What is a petition?
Before applying for a temporary worker visa at the U.S. Embassy, you must have an approved Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, from USCIS. This petition must be submitted by your prospective employer no earlier than 6 months prior to your proposed employment start date. Your employer should file the petition as soon as possible within the 6-month period to allow adequate time for processing. Once approved, your employer will be sent Form I-797, Notice of Action. For more information, visit the USCIS Temporary Workers webpage.
Note: The Form I-797 is no longer required for your interview. However, to verify your petition’s approval the Embassy will need your I-129 petition receipt number. Please bring this to your interview.
Can I get a visa to do casual work?
No. There is no visa that covers casual work. All applicants who plan to work in the United States must have an approved petition prior to their visa appointment.
Can my U.S.-based relative sponsor me for a work visa?
No. Only your employer can sponsor you.
When can I enter the United States?
You may not enter the United States until 10 days prior to your employment start date, as noted on your Form I-797 or on your offer of employment letter.
Who pays the fraud prevention and detection fee and when do they pay it?
An applicant for an L-1 visa traveling on a blanket petition must pay the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee. On individual L, H-1B and H-2B petitions, the U.S. petitioner pays the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee to USCIS when the petition is filed.