If you are living outside US and you are not a citizen of either Australia, Singapore or Chile, the possibility of getting a work visa in the US may be slim these days.
H1B is a type of visa where employers in the US hire skilled professionals outside the country and file a petition for work sponsorship. This visa is leading to permanent citizenship (green card). In the case of Australia, citizens from this country are eligible to apply for a visa called ‘E3’ work.
Each year, US accepts 85,000 migrants under H1B category. Out of that number, 20,000 is allotted to the candidates who have graduated their masters degree in any US universities. Technically, only 65,000 is allotted to skilled professionals from outside US and 6,800 is divided to citizens of Singapore (5,400) and Chile (1,400) due to special agreements of these countries with the US.
If applications exceed 85,000 for the given year – the US government will conduct a raffle so to select the names of the candidates. In the past years – it was easier to get into the US if you were sponsored by a foreign company but nowadays, your chance of getting picked in the lottery is low.
I have applied on this lottery last year and unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to clinch a spot. In this case, the company may lodge your visa application again the following year until your name is included in the list.
I would say that documents are easy prepare because they don’t need legalisation unlike in some countries in Europe. Photocopies of your credentials will suffice. Take another chance if you feel that you really want to work in the US and who knows – you may be lucky in your first try. But of course, it does not work the easy way, you need to find an employer who is willing to hire and sponsor you for the visa. So take this as a first step and worry for the rest of the process once you have sorted this out. 🙂