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.
|Visa category||General Description – About an individual in this category:|
|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.|
For more details on these Visas, visit Travel.State.gov.
Be sure to view local information below to determine fees and payment process and additional requirements.
After USCIS approves the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), you may apply for a visa.
Complete the Online Visa Application
You should have the following documents available while you complete your DS-160:
Some applicants will need to have additional information and documents handy while completing the DS-160:
Review the instructions on how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy, consulate, or office providing consular services where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified.
All visa applicants, except H-1B and L, will generally need to show proof of compelling ties to your home country to demonstrate your intent to return after your temporary stay in the United States. Examples of compelling ties include:
After you complete the DS-160, gather the required documentation
For more information on the DS-160 please visit the Travel.State.gov FAQ page.
Each Applicant must pay a non-refundable processing (MRV) fee of US$190.00.
For some nationalities and visa types, an additional issuance fee may be required. Detailed information is available on your country of nationality’s Reciprocity Table on travel.state.gov. These additional fees will be paid at the time of your interview.
Schedule an interview online (using the barcode of your Form DS-160) and print the appointment confirmation. Because of space limitations in our public waiting area, only the person with an appointment for an interview will be admitted. Exceptions: Parents or guardians of a minor child who has an appointment, a caregiver for a disabled person, and young children accompanying the person with an appointment will be allowed to enter the waiting area.
Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required (some exceptions for renewals) to book one interview slot each and appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. While an interview is generally not required for children aged 13 and younger or for adults aged 80 and older, please keep in mind that a consular officer can require any applicant to appear for an interview. When submitting an application for a non-present child, the person present at the interview should bring the child’s birth certificate or family book as a supporting document.
Please read the information in this section carefully. It contains location-specific information that you will need to know when applying for your Visa.
Select the country or area where you will apply for your visa:
You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.
Some visa applications may require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.