Employment-Based Visa Classification – Temporary Employment on a Non-Immigrant Visa

In the US, there are several paths available for foreigners to work either temporarily or permanently. U.S. employers are permitted to hire and petition for foreign workers for temporary employment according to the terms of the specific non-immigrant visa. The job offered is valid only for a limited time and the worker can only work for the employer who petitioned for them. These employees have to leave the country when their visa status expires. An immigration lawyer can help these employees by consulting and assisting in resolving issues related to an employment-based visa. Here we’ve listed the features of temporary employment-based visa classification.

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is available for professionals under the ''specialty occupations'' category, and the initial visa has a three-year validity, which could be extended up to a maximum of six years. In this case, the employer must certify that the employment of the worker will not have an adverse effect on the working conditions and wages of U.S. workers employed in similar positions. The worker can bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age. The spouse is currently allowed to work during their stay in the US. Finalizing the H-4 employment eligibility was an important element of the immigration executive actions of President Obama announced in November 2014. Extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants is one of several initiatives underway to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs. Nevertheless, the current Trump Administration proposed to cancel H-4 employment authorization. The DHS, which has already delayed issuing the necessary notification three times this year, said it was on its way to remove H-4 dependent spouses from getting work authorization.


H-2A visa is available to agricultural workers from specific countries to perform a job that is of a temporary or seasonal nature. The expiry status of this visa depends on the approved period and can be renewed in one-year increments. The maximum validity of this visa is three years. The worker is allowed to bring their spouse and children under 21 years old. Family members are not eligible for employment in the United States while in H-4 status.


H-2B visa is issued to temporary agricultural workers coming to the U.S. to fill positions for which a temporary shortage of U.S. workers has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The duration of the H-2B is limited to the employer's need for the temporary workers. The maximum authorized period is one year. However, the employer may extend the duration up to three years in some situations. The requirements and rules are similar to H-2A visa.

L-1A and L1B

Foreign workers qualify for an L-1 visa if they have been employed outside the U.S. for at least one continuous year out of the past three years and are transferred to the U.S. to work as a manager, an executive, or a specialized-knowledge worker. Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. L-1 employees may then apply for extensions of two years at a time, up to a maximum of seven years if they are a manager or executive, or five years if they are a person with specialized knowledge. Time spent in H-visa status counts toward the five or seven years, unfortunately. The workers are allowed to bring their spouse and children under 21 years to the US. Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with a fee. If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the L-2 spouse may work. EAD for L2 spouse is valid up to 2 years at a time. EAD can be renewed as long as the person remains in the valid L-2 status.

Get in touch with your employment-based immigration visa attorney to know more about the temporary employment-based visa.

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