Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers

In order for you to come to the United States lawfully as a nonimmigrant to work temporarily, your prospective employer must generally file a nonimmigrant petition on your behalf with USCIS1.

Spouses and Children Seeking Dependent Nonimmigrant Classification

Spouses and children who qualify for dependent nonimmigrant classification of a temporary worker and who are outside of the United States should apply directly at a U.S. consulate for a visa.

Spouses and children requesting a change of status or extension of stay in a dependent nonimmigrant classification must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.  Please see the Form I-539 instructions for further information on filing procedures for this application.

Federal U.S. Tax Information

Aliens employed in the U.S. may have a U.S. tax obligation. See the Taxation of Nonresident Aliens page on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for more information.

Nonimmigrant Classification for a Temporary Worker Description Nonimmigrant Classification for Dependent Spouses and Children of a Temporary Worker
Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker Classification
CW-1 CNMI-Only transitional worker CW-2
E-1 Treaty traders and qualified employees. E-13
E-2 Treaty investors and qualified employees. E-23
E-2C Long-term foreign investors in the CNMI E-2C
E-3 Certain "specialty occupation" professionals from Australia. E-33
H-1B Workers in a specialty occupation and the following sub-classifications:

H-1B1 - Free Trade Agreement workers in a specialty occupation from Chile and Singapore.
H-1B2 - Specialty occupations related to Department of Defense Cooperative Research and Development projects or Co-production projects.
H-1B3 - Fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.

H-4
H-1C2 Registered nurses working in a health professional shortage area as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. H-4
H-2A Temporary or seasonal agricultural workers. H-4
H-2B  Temporary non-agricultural workers. H-4
H-3  Trainees other than medical or academic. This classification also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children. H-4
I    Representatives of foreign press, radio, film or other foreign information media. I
L-1A  Intracompany transferees in managerial or executive positions. L-23
L-1B  Intracompany transferees in positions utilizing specialized knowledge. L-23
O-1 Persons with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and motion picture or TV production. O-3
O-2 Persons accompanying solely to assist an O-1 nonimmigrant. O-3
P-1A Internationally recognized athletes. P-4
P-1B Internationally recognized entertainers or members of internationally recognized entertainment groups. P-4
P-2 Individual performer or part of a group entering to perform under a reciprocal exchange program. P-4
P-3  Artists or entertainers, either an individual or group, to perform, teach, or coach under a program that is culturally unique. P-4


Q-1

Persons participating in an international cultural exchange program for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of the alien's home country.

Not Applicable4
R-1 Religious workers. R-2
TN North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) temporary professionals from Mexico and Canada. TD


  1 Only a few nonimmigrant classifications allow you to work in this country without an employer having first filed a petition on your behalf.  Such classifications include the nonimmigrant E-1, E-2, E-3 and TN classifications, as well as, in certain instances, the F-1 and M-1 student and J-1 exchange visitor classifications. You should refer to the USCIS webpage for your classification to determine whether you must obtain employment authorization before beginning work.

  2 The H-1C nonimmigrant classification expired on Dec. 20, 2009.

  3 E and L dependent spouses are considered employment authorized incident to status. Such spouses are no longer required to request an employment authorization document by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization,with fee, but they may continue to file Form I-765 if they choose to receive an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766 EAD).  DHS is taking steps to modify Forms I-94 evidencing nonimmigrant status issued to E and L dependents so that E and L dependent spouses can be distinguished from E and L dependent children on the face of the document. Once these changes are made, the revised Form I-94 containing a notation indicating that the bearer is an E or L dependent spouse will be acceptable as evidence of employment authorization under List C of Form I-9.

  4 Though the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) does not provide a specific nonimmigrant classification for dependents of Q-1 nonimmigrants, this does not preclude the spouse or child of a Q-1 from entering the U.S. in another nonimmigrant classification.

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