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Temporary Work Visas

Temporary worker visas are for persons who want to enter the US for employment lasting a fixed period of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Such visas require the prospective employers to file a petition with USCIS. An approved petition is required to apply for a work visa.

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-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 theDepartment of Labor on your behalf before filing the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, with USCIS. Your prospective employer should review theInstructions 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 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (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.

How to Apply

After USCIS approves the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), you may apply for a visa. There are several steps in the visa application process. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on theembassy or consulate website where you will apply.

Complete The Online Visa Application

·       Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.

·       Photo –You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Schedule an Interview

While interviews are generally not required for applicants of certain ages outlined below, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age.

You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. embassy or consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.

If you are age:

Then an interview is:

13 and younger

Generally not required

14-79

Required (some exceptions for renewals)

80 and older

Generally not required

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait timefor the location where you will apply.

You will need to provide the receipt number that is printed on your approved Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, or Notice of Action, Form I-797, to schedule an interview.

Prepare for your Interview

·       Fees - Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. For current fees for Department of State government services select Fees. When your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable to your nationality. Please review theVisa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance fee.

·       Review the instructions available on the website of the embassy or consulatewhere you will apply to learn more about fee payment.

·       L visa applicants included in a L blanket petition: You must also pay the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee and may need to pay the Border Security Act fee. Select All Fees to learn more.

Gather Required Documentation

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

·       Passport valid for travel to the U. S. - Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U. S. (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.

Legal Rights and Protections

H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visa applicants should read the Legal Rights and Protections pamphlet to learn about your rights in the United States and protection available to you. Review this important pamphlet before applying for your visa.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Review the instructions on how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified.

All visa applicants, except H-1B and L, will generally need to show proof of compelling ties to your home country to demonstrate your intent to return after your temporary stay in the United States. Examples of compelling ties include:

·       A residence abroad which you do not intend to abandon

·       Your family relationships

·       Your economic situation

·       Your long term plans

Attend your Visa Interview

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, your application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your application.

When the visa is approved, you may pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality, and will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. Review the visa processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be ready for pick-up or delivery by the courier.

Additional Information

·       The approval of a petition does not guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.

·       Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the U.S.

Spouse and Children

·       With the exception of Cultural Exchange Visitor Q-1 visa applicants, your spouse and unmarried, minor children may also apply for the same visa category as you to accompany or join you. Effective immediately, U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses. Please reference the specific guidance on the visa category for which you are applying for more details on documentation required for derivative spouses. You must be able to show that you will be able to financially support your family in the United States. For further information about visas for same-sex spouses, please see our FAQ's. For information about employment and study, review Temporary Workers information andEmployment Authorization on the USCIS website.

Visa Denial and Ineligibility

Review Visa Denials for detailed information about visa ineligibilities, denials and waivers.

I was refused a visa under section 214(b). May I reapply?

Yes, if you feel circumstances have changed regarding your application. ReviewVisa Denials to learn more.

Misrepresentation or Fraud

Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States. Review Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws.

Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry

A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit.

Notice: New Electronic I-94 Process - A new electronic I-94 process at air and sea ports of entry was fully implemented by May 25, 2013. Under the new CBP process, a CBP officer will provide each admitted nonimmigrant traveler with an admission stamp on their passport. CBP will no longer issue a paper Form I-94 upon entry to the U.S., with some exceptions. Learn more on the CBP website.  

If you are issued a paper Form I-94, this will document your authorized stay and is the official record of your permission to be in the U.S. It is very important to keep inside your passport. In advance of travel, prospective travelers should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing foodagricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website.

How Do I Extend My Stay?

·       Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their admission stamp or paper Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. See Extend Your Stay on the USCIS website.

·       You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS.

·       Failure to depart the United States on time will result in you being out of status, can void your visa, and may make you ineligible for visas you may apply for in the future. Review Visa DenialsIneligibilities and Waivers: Laws, and section222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to learn more.

How can I find out how long I am authorized to stay in the U.S.?

·       A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States, but allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States, and determine how long a traveler may stay. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit.

Notice: New Electronic I-94 Process - A new electronic I-94 process at air and sea ports of entry was fully implemented by May 25, 2013. Under the new CBP process, a CBP officer will provide each admitted nonimmigrant traveler with an admission stamp on their passport. CBP will no longer issue a paper Form I-94 upon entry to the U.S., with some exceptions. Learn more on the CBP website. 

·       On the admission stamp or paper Form I-94, the U.S. immigration inspector records either a date or "D/S" (duration of status). If your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 contains a specific date, then that is the date by which you must leave the United States. If you are issued a paper Form I-94, this will document your authorized stay and is the official record of your permission to be in the U.S. It is very important to keep inside your passport. Review information about Admission on the CBP Website. Also, see Duration of Stay.

I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the United States, what should I do?

If you failed to turn in your paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, seeDepartment of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website for more information. If you did not receive a paper Form I-94 and your record was created electronically, CBP will record your departure using manifest information obtained from the air or sea carrier. 

How Do I Change My Status?

Some nonimmigrant visa holders, while present in the U.S., are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website.

Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires, while you remain in the U.S., does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the U.S. while USCIS processes your change of status request, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Source: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1271.html

For further information, please contact the office.