The United States, a land of innovation and economic might, beckons skilled professionals from around the globe.


Brazilian citizens are no exception, and with the right U.S. work visa, they can leverage their talents and experience in the American job market.

This comprehensive guide explores the different types of U.S. work visas available to Brazilians, eligibility requirements, the application process, and valuable FAQs.


U.S. Work Visas

U.S. work visas fall under the category of nonimmigrant visas, meaning they are for temporary stays. There are various visa categories, each with specific eligibility criteria and application procedures. Here’s a breakdown of the most common work visas for Brazilians:

H-1B Visa:

This visa is for individuals in specialty occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the specific field (or proven experience). Common professions include engineers, scientists, IT professionals, and architects. The employer must file a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) attesting to the lack of qualified American workers for the position and offering the prevailing wage for the occupation.


H-2A Visa:

This visa is for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers. The employer must demonstrate a temporary need for workers unavailable in the U.S. and prove they have offered prevailing wages and working conditions.

H-2B Visa:

Similar to H-2A, this visa caters to temporary non-agricultural workers in specific industries facing labor shortages. Landscaping, hospitality, and certain manufacturing sectors often utilize H-2B visas.

H-3 Visa:

This visa is for trainees or special education exchange visitors participating in programs not primarily for employment. It can be beneficial for recent graduates or professionals seeking specialized training unavailable in Brazil.

L-1 Visa:

This visa is for intracompany transfers of employees with specialized knowledge working for a multinational company with a branch, subsidiary, or parent company in the U.S. There are two categories: L-1A for managers and executives and L-1B for specialized knowledge workers.

EB-5 Visa:

This is an immigrant visa category leading to permanent residency (Green Card) for foreign investors who invest a significant amount of capital (currently $800,000 in a designated area or $1,050,000 in other areas) in a U.S. commercial enterprise that creates at least ten new American jobs.

Eligibility Requirements for Brazilian Citizens

The eligibility requirements for each work visa category vary. However, some general criteria apply to most visas:

  • A valid Brazilian passport with sufficient validity.
  • A job offer from a U.S. employer willing to sponsor the visa petition.
  • Meeting the specific qualifications for the visa category (e.g., educational background, experience).
  • In some cases, passing a medical examination.

The Application Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

The application process for a U.S. work visa typically involves these steps:

  1. Employer Sponsorship: The U.S. employer initiates the process by filing a petition with the USCIS on behalf of the Brazilian applicant. This petition demonstrates the legitimacy of the job offer and the applicant’s qualifications.
  2. Visa Application: Once the petition is approved, the Brazilian applicant submits the visa application form (DS-160) online along with supporting documents like the petition approval notice, passport, proof of qualifications, and financial statements.
  3. Visa Interview: The applicant attends a visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy in Brazil. During the interview, the consular officer will assess the applicant’s qualifications, purpose of travel, and ties to Brazil.
  4. Visa Issuance: Upon successful completion of the interview and background checks, the visa will be issued, allowing the Brazilian citizen to travel to the U.S. for work.

Important Considerations

  • Visa Processing Times: Processing times for work visas can vary depending on the visa category and current workload at USCIS. It’s crucial to factor in processing times when planning a work move to the U.S.
  • Visa Renewal and Extensions: Some work visas have validity periods, and extensions may be possible under certain circumstances. It’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney regarding visa renewal or extension options.
  • Travel Restrictions: Certain work visas may have restrictions on travel outside the U.S. Consult with an immigration professional to understand any travel limitations associated with your specific visa category.


Can I change employers with a U.S. work visa? (Continued)

There are specific exceptions depending on the visa category. For example, H-1B visa holders may be eligible for a grace period of up to 60 days to find a new sponsoring employer while maintaining their legal status. Consulting with an immigration attorney is recommended to understand the portability options for your specific visa category.

What happens to my visa if I lose my job?

Losing your job can impact your visa status. Depending on the visa category, you may have a limited grace period to find a new sponsoring employer. It’s crucial to notify your employer and USCIS immediately about job termination and explore your options with an immigration attorney.

Can my family accompany me on a U.S. work visa?

Yes, certain work visas allow dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 21) to apply for derivative visas. For instance, spouses of H-1B visa holders can qualify for H-4 visas, allowing them to reside in the U.S. but not necessarily work. Explore the USCIS website or consult with an attorney to understand dependent eligibility for your specific visa category.

What is the difference between a work visa and a Green Card?

A work visa grants temporary permission to work in the U.S., while a Green Card provides permanent residency status. Green Card holders can live and work freely in the U.S., enjoy many of the same benefits as citizens, and are eligible to apply for citizenship after meeting specific requirements.

What resources can help me with the U.S. work visa application process?

Several resources can guide you through the U.S. work visa application process:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): The USCIS website ( provides comprehensive information on various visa categories, application procedures, and frequently asked questions.
  • U.S. Department of State: The Department of State website ( offers information on visa application procedures and visa appointments at U.S. consulates and embassies in Brazil.
  • Immigration Attorney: Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is highly recommended. They can guide you through the complexities of the process, assess your eligibility, and ensure a smooth application experience.


Obtaining a U.S. work visa can be a stepping stone to a rewarding career path in the United States. By understanding the different visa categories, eligibility requirements, and the application process, Brazilian citizens can increase their chances of successfully securing a U.S. work visa and pursuing their professional goals in the Land of Opportunity. Remember, this is just a starting point, and consulting with an immigration attorney is crucial for personalized guidance throughout your visa journey.