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Explaining Temporary Work Visas (EB, H1-B, H2-B, I and L) : US Visas
Explaining Temporary Work Visas (EB, H1-B, H2-B, I and L)
There are several types of US temporary work visas, amongst them are the:
EB Visa, Extraordinary AbilityThe EB work visa is for foreign nationals who wish to work in the US and can show
1) extraordinary ability in science, art, education, business, or athletics,
2) outstanding ability in research or teaching (professors), or
3) exceptional knowledge and ability as a multinational executive or manager.
H-1B Visa, Specialty OccupationsThe H-1B allows individuals who are in a specialist field or hold a specialty occupation to come to the US and receive theoretical and practical application experience in order to complete a specific course of higher-education learning. H-1B also covers individuals who wish to come to the US to engage in government-to-government research and development or participate in projects administered by the Department of Defense.
H-2B Visa, Temporary Non-Agricultural LaborH-2B is a temporary labor visa which allows individuals to come to work in a non-agricultural field or position (temporary agricultural workers must apply for an H-2A). Application must be sponsored by a US employer and proof must be made as to why the position(s) cannot be filled by US workers.
I Visa, Foreign MediaThe I work visa is for representatives of foreign media traveling to the US on assignment. Media representatives are not allowed entry under the B-1 or Visa Waiver Programs. To determine whether the I visa is appropriate, you must consider your purpose for visiting. Any assignment which includes gathering and reporting information that is informative in content will, more than likely, be covered. This includes journalism efforts, reporting sports events, etc. Projects which involve contrived or staged events, such as reality television, quiz shows, documentaries with characterized roles, movies, etc. are not considered informational and therefore will require the appropriate employment-based visa.
The length of stay for an I class visa is determined by the administering US Consulate or Embassy, based upon the project or assignment. Extensions can be issued for 12-months at a time, with no limit on the number of extensions. Depending upon activity, an I visa holder may eventually become eligible to apply for a green card.
The I foreign media visa can be obtained directly from a US Embassy or Consulate. Unlike other work visas, the I visa does not require a filed petition.
L Visa, Intra-Company TransfersThe L class visa applies to intra-company transfers between a foreign country and its US affiliate, branch, subsidiary, or parent company. The individual transferring must have been employed by the company abroad for at least one year within the past three years and have specialized knowledge that cannot easily be filled by a US citizen. There are two types of employees who are eligible for L-1 application:
Most US work visas require a US-sponsoring business or employer to submit a petition to the USCIS describing amongst other things, intent, proof of need, and valid reasons why the role cannot be filled by a US citizen. The petition process is stringent and generally requires extensive supporting documentation. Therefore, it is important that you begin the process as early as possible.
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