Every non-citizen individual who wishes to work in the United States must have some type of valid employment authorization document (EAD) or a visa. Each type of visa or EAD has different qualification requirements and different restrictions as to the type of work that can be performed and the duration of time the individual is allowed to stay in the United States. There are two general categories of visas offered by the United States: immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas.
Nonimmigrant visas are available for individuals who are not interested in, or would not qualify for, permanent residency, but need temporary admission into the United States for specific work, school, or leisure purposes. Nonimmigrant visas include: B-1, B-2, F-1, CPT, OPT, B-1 in lieu of H-1B/H-3, E-3, E-1, E-2, TN, and L-1 visas. Individuals will qualify for different types of nonimmigrant visas depending on their reasons for requesting temporary admission into the country, their level of skill or education, and the intended duration of their stay.