A temporary worker is an individual seeking to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrants enter the United States for a temporary period of time, and once in the United States, are restricted to the activity or reason for which their nonimmigrant visa was issued. In order for you to come to the United States lawfully as a nonimmigrant to work temporarily in the United States, your prospective employer must file a nonimmigrant petition on your behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
An H-1B nonimmigrant visa is a temporary visa for professional workers in specialty occupations that normally require a bachelor's degree or equivalent as a minimum requirement. A “specialty occupation” is defined as “an occupation that requires (a) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and (b) attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.” The maximum period of stay allowed in H-1B status is 6 years.
An L-1A visa is a temporary visa that allows foreign companies to transfer executives and managers temporarily to affiliates or subsidiaries in the United States. The initial validity period of the L-1A visa is not to exceed three years. Extensions of stay may be authorized two years at a time. The maximum period of stay allowed in L-1A status is 7 years.
An L-1B visa is a temporary visa that allows foreign companies to transfer workers possessing specialized knowledge temporarily to affiliates or subsidiaries in the United States. The initial validity period of the L-1B visa is not to exceed three years. Extensions of stay may be authorized two years at a time. The maximum period of stay allowed in L-1B status is 5 years.
A TN Visa is available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who have an offer of temporary employment in the U.S. for a position that is on the list that was negotiated as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Detailed information about the TN Visa can be found on the U.S. Department of State website. There is no maximum period of stay for TN nonimmigrants.
The O-1 visa is a temporary employment visa available for aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, education or business. O visas are granted for the duration of an “event” (i.e. a grant, project, tour, etc.) and for an initial period of no longer than three years. Extensions for the O visa are unlimited, usually granted in increments of 1 year at a time.
Individuals with Extraordinary Ability
Investors and Traders
The E-2 Treaty Investor visa exists for citizens of countries that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. In order to qualify for an E-2 visa the applicant must be coming to the U.S. to oversee the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested.
The E-1 Treaty Trader visa exists for citizens of countries that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. In order to qualify for an E-1 visa the applicant must be coming to the U.S. to conduct trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.