The H-1B for professional specialty occupations is by far the most common type of temporary work visa in the U.S.
A job qualifies for H-1b classification where it requires a related bachelorís degree or higher for entry-level employment, and the foreign worker qualifies if he or she has the relevant educational credentials for the offered job. In some cases, the worker may qualify via an equivalent to the right degree through combined education, training and progressive work experience, as determined by a U.S. credentials evaluator.
The employer must offer to pay the prevailing wage for the job in the area where the job is located, and must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor to affirm the appropriate wage offer and working conditions.
However, there is a numerical limit on how many H-1B visas can be granted in a fiscal year. When demand is high, as it has been in recent years, these visas may be unavailable for long periods of time.
Family dependents may obtain H-4 visas, but spouses in H-4 status are ineligible to work.
H-2B temporary workers whose services are required for less than one year may fill a short-term need that makes the job intrinsically temporary. Types of employer needs that are covered by this visa include a one-time, seasonal, peak-load or intermittent need.
A temporary application for labor certification must be filed with and approved by the Department of Labor before a petition can be filed by the H-2 employer for any temporary workers. The initial period of admission is less than one year (maximum of 364 days) and extensions may be granted if an unforeseen aspect of need develops.
The maximum stay allowed is three years, at which point no change of status to any other visa classification may be granted.
H-3 trainee visa:
The H-3 trainee visa allows individuals to come to the U.S. to receive instruction and training from a United States company that would otherwise be unavailable to them in their home country. The H-3 visa is also suitable for those persons looking to participate in a special education training program for the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities in the United States, valid for up to 18 months.
To be eligible for an H-3 visa, the applicant must show that:
He or she will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and in which citizens and resident workers are regularly employed
He or she will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training
The training will benefit the applicant in pursuing a career outside the United States
He or she will not be receiving graduate medical education or training in the United States
Although H-3 visa holders may work, the employment must be incidental to training and only with the petitioner through whom the status was obtained.
H-3 Trainee Visa holders may also bring their dependent spouse as well as any dependent children under 21 with them to the United States on an H-4 visa.
The H-3 trainee visa is valid for a maximum period of up to two years and there are no extensions allowed.
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