Working Visas of the United States

Work visas in the United States are designed for foreign nationals who wish to work in the country temporarily. Here is a detailed overview of some of the most common work visa categories:

  1. H-1B: Specialty Occupation Visa
    • For professionals in a specialized field, typically requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher.
    • Examples of eligible occupations include IT professionals, engineers, architects, and scientists.
    • The applicant must have a job offer from a U.S. employer and a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor.
    • The H-1B visa is subject to an annual cap, with a limited number of visas available each fiscal year.
    • The initial duration is three years, extendable to a total of six years (with some exceptions for those in the process of applying for a green card).
  2. H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker Visa
    • For individuals coming to the U.S. to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work.
    • The employer must demonstrate a shortage of U.S. workers and obtain a temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor.
    • The visa duration depends on the length of the labor certification, typically not exceeding one year, but it can be extended in increments of up to one year, for a maximum of three years.
  3. H-2B: Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker Visa
    • For individuals coming to the U.S. to perform temporary non-agricultural work, such as jobs in hospitality, landscaping, or construction.
    • The employer must demonstrate a temporary need for the worker and obtain a temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor.
    • The H-2B visa is subject to an annual cap, with a limited number of visas available each fiscal year.
    • The visa duration depends on the length of the labor certification, typically not exceeding one year, but it can be extended in increments of up to one year, for a maximum of three years.
  4. L-1: Intracompany Transferee Visa
    • For employees transferring from a foreign branch of a company to a U.S. branch.
    • L-1A visas are for managers and executives, while L-1B visas are for employees with specialized knowledge.
    • The applicant must have been employed by the company for at least one continuous year within the previous three years.
    • L-1A visa holders can stay for up to seven years, while L-1B visa holders can stay for up to five years.
  5. O-1: Extraordinary Ability or Achievement Visa
    • For individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.
    • The applicant must demonstrate a high level of achievement and recognition in their field.
    • The initial duration is up to three years, with the possibility of one-year extensions.
  6. P-1, P-2, P-3: Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers Visas
    • P-1 visas are for internationally recognized athletes or members of internationally recognized entertainment groups.
    • P-2 visas are for artists or entertainers who are part of a reciprocal exchange program between the U.S. and another country.
    • P-3 visas are for artists or entertainers coming to the U.S. to perform, teach, or coach in a culturally unique program.
    • The duration of these visas varies depending on the specific category and the nature of the events or performances.
  7. R-1: Religious Worker Visa
    • For ministers, religious professionals, or other religious workers coming to the U.S. to work for a religious organization.
    • The applicant must have been a member of the religious denomination