The United States is expected to have over 1 million job openings for care assistants and social workers by 2024. With its growing elderly population and increased government spending on healthcare and social services, the US presents abundant opportunities for foreign care professionals looking to immigrate. This guide covers everything you need to know, from visas and salaries to costs of living and how to find a job.

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Obtaining a US Work VisaNursing Abroad images 2024 01 12T211526.222

The first step is obtaining the right visa to legally work as a care assistant or social worker in the US. The main options are:

H-1B Temporary Skilled Worker Visa

  • For bachelor’s degree holders in a specialty occupation like social work
  • Requires employer sponsorship & approval from USCIS
  • Annual cap of 65,000 visas

H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker Visa

  • For workers in landscaping, hospitality, construction etc.
  • No educational requirement
  • Annual cap of 66,000 visas

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

  • 12-18 month cultural exchange program
  • Option to apply for 24-month extension
  • No cap on number of visas

In-Demand Jobs and Salaries

The most in-demand and highest paying care assistant jobs are:

  • Personal Care Aides – $27,080 average salaryHelp elderly/disabled with everyday tasks
  • 600,000+ job openings expected by 2024
  • Home Health Aides – $28,060 average salaryProvide at-home support with medical care, household chores etc.
  • Over 1 million openings expected by 2026
  • Nursing Assistants – $30,720 average salaryWork under nurses to provide patient care
  • 261,900 openings expected by 2026

For social workers, the top opportunities are:

  • Child, Family and School Social Workers – $47,390 average salaryProtect vulnerable children and support families
  • Over 65,500 openings expected by 2026
  • Healthcare Social Workers – $58,510 average salaryHelp patients and families deal with illnesses/injuries
  • More than 142,000 openings expected by 2026

Salaries can vary significantly by state, with the highest average wages in states like California, Alaska and New York.

Comparing Cost of Living in Different US States

While salaries may be higher in states like New York and California, it’s also important to factor in living expenses when deciding where to settle in the US.Below is a comparison of three states – Texas, Florida and New York based on average salaries for care assistants versus average monthly costs of living expenses like housing, transportation, utilities, groceries and healthcare.Texas

  • Average Personal Care Aide Salary – $25,000
  • Average Monthly ExpensesRent – $972
  • Groceries – $412
  • Transportation – $804
  • Utilities – $177
  • Healthcare – $393
  • Total Yearly Expenses – $25,116


  • Average Home Health Aide Salary – $26,200
  • Average Monthly ExpensesRent – $1,317
  • Groceries – $450
  • Transportation – $967
  • Utilities – $353
  • Healthcare – $406
  • Total Yearly Expenses – $32,384

New York

  • Average Nursing Assistant Salary – $37,800
  • Average Monthly ExpensesRent – $1,647
  • Groceries – $490
  • Transportation – $1,015
  • Utilities – $233
  • Healthcare – $795
  • Total Yearly Expenses – $43,884

While the salaries may be higher in New York, the cost of living is also nearly $20,000 more compared to Texas annually. So it’s important to balance earning potential with affordability when deciding on a location.Nursing Abroad images 2023 12 20T114754.275

Finding Jobs

There are ample job boards and recruitment agencies that can assist foreign workers find suitable caregiving and social work roles across the US.

Online Job Boards

  • – Lists over 300,000 caregiving jobs
  • Monster Jobs – Job site with nationwide caregiver listings
  • Indeed – Leading aggregator of job listings

In addition, state and city specific sites like the Texas Workforce Commission also list thousands of local openings.

Recruitment/Staffing Agencies

Reputable nursing staffing agencies that hire foreign workers and assist with visas include:

For social workers, non-profits like Catholic Charities also sponsor foreign hires.

Professional Associations

Industry groups like the National Association of Social Workers also provide job boards catering specifically to social work opportunities.

Applying for Jobs

To boost your chances of landing a US job while still overseas, ensure your application includes:

  • Resume highlighting relevant caregiving/social work expertise
  • Cover Letter stating intent to immigrate to the US
  • Details of current visa status if already in the US
  • Professional licenses & credentials
  • English language proficiency scores on TOEFL or IELTS
  • References from current/past employers

During the interview process, be prepared to answer questions about your motivations for moving to the US and long-term career plans. Highlight any cross-cultural skills gained from previous travel or exchanges that show your ability to adapt to a new country.Also be ready to start the visa application process promptly in case a job offer is extended to you.

Moving With Family

If you intend to immigrate with family, the main visa options are:

H-4 Visa

  • For dependant spouses and children of H-1B visa holders
  • Allows dependants to live and work in the US

J-2 Visa

  • For dependants of J-1 exchange visitors
  • Spouses can apply for work authorization

When researching jobs and locations, consider factors like:

  • School districts – For school-going children
  • Public transportation – For spouses to access amenities and jobs
  • Rentals suitable for families – Accommodating children
  • Community groups – Helping family integrate into local culture

Next Steps

Preparing to immigrate to any new country can be daunting, but with ample job opportunities and support networks, the US offers exciting prospects for foreign care assistants and social workers in 2024.Some next steps to take:

  • Research locations based on cost of living, salaries and family-friendly amenities
  • Evaluate work visa options you qualify for
  • Start applying for suitable job openings
  • Gather necessary application documents – resumes, licenses, references etc.
  • Learn more about cultural nuances of working in US healthcare/social services

The demand for skilled care professionals and social workers will continue rising, making 2024 an ideal time to make the move. With thorough preparation and planning, you can be well on your way to a rewarding career and life in the United States.

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