Work in the USA with a tourist visa

Having arrived in the States, even as a tourist, you can get a job here officially. However, you should prepare for physical labor, but you should not count on big money…

Работа в США при наличии туристической визы

Work in the USA with a tourist visa

Under certain circumstances, U.S. laws do not prohibit holders of B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) visas from working in the country. In the spring of 2023, this was officially confirmed by the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An explanation published by the organization says that even foreigners with tourist visas have the right to seek (and occupy) vacancies in the United States. However, there are a number of nuances that need to be taken into account.

How can a travel visa holder get a work permit in the USA

On the one hand, State legislation declares that B1 and B2 visas do not give the right to official employment. But holders of immigration visas have a similar right. Based on this, the obvious way to legal work is to apply for a change of status from tourist to immigration. This is what hundreds of thousands of non-American citizens who seek formal employment do. Lawyers advise to do this no earlier than 90 days after crossing the border. Otherwise, the authorities will suspect the applicant of an immigration visa of the original intention to stay in the States using a tourist trip.

After the application is accepted, an application is sent to the USCIS on Form I-765 for a work permit. After 2-4 weeks, the applicant receives a plastic Work Authorization Card, which is valid for 2 years. This document allows you to work in the United States officially, even if the consideration of an application for an immigration visa is delayed for a long period.

What kind of work is available to foreigners waiting for an immigration visa

Everything is individual in this matter: opportunities are determined by the level of English proficiency, age, education and practical skills. Often, the knowledge of the language among potential migrants is at a low level, and if there is a diploma, it is not quoted in the United States. Therefore, you need to be prepared that the first job will be unskilled, and the salary will be modest. Most likely, you will be able to find a job in one of the five specialties listed below.

Handyman. Most often we are talking about the work of a loader, a construction worker or a warehouse worker. Since such an activity does not require qualifications, it is paid low – at the level of 2-2.5 thousand dollars per month. The specifics of labor do not provide for tips, which could be a solid increase in the rate.

A carrier of things and furniture. Such work in the USA is commonly called the succinct word “moving”, it is especially common in large cities such as New York or Los Angeles. It is customary to tip for moving services, so you can earn more on it than the same helper at a construction site. Depending on the specific location, it is usually 2.5-3.5 thousand dollars per month.

A carer or a housemaid. An activity suitable for women who are ready to devote themselves to someone else’s family for a while. In some cases, work involves living in the ward’s home, which may be an additional bonus. Remuneration for the work of a nanny or a nurse varies in a wide range from 1.5 to 4 thousand dollars.

Cleaner of apartments and offices. The job is suitable for both men and women, and there are almost always vacancies for clinicians. This is due to the fact that Americans prefer to trust the cleaning of premises to professionals, especially when moving or after a holiday. Depending on the number of orders and reviews, the cleaners earn 2.5-5 thousand dollars per month.

Waiter or hostess. Such vacancies are always available in any city. However, the benefits of working in a cafe strongly depend on its popularity and the number of visitors. The more respectable they are, the more tips they leave, and this is a significant share of the waiters’ income. Therefore, their salaries vary widely: from 1.5 to 5 thousand dollars.  

When applying for a job in the USA, you should be careful. Inexperienced foreigners are the favorite targets of scammers. They usually offer to conclude an oral contract and promise to give out a salary in cash, but this does not happen on time. Without proper legal status, a migrant is unable to complain about a cheater. If there are doubts about the reputation of the employer, it is advisable to find an option to check it or agree on a daily payment.

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