Every year, thousands of people immigrate to the United States for work-related reasons. If you’re interested in securing a work visa, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of the preconditions before tackling the application process.

Here are the three primary qualifications:

  • Have an offer of employment in the United States: Above all else, you must first have applied for and received a job offer from a U.S.-based employer. The government requires a variety of documents from your employer before starting your application.
  • Approved petition by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Before applying, your proposed employer must file a petition for a non-immigrant worker with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can’t apply for a work visa until the hiring company takes this step.
  • Certification from the Department of Labor: Depending on the type of work visa, such as an H-1B and H-2A, your employer must receive certification from the Department of Labor.

Once everything above is in order, there are other work visa requirements to take into consideration. This is typically the easier part of the process, as it entails obtaining a variety of documents, such as:

  • S. visa photo
  • Valid passport
  • Receipt number from your petition for a non-immigrant worker
  • Confirmation of completing a non-immigrant visa application
  • Proof that you paid the application fee

As you move through the process, you may need to submit additional documentation. It’s important to remain organized and on track, as this allows you to quickly secure and provide all requested documents, to avoid slowing down the hiring and immigration process.

Even though there is a system in place for applying for a work visa, it’s not always as simple and straightforward as it sounds. You can face a variety of challenges along the way, some of which put you in jeopardy of missing out on a good career opportunity.

If you want to efficiently move through the process, understand the ins and outs of the three primary qualifications. In the event of a setback, learn more about your legal rights and any steps you can take to appeal a decision that’s working against you.