Overview and Types of Visas
There are various categories (called classifications) of nonimmigrant visas for a person who wishes to work temporarily in the United States, based on U.S immigration laws, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act. If you want to work in the U.S. temporarily, under immigration law, you need a specific visa based on the purpose of your travel and type of work you will be doing. To learn more, please see United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) Working in the U.S. webpage.
Review Temporary Workers on the USCIS website for more detailed information about each category, petition procedures and eligibility for each type of temporary worker below. See Employer Information on the USCIS website for information about the numerical limit CAP count, e-Verify, and more. There are annual numerical limits on some visa types, which are shown in parentheses below.
•H-1B Persons in Specialty Occupation which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge requiring completion of a specific course of higher education. (65,000). This category also includes fashion models and Government-to-Government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense (100);
•H-1C Foreign Nurses coming to perform nursing services in medically under served areas for a temporary period up to three years. The Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999 (NRDAA) has been reauthorized for an additional three years, and will expire on December 20, 2009. To learn more about the reauthorization of the H-1C program, see the USCIS Press Release.
•H-2A Seasonal Agricultural Workers; Notice- USCIS revised H-2A program requirements and regulations, which applies to all petitions filed. For more information, review H-2A information on the USCIS website.
•H-2B Temporary or Seasonal Nonagricultural Workers. This classification generally requires a temporary labor certification issued by the Department of Labor (66,000);
Notice- USCIS revised H-2B program requirements and regulations, which applies to all petitions filed. For more information, review H-2B information the USCIS website.
•H-3 Trainees (other than medical or academic) This visa type also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children (50);
•L Intracompany Transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity;
•O-1 Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field;
•O-2 Persons Accompanying an O-1 to assist in an artistic or athletic performance for a specific event or performance;
•P-1 Individual or Team Athletes, or Members of an Entertainment group that are internationally recognized (25,000);
•P-2 Artists or Entertainers who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program;
•P-3 Artists or Entertainers who perform under a program that is culturally unique; and
•Q-1 Participants in an International Cultural Exchange Program for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the alien's home country.