Work Visa Overview

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A temporary worker visa is a nonimmigrant visa for individuals who wish to work temporarily in the United States.  There are several categories ("classifications") of temporary worker visas.  Some of these classifications have annual limits. The applicant’s qualifications, type of work to be performed, and other factors determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law.   

Below is a summary of these visas.  For more information on any of them, click on the visa title or on the menu to the left.

Note that the “A” Visa, G Visa, and NATO Visa are similar diplomatic visas.  The “A” Visa applies to diplomats and foreign government officials, and their assistants; the G Visa applies to national representatives to international organizations; the NATO Visa applies to NATO representatives, staff, and families.  Anyone in the diplomatic field may wish to review the descriptions for all three of these visas.

A Visa—diplomats, foreign government officials, and their assistants

C Visa (Transit Visa)—individuals whose travel takes them through the U.S., without actually entering the U.S. 

D Visa (Crewman Visa)—individuals serving on board a vessel or aircraft

E Visa—treaty traders, treaty investors, and certain “specialty occupation" professionals from Australia

G Visa—national representatives to international organizations, like the United Nations

H-1B Visa—individuals with bachelor's or higher degrees in the specific specialty to work in "specialty occupations"

H-2A Visa—temporary agricultural workers for jobs for which qualified U.S. workers are unavailable 

H-2B Visa—temporary nonagricultural workers for jobs for which qualified U.S. workers are unavailable

H-3 Visa—individuals seeking non-medical education and non-graduate training not available in their country and individuals participating in a special education exchange program

I Visa (Journalists/Media Visa)—representatives of the foreign media traveling to the U.S. for their profession

J Visa (Exchange Visitors)—participants in exchange visitor programs in the U.S. through a designated sponsoring organization

L-1 Visa (Intra-Company Transferee Visa)—employees whose multi-national company employers seek their services in the U.S.

NATO Visa—certain representatives and staff of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries

O Visa—individuals with extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics, and their assistants

P Visa—internationally recognized and culturally unique entertainers and athletes

Q-1 Visa—participants in U.S. government-approved international cultural exchange programs

R-1 Visa—ministers and religious workers

TN Visa—Canadian and Mexican nationals with the necessary North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional qualification credentials