Is it Possible to Get a Work Visa Without a Sponsorship?


So you want to live and work in the United States, but you don’t yet have an employer. What are your options?

For the vast majority of immigrants your options will revolve around staying put in your home country until you can secure an employer and a sponsor. This is usually just good practice anyway. The job market in the United States is really tough, especially right now, and the cost of living is high. Few people wish to be stuck here without an income.

Yet there are pressing reasons why a person might want to get a work visa without a sponsorship. Perhaps you are seriously dating someone here in the United States and you wish to work and live here while you forward the relationship. Perhaps you have family here you’re trying to take care of, and an employment-based visa is the quickest and easiest route to being allowed to stay while you do that. 

In this case, you have three options, though you might not qualify for all three of them.


The EB-1A visa, also known as the “extraordinary ability” visa, is a visa that’s set aside for people who show exceptional and extraordinary talent in five key areas: science, education, business, athletics, and the arts. These visas are set aside for individuals who are the top of their field.

Evidence can include:

  • Educational Records
  • Portfolios
  • Documentation of awards
  • Documentation of membership in selective associations
  • Published material about you in trade publications, major newspapers, or professional publications
  • Evidence that you’ve been a judge for other people’s work in your field
  • Evidence of your contributions to your field
  • Copies of scholarly articles that you’ve published in major journals, trade publications, or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions and events.
  • Evidence you’ve played a leading role for organizations or establishments with a great reputation in your field
  • Evidence of salaries you’ve commanded for services in your field
  • Evidence of commercial success in your field

As you might imagine this is one of the most difficult visas you can get. They are valid for up to ten years.

O Visas

The O-Visa is very similar to the EB-1A. It’s for individuals with special achievement or ability in education, science, business, athletics, or the entertainment industry. The litany of evidence you might have to come up with is a little shorter.

It can include:

  • Evidence that you’ve won internationally or nationally recognized prices or awards
  • Evidence of published material about your work
  • Membership in selective organizations
  • Evidence of contribution in your fields
  • Authorship of scholarly articles
  • Proof you command a high salary
  • Participation on a panel or as a judge for other people’s work in your field
  • Evidence of past employment with a company that has an outstanding reputation.
  • Evidence of an employment contract.

This visa is easier to get than the EB-1A. This is because the visa lasts for a shorter period of time: it may be issued for up to 3 years. 


The EB-5 is a visa for individuals who invest at least $900,000 in American corporations. If the corporation is not in a “Targeted Employment Area” then the minimum investment amount is $1,800,000. 

This must be a new commercial enterprise established after November 29, 1990. This investment must create at least 10 full-time positions for qualifying employees, or saves a “troubled business” and maintains the proper number of jobs.

Need Help?

As you can see, getting an employment visa without a sponsorship is a challenge. If these options aren’t available for you, we may still be able to help. Contact Hykel Law today. 

See also: 

5 Steps to a Smoother Immigration Process

7 Ways to Get a Green Card

3 Questions about Immigration and Employment, Answered

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Employment & Investment Visas

Although it often comes with controversy, immigration into the United States has always played a major role in the strength of its economy. Perhaps no one understands this more than the residents of Philadelphia, where the Liberty Bell still welcomes foreigners to one of the richest historical communities of our country.


Family Visas

Not knowing or understanding the system and laws of the U.S. can be a disadvantage for many foreign immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Hykel Law’s Family-Based Immigration Services can lead you through the complicated process to achieve either temporary or permanent residency, depending on your situation.


Deportation Defense

Are you afraid of deportation? If you are a foreign national involved in the beginning stages of removal proceedings, the deportation attorney at Hykel Law in Philadelphia can help prevent this unfortunate situation. We can evaluate your immigration case and find the best strategy to defend you from removal proceedings to help you stay in the United States.

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