Obtaining a temporary worker visa

The U.S. offers temporary visas for those looking to work in the country for a short period of time. All sorts of categories are available to foreign workers, including artist, researcher, cultural exchange participant, information technology specialist, religious worker, investor, scientist, athlete, nurse, agriculture and more. Those hoping to find employment in the U.S. must obtain legal permission by filing a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form.

Worker categories
If you want to apply to work in the U.S. without moving toward citizenship, you must file for a visa under the correct category. Here are the categories for individuals staying temporarily:

Temporary (nonimmigrant) working: You fit this category if you seek to enter the country for a specific purpose for a short period of time. You will be restricted to the activity for which you applied for a visa. All workers under this category will file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129).

Students and exchange visitors: Students and exchange visitors are entering the country specifically to continue their program of study. If you want to go to college in the U.S., you must apply at a school approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Once accepted into the school, you must fill out  an online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160.

Temporary visitors for business: If your company would like to send you to the U.S. for an important merger or other business purpose, this is the category you fall under. You will need to apply for a B-1 visa.

Once you’ve applied in your proper category, and the application has been approved, you must schedule an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate where you live. Hold on to the receipt number that is printed on your approved Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, or Notice of Action, Form I-797, as you will need it to schedule an interview.

You will need to provide a passport valid for travel to the U. S., your application confirmation page, the application fee payment receipt, a photo and your receipt number.

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