Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Temporary worker visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition is required to apply for a work visa.
Important Notice for same-sex marriage: Effective immediately, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses. Please reference the specific guidance on the visa category for which you are applying for more details on documentation required for derivative spouses.
H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation
To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.
H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional – Chile, Singapore
To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. (Note: This is not a petition-based visa. For application procedures, please refer to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Chile or the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.)
H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker
For temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
H-2B: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker
For temporary or seasonal non- agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
H-3: Trainee or Special Education Visitor
To receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
L: Intracompany Transferee
To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. Individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the three preceding years.
O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
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, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group
To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)
For performance under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-3: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)
To perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program
For practical training and employment and for sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of your home country through participation in an international cultural exchange program.