Obtaining a temporary work visa is a rather complicated process. Before the visa application can be submitted, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service must approve the individual's employer. The employer's application is reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security, which can deny the employers request. Even if an employer's request for a temporary worker has been approved, the Border and Custom Agent may still deny the individual entry into the United States. Custom agents have the final say in entry approval or denial.
Qualifications: The quantity of temporary work visas is limited. Skilled professionals and highly trained workers applications are reviewed first. NAFTA- treaty citizens have priority over applicants from other nations. The individual who is applying for a work visa must meet the standard visa requirements. They must be able to prove that they have ties to their country of origin, that they are in good physical condition and be free from contagious diseases. They will also need to prove that they will be capable of supporting themselves and will be employed from the time of their arrival in the United States until their departure.
Documentation: The employer of a foreign employee must submit form I-129. This extensive form will require detailed information from the employee. Information on family members such as their full name and birth date must be included on the I-129 form. Once the employer's request is approved, the standard visa documentation must be provided along with a copy of the employer's approval letter. Visa documentation includes but is not limited to; birth certificate, valid passport, fiscal responsibility, vaccination record, photographic identification and accommodation confirmation.
Length of Stay: The amount of time that a temporary work visa is valid depends on the type of work visa for which you apply. If the work visa is for job-related training, the visa is usually valid for up to two years. Medical workers and scientists may qualify for extensions on their work visas allowing them to stay in the United States for up to seven years. Free Trade employees from Singapore and Chile receive a three-year visa, renewable once. Australian citizens can remain employed in the United States for two years. Foreign entertainers receive a one-year visa, as are athletic groups. Individual athletes get a work visa good for one to five years with extensions limited to a total of ten years.
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Denial: There are many reasons for denying a temporary work visa. The most common work visa denial is the lack of strong ties to their home country. The applicant is responsible for proving that they will not want to remain in the United States beyond the amount of time allowed on their visa. Proof of strong ties include owning a home, leaving a wife and or children in their home country, and investments inside the country of origin. Students who request a temporary work visa have more difficulty proving strong ties.
Filing: Once you receive notice that your employer's application has been approved, you should file your visa request no more than six months prior to your arrival. Visa applications must have a copy of the employer's approval letter included with the standard documentation.
Fees: The fee for a visa application varies with the type of visa requested. Border Crossing cards for Mexican and Canadian citizens are charged separately. The non-immigrant visa-processing fee is $131.00. Additional fees such as fingerprinting, medical examinations and travel expenses may also apply. Consult the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service for more information on the various fees.
Determination and research will help you navigate the complicated process of obtaining a temporary work visa.
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