If you don’t have family in the United States, emigrating to the United States requires more formalities, but it is still possible – thanks to USA Visa Sponsorship and Scholarship Opportunities in 2024. Since the creation of the European Union, the United States is no longer such a popular emigration destination. Many people, however, still consider it a country of enormous opportunities and dream of obtaining the so-called green card, i.e. the right to permanent residence in the USA. For this purpose, you can go to the United States and apply for a change of status there. You can also take part in a special visa lottery from your home of residence – or apply for an immigrant visa at the American embassy. It is relatively easiest to obtain this document if you have someone close to you in the U.S. An alternative is the so-called employee sponsorship, to which we devote the following article.
You will learn, among others:
- USA Visa Sponsorship
- why you can get an immigrant visa through employee sponsorship faster than through family sponsorship (although it is more difficult),
- who does not need a work permit in the USA,
- what conditions must be met to apply for a US immigrant visa through employee sponsorship,
- how many US work immigrant visas are issued each year,
- who can become their own sponsor.
- Formalities and fees
- USA Scholarship Opportunities
- Eligible USA Scholarship Requirements
- Types of USA scholarships
- Where to find scholarships in the USA
- USA Scholarship Application Process
USA Visa Sponsorship
The first step towards USA Visa Sponsorship in the United States is to submit the so-called petition. A petition is a kind of invitation issued by a person or institution referred to as the sponsor. Hence the terms “family sponsorship” and “employee sponsorship”, referring respectively to situations in which the sponsor is:
- A spouse or relative of the person applying for an immigrant visa,
- Her future employer.
In the first of these two cases, it is crucial to demonstrate the bond between both parties, as well as to prove that one of them is a US citizen or resident.
Employee sponsorship involves completing a significantly greater number of formalities. The whole process is therefore a bit more complicated – paradoxically, however, it is usually much faster. How is this possible?
Some companies in the United States already have so many years experience in visa sponsorship that they have made sponsors processes less bureaucratic and more flexible so that they can increasingly count on the work of sponsored professionals. Among the main companies that stand out in this are: Apple, Microsoft, Intel and Google, which grant thousands of visas to immigrants every year. The main examples of the most sought-after professionals are those in the IT and IT area, software developers, operations managers, as well as nurses, engineers and dentists. Sponsors help with both the work visa and the employment visa.
Well, you need to know that the number of immigrant visas granted each year is limited (it is set by the American Congress). This does not apply only to visas that are issued on the basis of petitions issued by immediate family members with American citizenship. If the sponsor is a resident or distant relative, the case falls into one of the other categories, called preferences. And there are already limits, so applications wait for consideration in a queue according to the date of submission – sometimes for several or even a dozen or so years.
The number of employee petitions issued every year is much lower, among other things, due to stricter formal requirements. As a result, most applications are considered on an ongoing basis, and the division into individual preferences – abbreviated as EB, from the words “Employment Based” – primarily determines what specific requirements are involved.
Who can become a sponsor
They apply not only to the person applying for a visa, but also to his or her sponsor. It must be a U.S.-registered company, university, charity, government agency or other institution that has sufficient financial resources to employ an additional employee at a salary not less than that recommended for the position by the U.S. Department of Labor. Department of Labor, DOL). The latter must also accept the job offer for the foreigner and issue the sponsor an appropriate permit (Permanent Labor Certification) before submitting the petition to USCIS. In addition to the issue of remuneration, the Department of Labor also checks whether the foreigner will not take away work from local employees and whether the offer itself has not been designed to discriminate against them.
Employee first preference (EB1)
Authorization from the DOL is generally not required for individuals qualifying for first-employee preference. These are people with outstanding talent or who can boast of wide recognition and extraordinary achievements – and therefore, inevitably, people who are quite difficult to find on the labor market. Just over 40,000 visas are issued in this category. annually, this pool is divided between representatives of the following three groups.
Outstanding Professor or Researcher
Persons belonging to this group must demonstrate at least three years of experience in research or teaching and the intention to undertake such work in the USA, as well as document at least two of the following achievements:
- winning a prestigious award or distinction;
- belonging to an organization whose members can only be eminent representatives of the world of science;
- authorship of articles or other materials published in significant, wide-ranging scientific journals;
- significant contribution to the development of a given scientific field;
- participation in a committee assessing the results or achievements of other researchers in the same field.
Director or manager of an international company (Multinational Manager or Executive)
An applicant for an immigrant visa in this category must demonstrate that he/she has served as a director or member of the management board of an international company (outside the US) for at least one year in the last 3 years.
People qualifying for this group are outstanding individuals, “desirable” in the United States so much that they do not need not only a permit from the DOL, but also a job offer, and therefore also a sponsor – they can submit a petition on their own behalf. They only need to be the recipient of top-class awards (such as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Oscar or Olympic medal), or document at least three of the following achievements:
- winning a prestigious award – national or international;
- belonging to an organization whose members can only be eminent representatives of the world of science, art, business or sport;
- significant contribution to the development of a given field;
- serving on a committee to evaluate the performance or achievements of others in the same field;
- articles or other materials (e.g. reports, documentaries) presenting the outstanding achievements of a given person, published in wide-ranging media;
- authorship of articles or other materials published in significant industry periodicals or wide-ranging media;
- participation in prestigious shows, exhibitions, sporting events, etc.;
- involvement in the activities of recognized organizations,
- earnings significantly higher than those achieved by most people in a given field;
- commercial success in the field of performing arts.
Second employee preference (EB2)
Another visa category is intended for people who do not have an Oscar, Nobel or Olympic gold medal, but still have high, valued competences. These individuals should demonstrate that they intend to reside in the United States and be employed by the petitioning sponsor (who must first obtain authorization from the Department of Labor).
Neither a sponsor nor a petition is a necessary requirement if the applicant for a U.S. immigrant visa demonstrates that it is in the vital interest of the United States (National Interest Waiver). In such a case, the second employee preference is practically no different from the first one, except that athletes are not eligible for it. The same pool of visas – just over 40,000. – is divided here into only two subgroups.
Representatives of the world of art, science and business who stand out from their colleagues in terms of knowledge, talent or experience can aspire to the first of them. They must prove this by documenting at least three of the following:
- graduation from university;
- minimum 10 years of work experience in a given field;
- permission to practice a profession – if it is a licensed profession;
- receiving higher remuneration than typical for people who work in similar professions – which indicates a higher professional position;
- being a member of industry groups – unions, associations, etc.;
- obtaining recommendations, references, letters of recommendation from representatives of such groups, experts, agencies or government organizations – presenting the achievements of a specific person and his or her contribution to the development of a given field.
High-class specialists (Advanced Degree)
The second subgroup may include holders of university diplomas, provided they meet at least one of the following conditions:
- minimum 5 years of experience after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent,
- obtaining a Master’s Degree – experience is not necessary,
- doctorate – if it is necessary to practice a profession in a given field.
If they can also boast of above-average skills or achievements, they should of course also provide appropriate documentation on this subject.
Third employee preference (EB3)
People qualifying for the third employee preference are expected to have experience of working in a specific profession, or possibly working in a position for which there is a lack of candidates in the USA. The relatively low threshold of requirements means that each year many more people apply for an immigrant visa in this category than are issued documents (again, a little over 40,000, plus a possibly unused part of the pool of the first two preferences). Therefore, this is currently the only employee preference under which applications are considered with a delay of 2-3 years in relation to the date of their submission.
The specific criteria for candidates depend on their assignment to one of three subgroups, which we have presented in the table below. They must also be reflected in the job offer as employment conditions.
- Skilled Workers certificate of completion of an appropriate school or vocational course and at least 2 years of experience
- Professionals at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent, possibly a lower degree of education supplemented by experience (this must be confirmed by an independent evaluation agency)
- Unskilled workers (Other Workers) experience or specific education is often not required at all; in accordance with what was written above, the waiting time for considering the application is therefore the longest in this case and is given in the so-called Visa Bulletin separately.
High demand professions
All applicants for a U.S. Third Preference Employment Visa require a petition sponsor that has obtained authorization from the Department of Labor. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Namely, these are representatives of professions in which the Department notes persistent staff shortages (i.e. primarily qualified nurses and physiotherapists). To make it easier for employers to find such employees among foreigners, the procedure for employing the latter is much faster, because it bypasses the stage of applying for a permit. The documents that would then be needed are submitted with the petition directly to USCIS.
Formalities and fees
The petition must also be accompanied by proof of payment of the fee for its consideration. This applies to each visa preference, although different rates and form templates apply in individual categories:
Category Petition form Fee
- EB1, EB2, EB3 I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $700
- EB4 I-360, or Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant $435
- EB5 I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor $3,675
Once the petition is approved by USCIS, the case goes to the National Visa Center and then to the US Embassy. Only there does the actual visa process take place, in which the person interested in going to the United States takes part.
USA Scholarship Opportunities
Education in the United States is paid, even in public schools. However, American universities and high schools offer international students a huge pool of scholarship programs, distributed depending on income or academic performance. Schools also award scholarships for achievements in various areas, e.g. for winning artistic or sports competitions.
Some top-tier universities, such as Harvard and MIT, have a special rule called “need blind”, which means that if a student is admitted but cannot afford the tuition, the school awards him or her a full scholarship. Of course, admission to Harvard, where about 5% of applicants get accepted, is very difficult. There are almost 4,000 universities in the United States and many of them are easy to get into and get a partial scholarship. The average cost of a year’s stay, including living expenses and after obtaining a partial scholarship, is approximately USD 15,000-20,000 per year. At the same time, foreign students can work 20 hours a week, which, even at the minimum wage per hour, gives them approximately USD 6,000 – 8,000 in annual income.
Eligible USA Scholarship Requirements
The following eligibility requirements will help you determine if a scholarship is right for you.
- You must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
- You must have a degree related to your chosen field of study.
- You must be able to demonstrate financial need, as determined by the scholarship recipient.
- You must have a high school diploma or equivalent or have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
Types of USA scholarships
There are many types of scholarships opportunities available to students in the USA. Every scholarship is unique and there is no one scholarship that is better than all the others. Some popular types of scholarships include:
- International scholarships
- Scholarship for college students
- Scholarship for high school students
- Student loans
- Rural scholarships
- National scholarships
Where to find scholarships in the USA
The best way to find scholarships is to search online or contact local colleges and universities. Below are some list of resources to help you find scholarships in the USA.
- National Scholarship Database
- Fast Network
- Foundation Center
- America Scholarship
USA Scholarship Application Process
To apply for scholarships in the USA, you need to follow several steps. This includes gathering all the necessary documents and submitting your application.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for scholarships in the USA:
- Collect all necessary documents. This includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, CV, and other supporting materials.
- Gather all required essays or other written work. This could be something related to your scholarship application or something you wrote specifically for the application process.
- Submit your application materials. This can be done using an online application or by sending materials by post. Please remember to follow the detailed application instructions if you are applying online.
If you are submitting your application by mail, please be sure to submit everything complete and formatted correctly so that it can be assessed appropriately. It is also important to include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to have your applications returned to you.