Temporary Worker Visa Categories

This week I’m keeping with alternative options to getting a green card. The temporary worker visas offer such an option. This is for persons who intend to come to the United States to work for a fixed period of time. The employer must file the petition with the USCIS to start this process. If the petition is approved then consular processing at the embassy will follow. The list of visa categories are listed at the Department of State website, and has also been provided below.

Step 1: The Employer should file the Petition based on the qualifying category

For most of the worker visa, the employer must first file the petition I-129 with the USCIS. The employer will provide information in the form based on the temporary worker visa category.

Visa category General description – About an individual in this category:
H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation Available to:

  • an individual with a higher education degree or its equivalent.
  • fashion models of distinguished merit and ability
  • 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 Available to citizens of Chile and Singapore who:

  • have a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. The Department of State has noted that this is not the usual petition process. The procedure must go directly to the U.S. Embassy in Chile and the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.)
H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker This is temporary or seasonal agricultural work that is available to:

citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest. Effective Jan. 19, 2019, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A program:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Latvia
  • Lichtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Nauru
  • The Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan*
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Turkey
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
H-2B: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker This is temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work that is available to:

citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest. Effective Jan. 19, 2019, nationals from the following countries are eligible to participate in the H-2B program:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Latvia
  • Lichtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Nauru
  • The Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan*
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Turkey
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
H-3: Trainee or Special Education visitor Available to individuals who will be 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 Available to individuals who will be working 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 Available to individuals 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 Available to individuals who will be performing 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) Available to individuals who will be performing 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) Available to individuals who will 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 Available to individuals who will be doing 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.

Step 2: Labor Certification

The employer may need to submit the labor certification at the same time they are filing the I-129 petition. Whether or not labor certification is required depends on the visa category.

Step 3: Petition Decision

The USCIS will make a decision on the petition based on all the evidence provided. Then the USCIS will send your prospective employer a Notice of Action, Form I-797

Step 4: Apply for the Nonimmigrant Worker Visa after Approval

After approval of the I-129 Petition, you as the employee can apply to the applicable U.S. embassy to obtain the visa to travel to the United States.

NOTE: As always this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular circumstances.

 

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