Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Temporary worker visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition is required to apply for a work visa.
Temporary worker visa categories
|Visa category||General description – About an individual in this category:|
|H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation||To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.|
|H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional – Chile, Singapore||To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. (Note: This is not a petition-based visa. For application procedures, please refer to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Chile or the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.)|
|H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker||For temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.|
|H-2B: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker||For temporary or seasonal non- agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.|
|H-3: Trainee or Special Education visitor||To receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.|
|L: Intracompany Transferee||To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. Individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the three preceding years.|
|O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement||For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognized achievements in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.|
|P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group||To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.|
|P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)||For performance under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.|
|P-3: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)||To perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.|
|Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program||For practical training and employment and for sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of your home country through participation in an international cultural exchange program.|
Labor Certification – Some temporary worker visa categories require your prospective employer to obtain a labor certification or other approval from the Department of Labor on your behalf before filing the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, with USCIS. Your prospective employer should review the Instructions for Form I-129 on the USCIS website to determine whether labor certification is required for you.
Petition Approval – Some temporary worker categories are limited in total number of petitions which can be approved on a yearly basis. Before you can apply for a temporary worker visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, must be filed on your behalf by a prospective employer and be approved by USCIS. For more information about the petition process, eligibility requirements by visa category, and numerical limits, if applicable, see Working in the U.S. and Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers on the USCIS website. Once the petition is approved, USCIS will send your prospective employer a Notice of Action, Form I-797.
Application Fee $190
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
- Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
- Receipt Number for your approved petition as it appears on your Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, or Notice of Action, Form I-797, from USCIS.
- L Visa Applicants – If you are included in an L blanket petition, you must bring Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, to your interview.
Most Comment Visa Types to The U.S.A.
- Tourism and Visit Visa to the U.S.A.
- Family-Based Immigrant Visas to the U.S.A.
- Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S.A. Citizen
- Employment-Based Immigrant Visa to the U.S.A.
- Student Visa to the U.S.A.
- Business Visa to the U.S.A.
- Temporary Worker Visas to the U.S.A.
- Treaty Trader & Investor Visa to the U.S.A.
- Transit Visa to the U.S.A.
- Non-immigrant Visa for Spouse and Children of Resident to the U.S.A.
- Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé to the U.S.A.
- Nonimmigrant Visa for a Spouse to the U.S.A.
- Border Crossing Card Visa to the U.S.A.
- Crew Member Visa to the U.S.A.
- Exchange Visitor Visa to the U.S.A.
- Only Transitional Worker Visa to the U.S.A.
- Returning Resident Visas to the U.S.A.
- Immigrant Visas for Iraqi and AfghanTranslators to the U.S.A.
- Temporary Religious Worker Visa to the U.S.A.
- Diplomats and Foreign Government Officials Visas to the U.S.A.
- International Organizations & NATO Employees Visas to the U.S.A.
- Visas for Victims of Criminal Activity to the U.S.A.
- Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking to the U.S.A.