Jobs for immigrants in the USA: a complete guide

Gabriela Peratello

The US welcomes large numbers of new arrivals every year — and getting a great job to both gain experience and set down roots is a core part of the American dream for many. The good news is that there’s a fairly steady supply of jobs in the USA for immigrants, across both entry level and more experienced positions — as long as you know where to look.

This guide to jobs for new immigrants in the USA is a great place to start your search. We’ll also touch on how to save money as you make the move to the US, with a Wise Multi-currency Account. Open your account for free online today, to get low cost international transactions which use the real mid-market exchange rate every time.

📑 Table of Contents

Read more about Wise

Visa requirements for employment in the US

Around 140,000 employment visas are available annually for people looking to move to the US¹. While the visa process can be complex — and may take some time depending on the type of role you’re looking for, and where you’re entering the country from — there’s a lot of help out there to navigate the system. Here are some key pointers about the process.

If you’re planning on working in the US long term, you may also want to check out this guide to the employment based green card.

Application process

In most cases you’ll need a job offer before you can start to apply for a US employment visa. The only usual exception to this is for a niche category of applicants known as people of extraordinary ability who fall into the EB-1 category. In this case, self-petitioning without an employer is allowed — learn more about the EB-1 visa and green card here.

🔢 Here’s the normal process for getting a US employment visa¹:
  • Prospective employer secures a labor certificate and files an immigrant petition on behalf of the employee
  • Once USCIS² approves the petition it is sent on to the National Visa Centre (NVC)
  • One a visa is available, you’ll need to pay your fee and submit the required documents to the NVC. The wait time for a visa to come available does vary widely based on your application type and home country
  • You’ll need to attend an interview at a US embassy or consulate location near you
  • You may need to take medical tests or get vaccinations, depending on the situation
  • If your application is approved you’re given a set of documents to hand over to the immigration authorities when you arrive in the US. Follow the instructions carefully here to make sure your entry to the country goes smoothly

Necessary documentation

Check the paperwork you need to gather before you go to your visa interview. Typically you need the following³:

  • Passport
  • Form DS-260
  • Passport photographs
  • Civil documents like birth and marriage certificates
  • Proof of financial support
  • Medical certificates as required

Common US entry level jobs for immigrants

Let’s take a look at some of the most common jobs for new immigrants in the USA. These are typically entry level roles, although recent figures suggest that immigrants are increasingly being brought into the US to take on more advanced and technical positions. More on that in a moment. Here are some of the most common entry level roles for immigrants coming into the US:

  • Customer service roles
  • Hospitality
  • Grooming and personal care positions
  • Transportation work
  • Tailoring and dressmaking
  • Manual labor positions
  • Agricultural roles
  • Security
  • Food and beverage, restaurant and dining sector
  • Factory and manufacturing work

Although entry level positions may be common among new arrivals to the US, there is also a growing need for more experienced and qualified professionals. Despite the upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent report shows that demand for skills in computing and mathematics for example, consistently outpaces supply of talented workers, leading to calls for more immigrants in these fields to arrive to help support the economic growth of the US⁴.

Best employment apps and websites for immigrants to find jobs in the USA

Let’s get into the details of a few popular job sites hosting jobs for immigrants in the USA.

💡 Getting paid in USD? Join Wise now and get local bank details to receive, send and spend money wherever you are!

Register for free

Upwardly global⁵

Non-profit organization providing support to immigrants and refugees looking for work in the US.

  • Range of jobs with corporate partners
  • Careers skills programs
  • Other support for new arrivals available
  • Not available across all states
  • Only suited to relatively new immigrants
  • No search function for jobs

USA Hello⁶

Non-profit information hub for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers — local links to support and jobs.

  • Available on an app for convenience
  • Search for local information where you live
  • Connects you with support for job hunting, rather than an employment website to search for live roles

Immigrant Welcome Center⁷

Non-profit based in Indianapolis, but with broader reach, helping immigrants settle, access support and find employment.

  • Lots of support resources available
  • Job search function for local positions in Indianapolis and surrounding area
  • Most useful if you’re in Indiana — not all resources are available outside the local area


Set up by an immigrant, and based on personal experience, Twinist helps connect minorities and new arrivals to resources and employment opportunities.

  • Post a resume to allow employers to find you
  • Search for open roles
  • Access job search support and resources
  • Most openings are in Minnesota, where Twinist originated

USA Jobs⁹

Federal government employment site for government jobs across a range of specialties .

  • Create a profile, apply and search for roles
  • Learn about how to apply for federal government jobs
  • Broad range of role types, with in person and online jobs fairs to connect with prospective employees
  • Niche site for government roles only

Moving to the US? Try Wise

If you’re a new arrival in the US, you probably need to manage your money across a couple of currencies as you get settled in. Get a Wise Multi-currency Account to make it easier and cheaper to send, receive and spend in foreign currencies.

Open a Wise account online for free, and hold 40+ currencies all in the same place. Switch between currencies using the real mid-market exchange rate with no markups and no sneaky fees — to save significantly against using your regular bank.

You can get a linked debit card for ATM withdrawals and easy spending, and your own local receiving account details for USD, as well as a range of other major global currencies. That means you can get paid fee free from a range of currencies, as well as managing your money across borders using just your phone or mobile device. Easy.

Get your Wise account
in minutes

Building a career in the US is a dream for many people. If you’re looking at how to secure a job as an immigrant in the US, this guide has you covered. Use the resources highlighted to find a role, and don’t forget to open your Wise Multi-currency Account to save money on currency conversion while you make your move.

💡 Chasing the American Dream? These articles might help you get started!


  1. Travel.State - Employment based immigrant visas
  2. USCIS - Working in the United States
  3. Travel.State - Required documents for employment based immigrant visas
  4. New American Economy - COVID 19 speciality skills impact on economy
  5. Upwardly Global
  6. USA Hello
  7. Immigrant Welcome Center
  8. Twinist
  9. USA Jobs

Sources checked on 09.28.2021

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location