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Here are the steps to work in the United States

NEW YORK – Is it easy for an Italian, these days, to obtain a working visa in the United States?

"Obtaining a green card is easier for an investor or for an Italian with a degree from an American university...Another way to work in the United States is to be transferred from a foreign or U.S. Company to its American branches. Such employees would qualify as intracompany transferees."

What about those who do not fall in any of these categories? 

"Most of them will need to find a sponsor, a procedure which can be quite difficult, often discouraging American employers from hiring foreigners. In those cases, the employers must first make a nationwide offer of employment, and only if the qualifications of the foreigner are not found may he be sponsored for employment." 

Can you explain the legal process? 

"Most visas, such as the H-1B, are processed from United States. For other visas, such as the E-2 Treaty Investor (Treaty Investor), the applicant must also provide evidence of having made a substantial investment in the United States" And then? "Once these requirements are met, the employer, with the help of its attorney, will prepare a support letter with the relevant attached documents such as diplomas and previous employment descriptions. The completed file will then be sent to the "United States Citizenship and Immigration Services."

What must the potential visa holder do? 

"The future visa holders must wait to be contacted for an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their country of origin before they can finally start their employment in the United States. It is important to keep in mind that the visas will be issued for a specific duration, at the end of which the holder may obtain extensions or renewals for a limited period of time."

Is it easier for graduates? 

"Yes, for most U.S. visas, academic credentials are crucial and will need to be established."

What are the mistakes one should be careful not to commit?

"Employers should make sure to respect the rules of the Department of Labor so that the visa request is not denied. In other words, the employee's salary must conform to certain thresholds specified by the Department of Labor, depending on the type of visa and the position to be filled in the company."

Who usually bears the costs, from A to Z? 

"Most of the costs are borne by employers, while the employees will incur certain expenses such as diploma translations, certifications, etc."

Which employment positions usually allow for the visa holder to eventually obtain a Green Card? 

"Those who can apply for a green card include scientists, artists, professors, athletes as well as researchers with at least three years of experience. For such a procedure, one will need to have an intent to immigrate in the United-States, which can only be possible for certain visas."

To read the original article published by Corriere della Sera in Italian, please follow this link: "Ecco come lavorare negli Usa


Corriere della Sera is an Italian daily newspaper published in Milan.  It is among the oldest and most reputable newspapers in Italy. Its main rivals are Rome's La Reppublica and Turin's La Stampa.  Corriere della Sera is regarded as an authoritative newspaper on several topics, especially in politics, law and economics.  Its primary readers are Italian professionals and intellectuals.


* This Q&A/blog post by journalist Alessandra Farkas, originally published in Italian in the November 25, 2011 issue of Corriere della Sera, was translated into English by Phillips Nizer LLP for the benefit of our English-speaking readers.