Passport & Consular Services

What is the American Work Visa?

The American work visa refers to the various visa categories that allow foreign nationals to work in the United States. The specific work visa category you would apply for depends on factors such as your occupation, the purpose of your visit, and the duration of your intended stay. Here are some commonly sought-after work visa categories in the United States:

H-1B Visa: The H-1B visa is for skilled workers in specialty occupations. It requires a job offer from a U.S. employer and typically requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific field. The H-1B visa is initially granted for up to three years and can be extended up to a maximum of six years.

L-1 Visa: The L-1 visa is for intracompany transferees. It allows multinational companies to transfer employees from their foreign offices to their U.S. offices. The L-1 visa has two subcategories: L-1A for managers and executives, and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge. The initial duration of an L-1 visa is up to three years for a new office and up to five years for an established office.

O Visa: The O visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or those with extraordinary achievements in the motion picture or television industry. It requires demonstrating sustained national or international acclaim and a job offer or contract in the United States. The initial duration of an O visa is up to three years, and extensions are available in one-year increments.

TN Visa: The TN visa is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It is for professionals in specific occupations listed in the agreement, such as engineers, scientists, teachers, and computer systems analysts. The TN visa is typically granted for up to three years and can be renewed indefinitely in three-year increments.

E Visa: The E visa category includes the E-1 Treaty Trader visa for individuals engaged in substantial international trade between their home country and the United States, and the E-2 Treaty Investor visa for individuals who invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. The initial duration of an E visa varies based on the specific treaty agreement and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the qualifying criteria are met.

These are just a few examples of work visa categories in the United States. Each visa category has its own eligibility requirements, application process, and limitations. It’s important to thoroughly research and understand the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or consult with an immigration attorney to determine the most appropriate work visa category for your situation.

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