2023 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 non-immigrant 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:

Temporary Worker Visas Categories

H-1B Visa

H-1B Cap Season Coming in March

Timeline for employers to sponsor a foreign national for an H-1B visa to begin in early March. All registrations must be submitted electronically.

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. This petition must be filed by an employer and the beneficiary is authorized to work only for that employer.

It is important to note that there is an annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, plus an additional 20,000 for holders of Master’s Degrees from US institutions, so 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 initially accept employment.

H-2B Visa

This visa category allows for US employers to hire foreign workers for Nonagricultural services on a temporary, seasonal or intermittent basis. This visa requires certification by the Department of Labor and has an annual limitation on visas, which is generally quickly reached.

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.

TN Visa

TN visas have similar requirements to H-1Bs, but without the cap, so they can be filed at any time of the year.

They are available to Canadian and Mexican citizens as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The visa applicant must have a professional job, sponsored by an employer. The job title must be on the TN list and have the qualifications to practice the profession.

Canadian citizens can have their application adjudicated at the port of entry.

Mexicans must obtain a visa.

Canadians or Mexicans who are in the United States can apply for a Change of Status to TN.

This visa is a valuable alternative to the H-1B for Canadians and Mexicans because it is not subject to the cap.

E-3 Visa

For Australian nationals, similar to the H-1B, but no cap, so can apply at any time of the year.

Requires an employment offer in specialty occupation and labor condition from the employer.

Period of stay is two years, with employment allowed for spouse without further application.

_________________H-1BH-1B1TN VisaH-2BH-3
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional
– Chile, Singapore
Professional from Canada or MexicoTemporary Non-agricultural WorkerTrainee or Special Education visitor
PERIOD OF STAY3- 6 Yrs1 Year3 years1 – 3 Yrs18 Month-2Yrs
20,000 US Master’s Cap
6,800No Cap66,00050
DERIVATIVE FAMILYSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried children

Temporary Worker Visas Other

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.

This visa requires sponsorship by an employer or an agent.

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.

_________________O-1O-2P-1P-2 / P-3Q-1
WHO CAN APPLYIndividual with Extraordinary Ability or AchievementAccompany of an O-1 
Visa applicant to Assist
Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment GroupArtist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program
PERIOD OF STAYUp to 3 YrsUp to 3 Yrs1 to 5 Yrs1 YrUp to 15 Months
DERIVATIVE FAMILYSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenSpouse and under 21 yrs old unmarried childrenNone

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