Types of Temporary Work Visas
Susan E. Lane

Susan E. Lane

Types of Temporary Work Visas

Temporary work visas are a popular way for people to come to the U.S. for seasonal or periodic employment, and there are several types available. If you’re interested in coming to the U.S. for work or business purposes, here’s what you need to know.

Types of Temporary Work Visas: Business and Working Categories

There are several types of temporary work visas that may apply in your situation. You must have a prospective employer file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on your behalf, and the petition must be approved, before you can apply for a work visa. However, there are two main exceptions: the B-1 visa and through the WB Temporary Business Visitors program.

Related: Investor visas to come to the U.S.

Temporary Work Visas

Each type of visa listed in the table below requires employer sponsorship. That means an employer must sponsor you to fill a specific position before you can apply for the work visa you’ll need to come to the United States.

Visa Category Purpose of the Visa

H-1B Visa

These temporary work visas are reserved for people working in specialty occupations. Generally, these occupations require a college degree or its equivalent. However, these visas are also available to fashion models of distinguished merit and ability, people involved in government-to-government research and development, and those involved in co-production projects administered by the U.S. Department of Defense.

H-2A Visa

These visas are for temporary or seasonal agricultural work. They’re limited to people from designated countries unless the U.S. government decides it’s in the U.S.’s best interest.

H-2B Visa

These types of temporary work visas are for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work. Like H-2A visas, they’re limited to people from designated countries with very few exceptions.

H-3 Visa

These visas are for people who need to receive training (other than graduate medical or academic) that isn’t available in their home countries, or practical training programs in education for children with mental, physical or emotional disabilities.

L Visa

These visas are available to people who are going to work at a branch, parent, affiliate or subsidiary of their current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a job position that requires specialized knowledge.

O Visa

These temporary visas are reserved for people of extraordinary ability or achievement in science, art, education, business, athletics or recognized achievements in movies and television. People providing essential services in support of the person applying for the O visa also qualify.

P-2 Visa

These visas are available to people who are coming to the U.S. for performance under a reciprocal exchange program, as well as the people who provide them with essential services.

P-3 Visa

These temporary work visas are for people who are coming to the U.S. to perform, teach or coach under a program that’s considered “culturally unique” or a traditional ethnic, cultural, folk, musical, theatrical or artistic performance or presentation, as well as those who provide the visa holder with essential services.

Q Visa

These visas are for people who come to the U.S. for practical training and employment, as well as for sharing history, culture and traditions of their home country through participation in an international cultural exchange program.

Related: Permanent worker visas in the U.S.

B-1 Visas B-1 Temporary Work Visas

B-1 visas are available to people who will be participating in business activities in the U.S., such as consulting with business associates, attending conventions or conferences, settling estates or participating in short-term training.

WB Temporary Business Visitors

WB temporary business visitors can come to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program if they’re from one of 35 participating countries. (A list of those countries is located here.)

Do You Need to Discuss Temporary Work Visas With an Attorney?

Whether you’re an employer looking for foreign workers or you’re a worker who needs to apply for a temporary work visa, we may be able to help you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

 

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