Temporary Workers

There are a variety of visas available to U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign nationals temporarily in the United States. Several H non-immigrant visa categories used for this purpose include visas available for professional workers, temporary workers in shortage occupations, nurses, and trainees. The H status is designed principally to help employers meet an immediate and temporary need for labor.

H Visas for Temporary Workers

  • H-1B Specialist/Professional
    • Designed to help employers in the United States meet an immediate and temporary need for labor in specialty occupations.
    • A baccalaureate or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement.
    • The job must be in a "specialty occupation," and the non-citizen must be qualified in the occupation, either by a degree or its equivalent.
    • Jobs include: architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialities, accounting, law, theology, and the arts.
    • This category is numerically limited with an annual cap of 65,000.
  • H-1B1 for Non-Immigrant Professionals from Chile and Singapore
  • H-1C for Registered Nurses in shortage areas
    • Nurse must have a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where she obtained her nursing education or that she received her nursing education in the United States
  • H-2A for Temporary or Seasonal Agricultural Workers
    • Applies to agricultural labor and services
  • H-2B for Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
    • A viable option for many individuals seeking to work in the hospitality industry or companies looking to hire foreign nationals to work in a variety of hospitality occupations.
    • Examples include: cooks, servers, housekeepers, and front desk agents
  • H-3 for Trainees
    • Available for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily for training in an established company training program
    • Many multi-national employers may seek H-3 status for employees whom they wish to send to the United States for training and experience which the employee will use in his/her job upon completion of the training
  • H-4 for spouses and minor children accompanying a principal H worker or trainee
  • E-1 & E-2 Treaty Trader & Treaty Investor
    • E-1 "Treaty Traders" are persons engaging in substantial trade between the U.S. and their home country
    • E-2 "Treaty Investors" are persons coming to the U.S. to develop and direct enterprises in the U.S. in which they are investing a substantial amount of capital.
  • L-1 Intracompany Transferees
    Available for employees who have been employed by a multinational company abroad that seeks to open new business operations in the United States or transfer the employee to an existing business that is related to the company abroad

    • L-1A for Managers/Executives

    • L-1B for Employees with Specialized Company Knowledge

    • L-1 regulations also recognize a visa may be issued for opening a "new office"

  • O-1 Persons with "Extraordinary Ability" in the fields of science, art, education, business, or athletics
  • P visas for Internationally Recognized Athletes, Artists, or Members of Recognized Entertainment Groups

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