Getting a Temporary Work Visa for the USA

In the United States, there are several types of visas that allow foreigners to legally enter the country, and remain for an extended, but still temporary, period of time, for the purpose of working in the private sector.

These are known as Temporary Work Visas. If you wish to work in the U.S. legally, you need a specific visa that applies to the purpose of your visit to the U.S., and the line of work that you're in.

LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor, , Attorney at Law

The H-1B Temporary Visa

The most common types of employment-based visas in the U.S. are the H-1B visa and the H-2A visa. The H-1B visa is for workers who are in specialty occupations which require the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge and education. So, any job which requires an extraordinary amount of education and/or training probably qualifies for an H-1B visa. Read more


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The H-2A Temporary Visa

The H-2A visa, on the other hand, is for seasonal agricultural workers. The H-2B visa is for temporary seasonal workers who are in non-agricultural fields.

Getting a temporary work visa can be quite a process. First of all, you must have an employer who's willing to sponsor you, and fill out the appropriate paperwork in the U.S. They have to file a petition on your behalf, in which they certify to the U.S. authorities that you are the most qualified person who is willing to do the job, and that hiring you will therefore not displace an equally-qualified American worker.

Employers, needless to say, should have retained a immigration attorney well before beginning this process. Obtaining an employment-based visa requires significant cooperation and effort on the part of the would-be employer. You should check the website of the relevant immigration authorities to determine how many employment visas are being issued this year, and when applications are accepted. Every year, the U.S. government receives far more petitions for employment-based visas than the number of such visas it makes available. Usually, all of the year's available employment visas are issued within 24 hours of opening to applications.

For that reason, you should have all of the documents necessary for applying for an employment-based visa ready well before the first day applications are being accepted for that year. This goes for both employees and their sponsoring employers.

An attorney who specializes in immigration can help you on this front, ensuring that all of the necessary documents are filled out perfectly before they are filed.

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