What types of visas are available for highly skilled international employees that want to work in the U.S.?

Minneapolis immigration attorney DeAnne Hilgers discusses the types of visas available for highly skilled employees seeking to work in the U.S.

Contact DeAnne Hilgers

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (612) 371-2462


Highly skilled international employees who want to work here do have several options, but they’re limited in some ways. First, most often it’s going to require an employer to sponsor you, and it also depends on whether they want to come permanently or temporarily. If they’re at the very, very top of their game, in the top percentage of their field, they can self-petition under what’s called EB-1 for permanent residency, and there are other employer-based sponsorships for permanent residents. But, most come as temporary workers, maybe in the O-1 category as someone of extraordinary ability, or the H-1B, which is the – probably the best-known, temporary work authorization, and to do that you have to have at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and you have to work in a specialty occupation. That would be something like an engineer or an accountant, but probably not someone with a liberal arts degree.