The H-1B visa is a visa used by a temporary worker. You must have at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify, but typically will need a master’s or Ph.D. depending upon the relevant position. The visa is specific to a position. Application is made by the employer and not the individual.
Application requires an approved Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor with a favorable prevailing wage determination from the State Employment Service. It is valid for up to six years (two 3 – year periods). This visa can take up to four months to obtain. Dependents of H1 visa holders on H4 visas are not eligible to work under any circumstances.
For more information on the H-1B visa, please reference the following links:
B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visa
Foreign travelers to the United States for short visits, vacation, visiting family and friends, or medical treatment, need visitor visas unless they qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1 visa), tourism (B-2 visa), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
It is a violation of the B visitor status to enroll in a course of study while in that status. If you enter the United States on a visitor’s visa and wish to attend school, you must file for a change to student status and wait for that status to be approved before beginning school. Or, preferably, you may leave the US, apply for an appropriate student visa abroad, and return in proper student status.
Long change of status adjudication times make it very difficult to complete the process in the US while maintaining the visitor visa status. If you chose to apply for a change of status, it is recommended to consult an immigration attorney and review the information on our Change of Status webpage.