Non-Immigrant worker visas
NONIMMIGRANT WORKER VISAS
Temporary worker visas are for foreign individuals who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period under a work contract and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each worker visas require the prospective employer to first file a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After the petition is approved, the applicant may apply for the visa following all required procedures at the US Embassy or Consulate nearby. There are several worker visas categories. Learn more about the main worker visa types:
H-1B: Specialty Occupation
This visa classification is designed for individuals working in specialty occupations, such as Researchers and Development Project workers collaborating with the US Department of Defense (DOD). It also applies to fashion models of prominence with distinguished merit and ability. The H-1B subcategory may or may not require a bachelor’s or higher degree and a Labor Condition Application.
H-2B: Temporary Nonagricultural Workers
The H-2B program allows US employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs as long as they can establish that there are not enough workers available to perform these activities.
There is a numerical limit (cap) on the number of noncitizens who may be issued an H-2B visa or grant H-2B status during a fiscal year. In addition, H-2B petitions may only be approved for nationals of designated countries.
H-3: Trainee or Special Education visitor
The H-3 nonimmigrant visa category allows noncitizens coming temporarily to the United States as either a trainee (to receive training in any field of endeavor or as a special education exchange visitor to participate in a training program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.
This classification is not intended for US employment. It is designed to provide a noncitizen with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside the United States.
L-1A: Intracompany Transferee
To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity or position requiring specialized knowledge. Individuals must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for one year within the three preceding years.
This visa classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated US office to send an executive or manager to the United States to establish one.
O-1: Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of exceptional achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. Subcategories of the O-1 visa include O-1A, O-1B, O-2, and O-3.
Although some requirements for this visa are similar to the EB-1 immigration category, the O-1 is a temporary worker visa with a duration previously agreed by the employer with the USCIS. Therefore, the O-1 does not allow permanent residence in the US.
The P-1A classification applies to athletes whose purpose is to perform a specific athletic competition in the United States, either as individuals or as a part of a group of athletes. In general, athletes who will qualify for the P-1A visa have a high level of achievement in a sport, and the competition(s) they wish to participate in must have a distinguished reputation and be at an internationally recognized level of performance that requires the participation of international athletes. Coaches of athletes may also qualify for the P-1 category.
The P-3 visa is granted to culturally unique artists and entertainers coming to the United States either as an individual or as part of a group to develop, interpret, represent, coach, or teach their particular art or discipline. In addition, they must be coming to the United States to participate in cultural events which will further the understanding or development of their art. These events may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.