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How do you get a work visa in the United States?

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Quick Answer

A person receives a U.S. work visa once his application is approved by a consular officer of the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate, according to the Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. State Department. The consular officer decides if the applicant qualifies for a work visa during the scheduled visa interview between himself and the applicant.

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Full Answer

Prior to scheduling the interview, the applicant provides personal documentation, which varies depending on the type of requested work visa, to the local U.S. Embassy, explains the Bureau of Consular Affairs. For example, applicants may submit the Nonimmigrant Visa Application, known as Form DS-160, and provide a valid passport, application fee payment receipt and personal photograph. The consular officer may request additional information upon completion of the interview.

Types of U.S. work visas include temporary employment, exchange visitor, media and trade treaty visas, notes the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Temporary employment visas are available to applicants who plan on working in the United States for a fixed amount of time. Various subcategories of temporary employment visas are available, each with specific application requirements. Examples of temporary worker visa subcategories include persons in specialty occupations, temporary agricultural workers and artists or entertainers. Exchange visitor work visas are available for applicants participating in exchange programs, such as camp counselors, teachers and students. Media visas are available for applicants working for the press, radio or other types of media occupations. Trade treaty visas are available for executive personnel associated with approved companies in treaty countries that complete treaty-based business in the United States.

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