Temporary Worker Visas Overview

In most circumstances, a citizen of a foreign country who intends to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either what’s called a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence in the U.S.


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What is a temporary worker?

A temporary worker is a person who wants to enter the United States for employment that lasts for a fixed amount of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each of these temporary worker visas require the prospective employer to first file a petition with USCIS. An approved petition is required in order to apply for a work visa abroad.


What are the categories of temporary worker visas?



USCIS Labor Certification


What is a labor certification and is it required for my U.S. work visa?

Some temporary worker visas will require that the prospective employer obtain a labor certification or other approval from the Department of Labor, on your behalf, prior to filing a petition for nonimmigrant worker on Form I-129. The employer should contact one of our experienced immigration attorneys in Los Angeles in order to determine whether a labor certification is required for you.


When will my nonimmigrant worker petition be approved?

In certain temporary worker categories, there is a limit in total number of petitions which can be approved on an annual basis. If an applicant is applying at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate abroad, a Form I-129 must be filed with and approved by USCIS from the prospective employer before trying to apply for a visa. For information on numerical limits and the process to obtain a worker visa, please contact our attorney now for a FREE consultation.


How do I apply for a temporary worker visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

Once USCIS approves the original Form I-129 petition for a nonimmigrant worker, you may apply for a visa abroad. The process may vary at each U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. You may review these procedures online at the designated U.S. Embassy or Consulate website or contact our Los Angeles immigration attorney for assistance.


  • 1. Complete the online visa application
  1. Online nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-160
  2. Submit a digital photo online with the DS-160 application
  • 2. Schedule an interview

The applicant is required to schedule an interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season and type of visa, so it is encouraged to apply early.

  • 3. Prepare for Interview

You must pay the non-refundable visa application fee. The application fee is $190.

  • 4. Gather required documentation
  1. Passport
  2. Nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
  3. Application fee payment receipt
  4. Photo (uploaded online with application)
  5. Receipt Number from approved USCIS petition


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If you have additional questions that have not been answered above, please contact one of our experienced work immigration lawyers now for a free consultation and answers to your questions.

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