Temporary Visas

Temporary Work Visas

H-1B, H-1B1, H-2B

H-1B Visa for Professional Specialty Occupations

This visa is by far the most common type of temporary work visa in the U.S. A job qualifies for H-1B classification where it is in a “professional specialty occupation,” i.e., an occupation that normally requires a related bachelor’s degree or higher for entry-level employment. The foreign worker qualifies if he or she has the relevant educational credentials for the offered job. In some cases, the worker may qualify via an equivalent to the right degree through combined education, training and progressive work experience, as determined by a U.S. credentials evaluator. The U.S. employer must offer to pay, and must actually pay, the prevailing wage for the job in the area where the job is located. As a prerequisite to filing the H-1B petition with USCIS, the employer must first file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor to affirm the appropriate wage offer and working conditions. However, there is a numerical limit on how many H-1B visas can be granted in a fiscal year. When demand is high, as it has been in recent years, these visas may be unavailable for long periods of time. Family dependents may obtain H-4 visas, but spouses in H-4 status are generally ineligible to work.

H-1B1 Visas for Treaty Nationals of Chile & Singapore

These visas are similar to the H-1B in terms of the definition of a professional specialty occupation, the prevailing wage, posting & LCA requirements. Unlike the regular H-1B, it does not allow “dual intent” (you must have an intent to return to the home country), but no petition to USCIS is required, so the H-1B1 worker may take the certified LCA, employer’s letter and original diploma(s), and apply for the H-1B1 visa abroad at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The annual cap (numerical limit) of 6,800 for the H-1B1 has never been reached, so these treaty-based applications may be filed at any time year round, for an immediate start date. H-1B1 status is available in one-year increments, and is renewable. There is no “portability” between different H-1B1 jobs, nor from H-1B1 to H-1B.

H-2B Temporary Workers Visa

H-2B Temporary workers whose services are required for less than one year may fill a short-term need that makes the job intrinsically temporary. Types of employer needs that are covered by this visa include a one-time, seasonal, peak-load or intermittent need. A temporary application for labor certification must be filed with and approved by the Department of Labor before a petition can be filed by the H-2 employer for any temporary workers. The initial period of admission is less than one year (maximum of 364 days) and extensions may granted if an unforeseen aspect of need develops. The maximum stay allowed is three years, at which point no change of status to any other visa classification may be granted.

H-3 Trainee Visa

H-3 trainees may come to the U.S. in order to complete training that is not available in their home country, and not to staff positions ordinarily filled by U.S. workers. The company in the U.S. must file a petition with USCIS that includes a detailed outline of the training program, and the maximum period of stay allowed is two years. Change of status to another visa classification cannot be granted after the trainee has been in the U.S. for 18 months.

If you would like more information about temporary work visas, contact Karin Wolman today!