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Nonimmigrant Visas: Temporary Employment and Business

Temporary employment visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition is required to apply for a temporary employment visa.

See our Temporary Employment Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

How to Apply

Step 1. Check the Validity of your Passport
  1. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States (e.g. if you plan to go to the United States for one month in March, your passport must be valid at least through October).
  2. Your passport must have at least one blank visa page.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160

Fill out the DS-160 Electronic Application Form.

All visa applicants must CAREFULLY check information entered on their DS-160 visa application form.  Minor errors may be corrected on the day of the appointment, but if you notice a major error or have an update to your application (recent marriage, change in travel plans), please complete a new DS-160 form and bring the updated confirmation page with you to your appointment.

The Consular Section is not able to issue visas on the day of the interview. All applicants are encouraged to apply for visas well in advance of planned travel to the United States. The Consular Section strongly advises you to purchase tickets or book reservations only after you have received your nonimmigrant visa.

Expedited appointments are offered on a limited basis for petition-based visa applicants.  All applicants who wish to have an expedited appointment are required first to fill out an electronic application form DS-160 and follow the directions for requesting an expedited appointment here.

Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation

Only a passport, DS-160 confirmation page, Appointment confirmation page, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background ( if not uploaded in the electronic application), and all the supporting forms (including copies of I-129, I-797, etc.) are required for the visa interview. Additional documents may be requested, for example, contracts; diplomas; or other evidence to establish if you are qualified for your desired visa category.

Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment

To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please go to NIV Appointment System. Please, have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.

Step 5. Come to an Interview with a Consular officer

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview.

Step 6. Pay the MRV Fee

On the day of your interview, please pay the appropriate nonrefundable visa application fees. All visa fees must be paid in U.S. dollars or Kyrgyz som based on the exchange rate established by the U.S. Embassy at the cash desk of the Consular section on the day of interview. Please note that this fee is non-refundable. Applicants should not pay this fee unless they are 100% confident that they want to apply for the U.S. visa.

NOTE: Payment for your interview is due at the time of service.  We request the exact payment amount for the interview, either in KGS or USD (crisp and unmarked), but not both. We do not accept credit cards for payment.  Applicants whose visas are approved may be required to pay an additional reciprocity fee.  Please check the Reciprocity Fee Schedule and plan accordingly for your visit.

Step 7. Pay the Visa Issuance Fee

If your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, depending on the type of visa issued. If you are issued an H, L, O, P, Q, and R visas, you will need to pay an additional fee. Please check the Reciprocity Fee Schedule and plan accordingly for your visit.


Step 8. Return to Collect your Passport and Visa

You will be informed of the time and date of that your may collect your passport at the time of the interview.  In general, passport pass-back takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays at 14:30. Passports may be collected from the Consular section entrance with your payment receipt.  Your designated representative may collect the passport on your behalf if you are unable to collect it yourself.

Case Status

You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on usvisas.state.gov.

If your application for a visa has been refused under Section 214(b) INA, there is no appeal process. Under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), applicants are presumed to be intending immigrants unless they credibly demonstrate, to the consular officer’s satisfaction, that their economic, family, and social ties outside the United States are strong enough that they will depart at the end of their authorized stay and that their intended activities in the United States will be consistent with the visa status.

While you are not prohibited from reapplying for a visa, unless you can show credible, new, and compelling ties outside the United States, and that your intended activities in the United States are consistent with the visa class, a different outcome is unlikely.  If you decide to reapply, you must schedule a new interview and pay a new MRV application fee.  Please visit How to Apply for further information and assistance.

After the Interview

Visitors are not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.

We cannot guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.

Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date.  Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States and determine how long you may stay. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.

Extending Your Stay

See Extend Your Stay on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94.

You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS.  Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.

Change of Status

While in the United States, you may be able to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) change your nonimmigrant status to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.

Requesting a change of status from USCIS while you are in the United States and before your authorized stay expires does not require that you apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the United States while USCIS processes your change of status request, you must apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.