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Can a Noncitizen Work as a STEM Professional in the United States?

In the United States, there has been a growth of opportunity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). which in turn has led to a growth of job opportunities. If you are a noncitizen and wondering what temporary or permanent options are available for you to work in the STEM fields, continue reading to discover how an experienced Lyndhurst employment immigration attorney at the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta can help you determine your eligibility.

As a non-citizen, do I qualify to work as a STEM professional?

Much like citizens of the U.S., noncitizens require a certain level of education, experience, or skill to be eligible to work as a STEM professional. More specifically, noncitizens can qualify through the following visa options:

  • O-1 nonimmigrant visa classification and EB-1A immigrant visa classification: this is attainable if you have an “extraordinary ability” and widespread, sustained acclaim.
  • H-1B nonimmigrant visa classification: this is attainable if you have received a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • L-1 nonimmigrant visa classification: this is attainable if you have a pre-existing relationship with a company that does business both in the U.S. and abroad.

Do I need a job offer or a petition to work as a STEM professional?

Most pathways require you to already have a job offer. In this case, an employer will submit a petition to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf.

However, a job offer or a petition is not always necessary. For example, if you fall under the EB-1A immigrant visa classification and you are seeking lawful permanent resident status (i.e., a Green Card), all you are required to do is directly submit an application or petition with the USCIS (i.e., self-petitioning). Notably, with this, you must provide sufficient evidence that establishes that you are coming to the U.S. to continue to work in the field of STEM, which is your area of expertise.

Will I be working in the U.S. on a permanent or temporary basis?

Put simply, there are some opportunities for noncitizens, including STEM professionals, to obtain permanent resident status in the U.S. This status will allow you to live and work in the U.S. permanently, and it may lead you on a path toward citizenship.

On the other hand, other nonimmigrant visa classifications (i.e., F-1 OPT, H-1B, O-1), only allow you to temporarily work in the U.S. as a STEM professional. However, with this path, there is still a chance to transition to permanent resident status and even citizenship.

For more information on this topic, do not hesitate in consulting with a skilled Lyndhurst temporary work visa lawyer or a competent Lyndhurst PERM visa attorney today.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

If you need experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC today to schedule a consultation. Our firm is located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.