Working Nonimmigrant Visas For the United States

Aside from being a famous tourist destination, the United States is also a popular place to work. Because of the high incomes and pleasant working surroundings, people from all over the world aspire to work in the United States. To enter the United States, a foreign person must first get a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. According to US immigration rules, if you want to work in the United States temporarily as a nonimmigrant, you'll need a specific visa based on the type of work you'll be doing.

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What is a temporary or nonimmigrant work visa?

Temporary worker visas are intended for those who desire to work in the United States for a limited period and are not intended to be permanent or indefinite. Each of these visas requires the submission of a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, to be eligible to apply for a temporary work visa in the United States, applicants must meet a list of US visa criteria and submit the required documentation.

Working Nonimmigrant Visa types and descriptions:

An H-1B visa is required if you are traveling to the United States to work in a pre-arranged professional position. To be eligible, you must have a bachelor's degree or higher in the specialty for which you are seeking or an equivalent degree. If your job qualifies as a specialized occupation, Immigration Services will determine if you are qualified to perform the task. Your employer must file a labor condition application with the Department of Labor, explaining your employment contract's terms and circumstances.

H-1B1 visa applicants should already have a job offer from an employer in their desired field in the United States. A post-secondary degree in the topic of expertise with at least four years of study is necessary to pursue a career in a specific field. As principal applicants, only Chilean and Singaporean citizens are eligible, while their spouses and children may be citizens of other nations.

Employers in the United States can use an H-2A visa to bring foreign nationals to the country to fill temporary agricultural employment where American workers are not available. If you want to conduct agricultural work or services of a transitory or seasonal type in the United States temporarily, you'll need to apply for an H-2A nonimmigrant classification.

The H-2B visa is a sort of temporary work visa for both skilled and unskilled employees that is necessary if you are traveling to the US to work in temporary or seasonal employment for which there is a labor shortage. Your business must obtain a certification from the Department of Labor declaring that no competent American workers are available for the post on which your petition is based.

You will need an H-3 visa if you are traveling to the United States for up to two years to receive training from an employer in any field other than graduate education or training. You can be paid for your education, and you can do "hands-on" labor.

If you have a valid H visa, your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 may be granted an H-4 visa to accompany you to the US. They, on the other hand, are not permitted to work while in the United States.

Journalists and others in the information or media business can use the I-visa to finish their work while in the United States.

L1 visas are available for managerial or executive positions, as well as those requiring specialized expertise, at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the existing firm. Within the previous three years, the individual must have worked for the same employer abroad for a total of one year.

The L2 visa is a derivative visa that may be obtained by your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 if you are the principal bearer of a valid L visa. Your spouse may apply for work authorization as a result of a recent change in the law. In the United States, your children are not permitted to work.

Athletes, performers, artists, and important support employees who are coming to perform in the United States are granted Class P visas.

R1 visas are for visitors to the United States to assist foreign nationals in obtaining a job in a religious organization in the United States. Only people who work in the religious field are eligible.

The O1 visa requires expert knowledge in science, commerce, education, athletics, or art, as well as an international reputation for their work.

The TN visa allows Canadian lawyers, scientists, engineers, and teachers to work in the United States temporarily.

Note that, to be eligible for a work visa, you must have applied for and been approved for a working position in the United States. This is because the United States wants certain documentation from your company before you can begin your visa application.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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