When an individual seeks to enter the United States for work purposes, they must first obtain a visa. Visas can be classified as a nonimmigrant visa, which is temporary, or an immigrant visa, which is required when an individual wishes to take permanent residence in the U.S. |
The U.S. government offers visas for both temporary and permanent workers; students and exchange visitors; in addition to visas for those visiting temporarily for business matters.
The type of visa required depends on the individual’s eligibility to work in the U.S., the type of work they wish to perform, the individual’s employment status, and the employer. The U.S. visa system is constantly evolving, making it imperative to stay up-to-date with changes.
Each visa category has certain requirements, conditions and duration of permitted stay in the U.S. It is essential that individuals follow the terms stipulated by the application; any violations can result in a removal or denial of re-entry into the U.S. The U.S. Department of State provides the following temporary worker visas:
H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation This visa is available for those who work in a specialty occupation. The H-1B visa requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Individuals that would fall into this category include fashion models of distinguished merit and ability, professionals who perform government-to-government research and development, or those who co-produce projects administered by the U.S. Department of Defense.
H-2A: Temporary Agriculture Worker The H-2A visa was created for individuals who perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work. This visa is limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the U.S. interest.
H-2B: Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker This visa is appropriate for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work. It is limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the U.S. interest.
H-3: Trainee or Special Education Visitor The H-3 visa is for individuals who wish to receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, which is not available in the trainee’s home country. In addition, this visa is appropriate for those who are seeking practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical or emotional disabilities.
L: Intracompany Transferee This visa is for individuals who work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of a current employer in a marginal or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. The individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for one year within the three preceding years.
O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement The O visa is 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. The achievement must be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. The visa allows the individuals to work in their field of expertise in the U.S., and may be extended to persons providing essential services in the support of the extraordinary recognized individual.
P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group This visa is suitable for those who perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. The P-1 visa requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance. This visa may be extended to persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) The P-2 visa is available to individuals who perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. This visa may be extended to persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program This visa is for those who receive practical training and employment while sharing the history, culture and traditions of their home county through participation in an international cultural exchange program.
Labor Certification (PERM): Some temporary worker visa categories require your prospective employer to obtain a labor certification or other approval from the U.S. Department of Labor on your behalf before filing the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
Your prospective employer should review the instructions with an immigration attorney to determine whether labor certification is required for you.
If you have questions about temporary work visas, or any other immigration law issues, call Henry Lim at Lim & Associates, P.A. at (407) 897-8870.
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