Broadly speaking there are 3 ways of entering the U.S. for a foreign citizen.

They are:

  • acquiring a nonimmigrant visa (tourist, business etc.)
  • obtaining an immigrant visa for permanent residence (dependents of LPR)
  • using temporary work visas which are issued against the petitions applied by potential employers who want to employ you under them and getting them approved by USCIS or given to special categories (TN, E-3, etc.)
  • by other special category visas like E-1/E-2 etc.

We will discuss here mainly about the Temporary work visas. Majority of them come under the employer sponsored temporary work visas under category H, L, O, P and Q visas and rest minority comes under special categories like TN, J, E-3, R, OPT, I, etc.

Under “H” category comes the following visas:
H-1B (for specialty occupations for professional or other graduates for work in that specialty alone), H-1B1 (for specialty occupation for citizens of Chile and Singapore), H-2A (seasonal agricultural laborers to fill temporary agricultural jobs for which U.S. workers are not available), H-2B ( for skilled and unskilled workers to perform a job which is seasonal or temporary and for which there is shortage of U.S. workers), H-3 (for trainees or apprentice in specified fields to get work training and also get paid for the same), H-4 ( dependents of a “H” category visa to accompany him/her to U.S. but they are not allowed to work in the U.S.).“L” category is for intra-company transfer of employees of multi-national company who are being transferred temporarily to the U.S.A. Types- L1A (Executive, managerial), L1B (Specialized knowledge) and L2 (Spouse or child of L1);

“O” category visas like O-1 are for people with extraordinary abilities and skills like eminent personalities in arts; specialists in education, business etc. And athletes, essential TV/motion picture personnel and extraordinary achievers in that field etc.;

“P” category visas are for artists (actors, singers, etc.), athletes, showmen and other entertainers coming to perform in U.S.;

“Q” category is for people related to international cultural exchange programs;

All these category visas need prior approval of a petition (Form I-129) by employer or other party who will act as the sponsor of the person in the U.S. Then only he/she is eligible to apply in U.S. consulate or embassy in Form I-797.

Other temporary work related visas are TN (for Canadians and Mexicans), OPT (for special category international students), I (foreign media personnel), J1&2 (for exchange visitors and their dependents), E-3 (for Australians in some specialty occupations), R (religious workers) etc.

We at Gavlin & Associates, P.C., New York are highly qualified in the field of preparing work visa applications and petitions for the same. We guide and assist our clients effectively by giving step by step instructions and assistance in the whole process of visa application. We also help to find potential employers for you.