Employment Based Visas

The employment based visa is generally for any foreign-citizen who wishes to enter the United States for a temporary fixed amount of time with a nonimmigrant status.

The employer who wishes for the foreign-citizen to work for them would need to file a petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on the foreign-citizen employee’s behalf. U.S. companies may consider the following visa categories when considering to hire a foreign employee, in order to work out the best possible match with the visa applicant’s education and background:

H-1B Visa

This work visa category is the “Specialty Occupation” category for which a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in a special field is required. Examples include teacher, engineers and scientists, including pharmacists.

It is important to note that only 65,000 H-1B visas are available each year, and that thousands of qualified applicants are rejected each year simply because of the limitation in the number of available visas.

Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 may accompany these visa holders under H-4 Visa category, but may not accept employment.

H-1B1 Visa

This category was created as part of the Free Trade Agreements signed with Chile and Singapore in 2003, which makes 6,800 visas available to citizens of these countries each fiscal year. This is an excellent alternative to H-1B for citizens of Chile and Singapore.

H-2A Visa

This visa category allows for agricultural employers to bring foreign workers to the U.S. who perform in the field of Agriculture for a temporary amount of time or seasonal in nature.

There are several immigration requirements for the employer in regard to this visa, and careful evaluation is warranted.

H-2B Visa

This visa category allows for US employers to hire foreign workers for Nonagricultural services on a temporary, seasonal or intermittent basis.

H-3 Visa

This visa is for “on-the-job” training purposes where the training is meant to further the individual’s career in their home country. US Immigration has very strict qualifications for this visa, and the training program must not be available in the foreign worker’s (Trainee) home country.

The US Company and the Trainee’s qualifications must be evaluated very carefully in order to maximize chances of a successful visa.

O Visa

This visa is used for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in the field of science, art, education, business, or athletics.

Also qualified are individuals with achievements in the field of motion picture and television fields. There is no annual visa limits with O-Visa, and some O-1 Visa holders may be able to pursue a U.S. Green Card without the need for Labor Certification.

Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 of O-visa holders may qualify for O-3 Visas but they may not accept employment under O-3 designation. O-Visa is a complex but very useful visa and may sometimes be used for H-1B Visa holders who are exhausting their 6-year term limit, or when the H-1B annual cap has been reached.

P-1 Visa

individuals that is a member of an athletic team or entertainment group. In order to qualify for this visa, the member and/or group needs to be recognized internationally for their performance.

P-2 Visa

individual who is an artist or entertainer to perform going under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in the foreign country.

P-3 Visa

individual who is an artist or entertainer that can perform, teach and/or coach under a program based on culture or traditional ethnic, folk, musical, theater, or artistic performance/presentation.

Q-1 Visa

Individuals who wish to partake in an International Culture Exchange Program. This particular visa category is for training and employment, which allows the individual to share history, culture, and traditions of their home country.