Work in the U.S on temporary visa as a nonimmigrant, under U.S immigration law, you need a specific visa based on the type of work you perform during your stay in U.S The temporary worker categories require that the applicant's prospective employer or agent need to file a petition which must be approved by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before you can apply for a visa.

Type of Temporary worker visa

  • Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics (O visas)
  • International cultural exchange visitors (Q visas)
  • Intra-company transferees (L visas)
  • Nurses coming to health professional shortage areas (H1-C)
  • Performing athletes, artists, entertainers (P visas)
  • Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge (H-1B)
  • Temporary agricultural workers (H-2A)
  • Temporary workers performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature (H-2B)
  • Training in a program not primarily for employment (H-3)
  • Crewmembers (D visa)
  • Foreign Media, Press, and Radio (I visa)
  • Religious Workers (R visa)
  • Treaty Traders & Treaty Investors (E visa)

H-1B (Specialty occupation visa)

H-1B Visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations for three years, extendable to six years.

It allows U.S employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.

To qualify for H1B Visa, the foreign professional must hold a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university in the specialty occupation. If the foreign professional holds a foreign degree, then that degree must be determined to be the educational equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree.

For example, if a foreign professional has a three year associate degree, he or she must at least have 3 year of relevant post-graduate experience to be qualified for H1B Visa.

Below is a list of all the 'Speciality Jobs / Occupations' that qualify for the H-1B Visa program


An H-2A visa allows a foreign national entry into the U.S for temporary or seasonal agricultural work. There are several requirements of the employer in regards to this visa. The H-2A temporary agricultural program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.


Short Term 'Seasonal Jobs' Work Visa / Permit.

Period of Stay: initial stay of no more than 1 year, could be extended in increments of 1 year. The maximum period of stay is 3 years.

The H-2B visa nonimmigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the U.S and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent basis.

Types of H2B Visa Jobs / H2B Work includes

Hospitality workers, Hotels / Motels, Chefs, Resorts and Theme Parks, Ticket Sales, Cruise ships, Construction workers, Maintenance, Janitorial, Ski Resorts, Landscaping, Golf Courses, Water parks, Security, Ride Operators, Restaurants and bars, Warehouse, Retail Stores.

H-3 (Trainee / Participant of Special Education Exchange Visitor Program)

This category is applicable to those candidates who seek admission to U.S at the invitation of an organization or individual for the purpose of receiving training in any field of endeavor, such as agriculture, commerce, communications, finance, government, transportation, or the professions, as well as training in a purely industrial establishment or as a participant in a special education exchange visitor program which offers practical training and experience to children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.


D visa is non-immigrant temporary worker visa for crewmember serving on board a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States. Crewman may obtain an individual visa, or may be included in a crew list visa.

Crew members may include Pilots, Captains, Stewards, Technicians, Musicians and on-board entertainers, Chefs and cooks, Seamen, Flight attendants, Scientists, Electricians, Waiters, and Lifeguards.

I Visa, Representatives of Foreign Media

I visa is non-immigrant visa is for representatives of the foreign media temporarily traveling to U.S., to engage in their profession while having their home office in a foreign country.

To qualify for I visa, the foreign workers must represent a foreign information media outlet (press, radio, film, or other foreign information media) , must engage solely in the profession, and must have a home office in a foreign country.

L1 Visa, Intra-company Transferee Visa

L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad to transfer certain classes of employee from its foreign operations to the US operations for up to seven years. The international company must have offices in both home country and the United States, or intend to open a new office in the United States while maintaining office in their home country.

Before applying for a visa at a U.S. Embassy abroad, USCIS must approve a Form I-129 petition, filed by the U.S. employer. Labor Certification is not required.

Period of Stay: initial stay of three years, request extension of 2 year, up to seven years.

Employer Qualification

1. Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations).
2. Currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary's stay in the United States as an L-1.
3. Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.
4. While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.

Employee Qualification

1. Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States;
2. Be seeking to enter the United States to render services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

Labor Certification Program:

Overview: Foreign labor certification programs permit U.S. employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary or permanent basis to fill jobs essential to the U.S. economy. Certification may be obtained in cases where it can be demonstrated that there are insufficient qualified U.S. workers available and willing to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for that occupation in the area of intended employment.

Following visa program requires Dept. of Labor to issue permanent or temporary labor certifications:

Application Process:

Hiring foreign workers for employment in the U.S. normally requires approval from several government agencies.

DOL typically certifies more than 3 times the number of foreign work requests than the number of H-1B visas issued by USCIS. So there is no one to one relationship between the number of workers certified by the DOL and the number of H1B work visas issued by the USCIS.

F1 Student Work Authorization

F1 students are generally not permitted to work in the U.S, except for on-campus employment of 20 hours a week or less. However, they can get off-campus work authorization from USCIS using CPT(Curricular Practical Training), OPT Optional Practical Training or unforeseen severe economic hardship.

An April 2008 interim order allows students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) majors to legally work under OPT for 29 months.

I-20 and F1 Visa, M1 Visa

In the United States, the F visas and M visas are a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education (academic studies and/or language training programs) in the United States.

Form I-20 is a document issued by SEVIS authorized colleges, universities, and vocational schools that provides supporting information for the issuance of a student visa or change of status (F, J and M non-immigrant statuses).


SEVP(Student and Exchange Visitor Program) uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.

SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.