18 Nov Learn about the temporary employment visas

H1B Professional Workers:
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. It is designed to allow U.S. employers to recruit & employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations within the USA for a specified period of time. The H-1B program provides the opportunity for foreign workers in specialty occupations to legally live and work in the US for a total of 6 consecutive years, and entitles their spouse and children (under the age of 21) to accompany them and legally live in the USA on an H-4 visa. Examples of H-1B visa positions are jobs in the engineers, financial analysts, teachers, graphic designers. H1B visas are subject to annual numerical limits.

H-2A temporary agricultural workers:
Visas are not numerically limited. Employers must demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work. Approximately 40 to 50,000 workers per year obtain H-2A visas. Visas are granted for up to one year and can be renewed for up to three years. Examples of H-2A visa positions are jobs in agricultural jobs planting watermelon, corn, etc.

H-2B Temporary Workers:
H-2B Visas are for foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States to perform temporary services or labor, other than agricultural services or labor, for which unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in the United States. “Temporary” refers to any job for which the employer’s need is temporary, regardless of whether the job is one that could be described as permanent or temporary. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the period of the employer’s need must be for one year or less, and be either: a one-time occurrence; a seasonal need; a peak load need or an occasional or intermittent need. A temporary labor certification must be obtained from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) before an H-2B Visa petition can be approved. Spouses and dependent children may obtain H-4 Visas to reside and study in the United States, but may not seek gainful employment.

H-3 Trainee Visa:
The H-3 trainee visa permits foreign nationals from any country to come to the United States to participate in a bona fide training program with a U.S. employer.
However, the trainee my not come for a graduate program or medical training, and the training cannot be available in the trainee’s home country.

I Visa for Foreign Media, Press and Radio:
The I Visa category is for media representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign media. Although procedures for issuance of I Visas depend on the privileges the foreign nationals’ home country extends to representatives of the United States media, generally applicants must demonstrate that they are representatives of the foreign media, including members of the press, radio, film or print industries, whose activities are essential to the foreign media function. Examples: reporters, film crews, editors and persons in similar occupations, who are traveling to the U.S. to engage in their profession. The applicant must be engaging in qualifying activities for a media organization having its home office in a foreign country. To be eligible for an I visa, the activity must be essentially informational, and generally associated with the news gathering process, reporting on actual current events.
Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal I Visa holder for the duration of his/her stay in the United States require I Visas as well. They may not work without obtaining an appropriate work visa, but may study in the U.S. without a student (F-1) visa.

L Visa Intracompany transferees:
The L-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa which allows companies to relocate foreign qualified employees to its U.S. subsidiary or parent company. The qualified employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of the company for at least one year out of the last three years.

The L-1 visa is a good way for small or start-up companies to expand their business and services to the United States. This is advantageous to smaller companies because it allows for the transfer of a highly proficient manager or executive who has direct knowledge of operations, allowing the setup of a new branch in compliance with the goals and objectives of the company’s main office. L1 visas can also be used by multi-national companies. When a multi-national company is developing a new market in another country, it may become necessary to have some employees with specialized knowledge work in the newly established office.

O Visa for Alien of Extraordinary Ability:
O-1 Status is a non-immigrant status category for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts (including the television and motion picture industry), education, business, or athletics. This is an employment related status that allows qualified aliens to live and work in the United States. O-1 petitions may only be filed by a U.S. employer, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent on behalf of the beneficiary.

P Visa for Artists and Athletes:
The P classification applies to foreign-based athletes and entertainment groups.

  • The P-1 Visa is designated for internationally recognized entertainers, circus artists, and athletes who are coming to the United States temporarily to tour or perform at a specific competition or event. An athlete who wishes to remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time should apply for an O-1 visa.
  • The P-2 Visa is designated for artists or entertainers individually or as part of a group entering the United States temporarily as a part of a government recognized reciprocal exchange program, and for their support personnel. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: one in the U.S. and one abroad.
  • The P-3 Visa is designated for artists or entertainers coming temporarily to perform, teach, or coach, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique, and for their support personnel.
  • Spouses and children of a P-1, P-2 or P-3 Visa holder may obtain a P-4 Visa to enter the U.S. The P-4 Visa holder may attend school but in order to work, he or she must obtain a work visa.

R Visa for Religious Workers:
R1 visas are issued to temporary religious workers with non-immigrant intent. The intending worker must be sponsored by a non-profit religious organization that has been present for a minimum of two years within the United States. The petitioning organization and immigrant must demonstrate that the worker will participate in full-time (a minimum of 35 hours per week) work at the organization. R-1 visas grant permission to for up to 30 months; with a possible 30 month extension Spouses and children under 21 of R-1 religious workers are eligible for R-2 classification, but are not authorized to work. There are currently no annual quotas or caps for R-1 visas.

E visa for Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor:
E-1 and E-2 visas are available to citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation, or a bilateral investment treaty providing for nonimmigrant entries, with the United States. The E-1 (“Treaty Trader”) visa is specifically designed for alien business owners, business managers, and employees who are required to stay in the U.S. for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for the E-1 designation.

The E-2 (“Treaty Investors”) visa is available to an alien who is a citizen or national of a treaty country and who wishes to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.

Both E-1 and E-2 visa holders are initially allowed a maximum stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay can be filed. Notably, there is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E visa may be granted, as long as the alien maintains the intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated.

K Fiancée and Spouse Visa:
A K-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa benefiting fiancés and fiancées of US citizen petitioners. It allows the fiancé(e) of an American citizen to enter the United States for a 90-day period in order to marry the American citizen and apply for a change of status to Permanent Resident. Generally, the couple must have met in person within two years of filing the petition. Additionally, the fiancé/fiancée must also meet some of the requirements for an immigrant visa.

K-3 Spouse Visas, IR-1 and CR-1 Visas,
Spouses of U.S. citizens and the spouse’s children can also come to the United States on nonimmigrant visas (IR-1 and CR-1 Spouse Visas, formerly called K-3 Visas) in order to complete the immigration process in the United States. The U.S. citizen must first file an immigrant visa petition on the spouse’s behalf before filing a nonimmigrant IR-1 or CR-1 Visa petition.

U visa Victms of Crimes
The U nonimmigrant status is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.
A U visa grants the victim permission to live and work in the United States and may result in the dismissal of any case in immigration court filed against the immigrant. Family members included in the victim’s application are eligible to apply for a work permit.

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