsor a family member. In that case, the visa sponsorship will need to be supported by someone else. Certain members of a qualifying family may also contribute their earnings, and a joint sponsor may complete a separate Form I-864.


Do I Need A Visa Sponsorship Letter?

Visa sponsorship, contrary to widespread assumption, is not the same as a letter. Instead, it refers to a bundle of documentation provided to the US government by the employer or family member sponsoring the Visa.

Visa sponsorship letters can also be used when applying for an F-1 student visa or B-2 visitor visa. In this section, I will explain the types of visas requiring a sponsorship letter. Later in this post, I will explain [how to get a sponsorship letter](.

What Is The Non-Immigrant Sponsorship?

Non-immigrant sponsorships are only used for a limited time when the individual will not be able to become a citizen of the United States. This is true for people who only visit the country for a short time. This means that non-immigrant workers are ineligible for Green Cards, implying that the visa will not qualify them for US citizenship in the future.

This is the best Visa sponsorship if your employer only requires you to travel for a short time. However, you will need an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the United States.

Here is a list of the non-immigrant visas:

  • H-1B visa (Person in Specialty Occupation)
  • H-2A visa (Temporary Agricultural Worker)
  • H-2B visa (Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker)
  • L1 visas (Intracompany Transferee)
  • O-1A visa (People who have shown extraordinary abilities in business, education, athletics, and science)
  • O-1B visa (People who have shown extraordinary abilities in arts, television, and film industry)
  • O-2 visa (Assistants who accompany O-1A or O-1B visa holders)

What Is The Work Visa Sponsorship?

Employment Visa sponsorship is also helpful for immigrant visas or Permanent Residency. Individuals with an Immigrant Visa Sponsor are not required to get a separate Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the US.

You can live in the United States and become a Legal Permanent Resident with this type of Visa. In addition, with this Visa arrangement, you can enroll in school, purchase property, and even obtain a driver's license.

These immigrant Visas are divided into several categories based on the purpose of the Visa. Among the Visas in this category are:

  • EB-1 Visa
  • EB-2 Visa
  • EB-3 Visa
  • EB-4 Visa

What Is The Family Sponsorship Visa?

At least two family members, a petitioner, and a beneficiary must all be involved in family-based immigration. To sponsor a foreign family member for a green card, you must be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. The alien family member who wishes to receive a green card is the beneficiary. The beneficiary may have a spouse and children who qualify as derived beneficiaries in some categories.

What Is The Student Visa Sponsorship?

Generally, a foreign national wishing to enter the United States must first get either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent resident status. To study in the United States, you must hold a student visa. The type of school international students attend and the course of study you intend to pursue determine whether you require an F visa (OPT and CPT) or an M visa.

For the purpose of this post, I will focus mainly on the employment sponsorship visa.


How Do I Get A Sponsorship Letter For Employment In The US?

As mentioned, I'll outline the steps you need to follow when applying for a US work visa; or seeking employment in the US.

Obtaining a sponsorship letter is a time-consuming and complicated process. Typically, the employer will appoint an immigration attorney to handle the procedure. In addition, the documentation and justification must be correct.

Here are the steps that you must follow when applying for an employment visa status:

Step 1: Get An Employment Contract

The employee must first obtain a full-time offer from a US business. This covers the contract that is included in the sponsorship agreements.

Step 2: Submit A Labor Certificate

A Labor Certification must be submitted to the Department of Labor for a non-immigrant visa, saying that the company could not find a qualified potential employee within the country.

Step 3: Submit The Documents To The USCIS

The petition and supporting documentation are filed to the USCIS. Contracts, itineraries, qualifications, and other similar documents are included in this group of documentation.

Step 4: Wait For Your Visa Sponsorship Application To Be Processed

The USCIS processes the Visa sponsorship application after all required documents are submitted. This takes time, depending on the number of pending cases with the USCIS. It can take months for an application to be processed.

You and your employer will be notified if your application is approved. At this stage, you can begin the actual Visa application process with the US Embassy in your home country.

If your application is refused, both you and your employer are notified. The reason for the rejection is also included, which could be a lack of personnel qualification or insufficient documents.


How Much Does An Employment Visa Sponsorship Cost?

As mentioned earlier, I will mainly focus on the employment visa sponsorship cost. The other types of visa sponsorships may vary depending on the type of visa you apply for.

Here is the cost that you must be aware of when applying for the employment sponsorship visa:

  • American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 charges: Between 750 USD - 1,500 USD
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee: 500 USD
  • For employers with more than 50 employees, with half of them being foreign nationals: Between 4,000 USD - 4,500 USD
  • Visa Application Fee: 190 USD (the fee might be different depending on your nationality)

How Long Is An Employment Visa Sponsorship Valid?

The validity of the Visa Sponsorship is determined by the type of visa you are working with. For example, obtaining an Immigrant Visa is a long-term answer. This implies you have a Green Card with a 10-year validity period followed by unlimited extensions. After five years in the United States, you can apply for permanent citizenship.

Non-immigrant visas, on the other hand, are valid for one year or three years, depending on the type of visa. When the Visa sponsorship expires, your employer can petition the USCIS for an extension.

Keep in mind that this is the validity of the employment visa. Please note that other visa sponsorships might differ.


What Are The Required Documents For The Employment Visa Sponsorship?

Now that you have a clear idea of the visa sponsorship letter and the employment visa costs let me explain the required documents. Please keep in mind that this only applies to an employment sponsorship visa. Other types of sponsorships visas may have additional documents.

Here is a list of documents that you need when applying for a non-immigrant work visa:

  • Valid passport (Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your stay in the United States
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160
  • Application fee payment receipt (only applicable if you are required to pay before your interview)
  • Passport photo (upload your photo when completing the DS-160 form)
  • Receipt Number for your approved petition as it appears on your Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, or Notice of Action, Form I-797, from USCIS.
  • Proof that you will return to your native nation once your work in the United States is completed. Except for the H-1B and L visas, this applies to all forms of work visas.

Keep in mind that you may be required to submit additional documents. Except for H-1B and L visas, all applicants must demonstrate compelling ties to their home country to indicate their purpose in returning after their temporary stay in the United States. Here are some examples of the compelling relations:

  • A residence abroad that you do not intend to abandon
  • Your family relationships
  • Your economic situation
  • Your long-term plans

How To Apply For The Employment Visa Sponsorship?

Keep in mind that different applications and eligibility requirements depend on the type of visa you apply for. Let's look at the steps you must follow when applying for your non-immigrant employment visa.

Step 1: Gather The Required Documents

The first and most important thing you must do is gather your required documents. As general advice, make copies of all your documents.

Step 2: Complete The Online DS-160 Form

In this step, you must complete the online DS-160 form. After completing the form, you must print the confirmation page and take it to your non-immigrant visa interview.

Step 3: Book Your Non-Immigrant Visa Interview

You must make an appointment for your visa interview, usually held at the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country. You may schedule your interview at any US Embassy or Consulate but be advised that obtaining a visa outside of your permanent home may be challenging.

Wait times for interview appointments vary depending on location, season, and visa category, so apply early.

Step 4: Pay Your Visa Application Fee

You may need to pay your application fee before going to your visa interview. As a disclaimer, remember that it depends on the US Embassy or Consulate you're applying from. I suggest you contact your nearest US Embassy or Consulate to find out if you must pay your application fee before your interview.

Step 5: Attend Your Visa Interview

A consular official will evaluate whether you are eligible for a visa and, if so, which visa category is appropriate for your travel purpose during your visa interview. You must demonstrate that you meet the legal requirements of the United States to be granted the visa category for which you are applying.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit digital fingerprint scans that are clear of ink. They're usually taken during your interview; however, it depends on where you are.

Step 6: Wait For Your Non-Immigrant Employment Visa To Be Processed

The hard work is now finally over, and the only thing you must do is wait for your application to be processed. Please remember that the processing times differ according to the US Embassy or Consulate you are applying from. Please check the US Department of State website for country-specific visa wait times.

Step 7: Collect Your Approved Non-Immigrant Employment Visa

You will be informed how your passport and visa will be returned to you after the visa is accepted. Please remember that you may have to pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality.


Your Employment Visa Application Is Successful

After a long and tiresome visa application, you have finally reached the end. I can only imagine you are excited about your new adventure. The last thing you must do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Work In The US With A Visitor Visa?

A non-immigrant work visa is required if you desire to work in the United States for a limited time. Working on a visiting or business visa or under the Visa Waiver Program is impossible (VWP). Unlike some other nations, the US government does not issue work visas for temporary labor.

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