What is a Work Visa?

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A work visa entitles a non-citizen to live and work in the United States.

Types of Work Visas

There are several different categories of work visas for those wishing to come to the United States to work.

H Visas

The H-1B visa is for workers with specialized knowledge and an educational level of at least a bachelor's degree. Workers in this category include doctors, lawyers, and teachers.

The H-1C visa is for nurses who are serving in understaffed areas, as determined by USCIS.

The H-2A visa is for temporary, agricultural workers and farm labor.

The H-2B visa is for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural workers.

The H-3 visa is for non-medical or academic (student) trainees.

The H-4 visa is for the spouses and dependents of H-1B visa holders. It does not authorize them to work.

L Visas

The L visa class is for intracompany transfers. The employee must have been employed for at least one year abroad and will be employed by the same or a subsidiary of the foreign company in the United States. This visa is for those employed in an executive or managerial position.

O Visas

The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary talent in the arts, sciences, education, athletics, or business; it also applies for those who have great achievements in the film or television industry.

The O-2 visa is for employees of O-1 visa holders and who are essential to their performance in the United States.

P Visas

P visas are granted to athletes, musicians, artists and entertainers.

The P-1 visa is for athletes. The P-2 visa is for artists and entertainers who will perform in the US as a part of a reciprocal exchange program such as Actors' Equity. The P-3 visa is for artists and entertainers who are performing in a culturally unique program, such as a particular religion or national entity. The P-4 visa is for the spouses and dependents of P visa holders.

Q Visas

The Q-1 visa is for participants in a cultural exchange program sharing the history, traditions, and culture of the foreign country.