Foreign nationals may be granted the opportunity to live and work in New York or another state by obtaining a first-preference visa. To qualify for this type of visa, an individual would need to prove that he or she is a multinational executive or an outstanding researcher. An individual who is seeking this type of visa could also obtain it by having an extraordinary ability such as being an elite artist or athlete.
Foreign nationals in New York can get a J-1 visa if they qualify as an exchange visitor under the definition used by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The J-1 visa applies to some people who are entering the country to work and also to some who are not. People can work under their J-1 visas only by the terms of the exchange regulations.
For foreign nationals residing in New York, there are essentially two types of visas -- those that permit the holder to work in the US and those that do not. Temporary work visas allow a foreign national to work for a limited period of time. In some cases, the worker will pursue and secure the visa on his or her own. In other circumstances, the worker's employer will petition for the visa on that person's behalf.
Optional Practical Training visas allow employers in New York and around the country to hire foreign students and recent college graduates to fill positions that are related to their major field of study. OPT visas give students and graduates an opportunity to receive valuable training and provide employers with highly skilled workers, but recent reports suggest that the program is currently being hampered by excessively long waiting times.
The U.S. is a much sought after destination for highly skilled workers looking for career and professional opportunities. What options do highly-educated foreign nationals have for getting authorization to live and work in the U.S.?