If you are planning on working in the U.S. either temporarily or permanently as a nonimmigrant, under U.S. immigration law, you need a specific visa based on the type of work you will be doing. Most temporary worker categories require that your prospective employer or agent file a petition, which must be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States before you can apply for a work visa.
The Embassy or Consulate may process your visa application which is usually referred to as H, L, O, P, Q, or R . It takes up to 90 days prior to the beginning of employment status as noted on your I-797. However, when making your travel plans, please note that due to Federal regulations, you can only use the visa to apply for entry to the United States starting ten days prior to the beginning of the approved status period noted on your I-797.
If you apply for an H, L, O, P, Q, or R visa, you must submit the following:
A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 webpage for more information about the DS-160.
A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
One (1) 2″x2″ (5cmx5cm) photograph. This page has information about the required photo format.
A receipt showing payment of your US$190 non-refundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, paid in local currency. If a visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality.
If you are an L-1 applicant on a blanket petition, you must pay a fraud prevention and detection fee.
The receipt number printed on your approved I-129 petition. Paper copies of the I-797 are not required at the interview.
Supporting Documents you must posses
In addition to these items, you must present an interview appointment letter confirming that you booked an appointment through this service. You may also bring whatever supporting documents you believe support the information provided to the consular officer.
Caution: Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility. If confidentiality is a concern, you should bring your documents to the Embassy or Consulate in a sealed envelope. The Embassy/Consulate will not make your information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of your information.
Consular officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors during adjudication. Consular officers may look at your specific intentions, family situation, and your long-range plans and prospects within your country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.
If you are a first time visa applicant, you may save time by bringing the following documents to your interview:
Evidence that establishes your job qualifications, including any university diplomas.
Original letters from current and previous employers detailing your position and projects you worked on and how long you worked with your employers.
If you are currently working and holding an H-1B visa, please submit your pay slips for the current calendar year and your Federal tax returns (IRS Form 1040 and W-2) for all the years in which you have been employed in the United States.
Do you have any Dependents?
Your dependents should bring all required documents for any nonimmigrant visa, plus:
an original marriage (for your spouse) and/or birth certificate (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable a letter from your spouse’s employer confirming his/her continued employment if your spouse is currently working in the United States on an H1-B visa, his/her pay slips for the current calendar year and federal tax returns (IRS Form 1040 and W-2s) for all the years in which he/she has been employed in the United States on the H-1B visa.