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What visas are available for immigrant and nonimmigrant workers?

The United States is a destination for many workers across the world. There are unique opportunities here that draw people from other countries for both permanent and temporary positions, and each of these workers will need to secure a visa in order to work in the U.S. lawfully.

However, not every worker needs the same type of visa. There are multiple categories of employment-based visas available and the type of visa you need may be different from one that another person needs. It will depend on the kind of job you have or are seeking as well as whether the job is permanent or temporary.

For instance, if you work as an entertainer, athlete or artist, you will need a P-1A, P-1B, P-2 or P-3 visa. 

If you are a temporary or nonimmigrant worker, you will need a visa in accordance with the type of work you will be performing. These visas typically require a person to specify the length of time that the job will last. At the end of that time, the worker will need to leave the U.S. or get a different visa should he or she want to stay. The many visas available to temporary workers can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage.

Permanent workers will need to secure an EB visa, of which there are five different preferences. These preferences identify the person's position and have different requirements in terms of labor certifications.

If you will be visiting the U.S. for business purposes, you will need a B-1 visa. However, there are ways to avoid this if you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program.

Any person who wants to come to the U.S. for employment purposes, as well as employers looking to hire someone from outside the country, should be clear on visa requirements and eligibility. Discussing the situation with an immigration attorney can help minimize potential delays and obstacles that stand between a person and working in the U.S.

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Our firm is a recognized leader in immigration law and litigation. We handle the spectrum from family and employment-based visas to deportation defense and immigration appeals. Founding partner Ira Kurzban authored the Immigration Law Sourcebook, widely used by immigration lawyers, judges and government officials as the authoritative field reference.

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