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Working in Norfolk

Working in Norfolk is a great option for expats. As a regional driving force, the commercial and cultural center of the geographical region of Hampton Road offers many business opportunities for expats. Find out what they are and how to approach them best in this guide.

Local Economy

Surrounded by waterways, these play a vital role in Norfolk’s economy with the deep waters of the Chesapeake Bay providing a major import and export route both internationally and with domestic partners in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.

As previously mentioned, Norfolk also has a large military presence, with the Naval Headquarters at Norfolk Naval Station as well as the headquarters of the United States Fleet Forces Command located on the Sewell’s Point Peninsula. This base is also utilized by the United States Joint Forces Command and Allied Command Transformation (NATO).

The second most affluent industry in Norfolk is centered on the city’s cargo ports, with Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) boasting the world’s largest container crane, handling over 150,000 tons of break-bulk cargo.

The Hampton Roads area is also home to four Fortune 500 companies, including Norfolk Southern Railway. These companies represent thriving food, transportation, retail and shipbuilding industries in the area.

The waters surrounding Norfolk are also popular docking points for cruise liners, leading to an estimated 100,000 tourist visitors disembarking at Norfolk and enjoying Norfolk’s shopping, entertainment and hospitality as part of their trips.

Job Hunting in Norfolk

For expats interested in working in Norfolk, there are several online job sites which allow jobseekers to research and apply for roles in Norfolk and the surrounding area, including CareerConnection Hampton Roads which, as the name suggests, specializes in employment in the Hampton Roads region as well as Norfolk’s own employment site.

As you would expect, the city has opportunities across a range of fields and industries and is ideally situated for those looking for work connected with its vibrant ports, tourism or within the entertainment industry. It also offers a variety of civil service opportunities, which can be explored on the city’s Government Jobs site.

Norfolk is also in close proximity to several major utilities suppliers including Dominion Virginia Power, located in nearby Chesapeake and Virginia Natural Gas, located in Norfolk itself. Water and sewage services are provided by the city’s Department of Utilities, whose vacancies are advertised through the link above. 

Work Permits for Norfolk

In order to take up employment in the USA, non-US nationals will require a ‘Green Card’, which allows the holder to take up both residence and employment in the USA. Once you have a Green Card you are free to move into and out of the country as you wish and this also acts as the first step to apply for US citizenship if you wish to do so.

For shorter periods of employment, applicants may be required to obtain a temporary work visa, details of which can be found online

It is advisable that you check your individual circumstances with your embassy prior to any travel, as the USA’s visa requirements are strict and there are several variations on the main immigrant and non-immigrant visas which should be taken into account.

Most employment visas, both temporary and permanent, will require a sponsor located in the USA. For a brief summary of the different employment-based visas, please have a look at our dedicated articles on nonimmigration and immigration visas.

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