Temporary Worker

An alien coming to the United States to work for a temporary period of time. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the Immigration Act of 1990, as well as other legislation, revised existing classes and created new classes of nonimmigrant admission. Nonimmigrant temporary worker classes of admission are as follows:

  1. H-1A - registered nurses (valid from 10/1/1990 through 9/30/1995);

  2. H-1B - workers with "specialty occupations" admitted on the basis of professional education, skills, and/or equivalent experience;

  3. H-1C - registered nurses to work in areas with a shortage of health professionals under the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999;

  4. H-2A - temporary agricultural workers coming to the United States to perform agricultural services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature when authorized workers are unavailable in the United States;

  5. H-2B - temporary non-agricultural workers coming to the United States to perform temporary services or labor if unemployed persons capable of performing the service or labor cannot be found in the United States;

  6. H-3 - aliens coming temporarily to the United States as trainees, other than to receive graduate medical education or training;

  7. O-1, O-2, O-3 - temporary workers with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; those entering solely for the purpose of accompanying and assisting such workers; and their spouses and children;

  8. P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4 - athletes and entertainers at an internationally recognized level of performance; artists and entertainers under a reciprocal exchange program; artists and entertainers under a program that is "culturally unique"; and their spouses and children;

  9. Q-1, Q-2, Q-3 - participants in international cultural exchange programs; participants in the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program; and spouses and children of Irish Peace Process participants;

  10. R-1, R-2 - temporary workers to perform work in religious occupations and their spouses and children.

See other sections of this Glossary for definitions of Exchange Visitor, Intracompany Transferee, and U.S.-Canada or North American Free-Trade Agreement classes of nonimmigrant admission.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

A foreign worker who will work in the United States for a limited period of time.  Some visas classes for temporary workers are H, L, O, P, Q and R.  If you are seeking to come to the U.S. for employment as a temporary worker in the U.S. (H, L, O, P, and Q visas), your prospective employer must file a petition with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS.  This petition must be approved by USCIS before you can apply for a visa.

Source: U.S. Department of State.