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Which temporary employment visa is right for me?

Traveling to another country for work can be a huge commitment. You may be preparing to tackle culture clash, different time zones from loved ones and adjusting to an unfamiliar location. In addition, you will have to navigate the complexities of obtaining a work visa.

There are many different types of visas for employment in the US. The Department of State website lists which category of workers belongs to each visa. The kind that you need to apply for will depend on the type of work you will be doing as well as your education and skill level.

Common employment visas include:

  • H-2A for short-term agriculture
  • H-2B for short-term work that is not agriculture (and does not fit any other category)
  • L for employees of an international company who are transferring to a US branch

There are also several special employment visas, such as:

  • P1, P2 and P3 for traveling athletes, entertainers, artists, and support staff members
  • O for individuals known as a prominent expert in their field on a large-scale basis
  • H-1B and H-1B1 for professionals in specialized fields who have the relevant education, degree or background

The type of visa you receive will determine several factors about your entry and stay with the US. First, your future employer may need to apply for a labor certification so that they can hire foreign workers. Secondly, legal labor protections are different from one to the next. During your application interview, you should receive information about the laws that apply to your employment.

It’s not always clear which category of work visa fits your situation. A knowledgeable immigration law attorney can help you figure out the employment visa application process, from the type of visa to your legal rights while employed in the US.

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