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How Difficult Is It for U.S. Immigrants to Find Employment?

The United States is home to one of the most robust and dynamic job marketplaces in the world, and this is an economic reality that attracts many immigrants. Despite the existence of a highly competitive job market, the sheer size of economic activity in the U.S. makes it possible for millions of immigrants to participate. Even though the U.S. doesn’t top the list of countries with the best labor conditions, it still offers plenty of opportunities to skilled professionals and just about anyone who is willing to work hard.

Immigrants in the U.S. Workforce

According to figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 17 percent of the American workforce consists of individuals born in other countries. Even though the BLS tries to account for undocumented immigrants, some think tanks suggest these numbers underestimate the totality of the immigrant job market. When estimating foreigners who work without permits or on an informal basis, the figure is closer to 25 percent.

As long as the country isn’t in a recessionary economic period, immigrants who wish to get jobs in the U.S. can do so without major difficulty. In some cases, immigrants are able to find employment opportunities where communications are handled in their native languages, which means they don’t need to be fluent in English. An example of this would be a Bengali speaker working in an ethnic convenience store or community center in New York City.

Work Visas & Other Permits

Both immigrants and nonimmigrants can work in the U.S. as long as they have the proper permits. This could be a visa, an authorization issued by a government agency, or a benefit such as residency status. An example of a nonimmigrant work visa is the H-1B program for skilled professionals, who mostly work in the technology sector. Other nonimmigrant work visas are granted to migratory seasonal workers, company transfers, athletes, entertainers, and business entrepreneurs. Immigrants must at least have an employment authorization document, which is usually valid for a year, or a green card, which can be conditional or permanent. It’s easier if immigrants have the benefit of employer-sponsored petitions. San Diego immigrants who need advice about legally working in the United States should seek the counsel of experienced immigration attorneys. 

Income Taxes

It should be noted that all foreigners working or doing business in the U.S. are taxed based on their compensation. Whether it’s wages, freelance pay, or capital gains, all types of income will be taxed, and this requires a social security number or a Taxpayer Identification Number. There are no exceptions in this regard. In fact, a surprising number of undocumented immigrants pay taxes with numbers issued by the Internal Revenue Service despite their irregular status.

Legal Services

Foreigners who become familiar with the job search, application, and interview processes of the American labor market will find it isn’t that difficult to get a job in the U.S. If you’re interested in pursuing a work visa or an employment permit in the U.S., the best move is to retain the services of experienced immigration lawyers in San Diego, CA. The process of getting authorization to work in the U.S. is supposed to be straightforward, but it can sometimes become entangled, and this is when you need adequate counsel. 

Get in touch with KS Visa Law if you’d like more information on any issues dealing with immigration, including those surrounding employment. We specialize in every aspect of immigration law, from naturalization to family-based immigration. Call 858-874-0711 today to schedule an appointment with one of our immigration law experts.

May 2024