Temporary Worker Visas (H and L)
To be eligible for an H (Temporary Workers and Trainees) or L (Intra-company Transferee) visa, the applicant must be a beneficiary of Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, filed by the prospective employer and approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Classifications of Temporary Workers
H-1B classification applies to persons in a specialty occupation, which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge requiring completion of a specific course of higher education. This classification requires a labor attestation issued by the Secretary of Labor. This classification also applies to Government-to-Government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the U.S. Department of Defense.
H-2A classification applies to temporary or seasonal agricultural workers.
H-2B classification applies to temporary or seasonal nonagricultural workers.
H-3 classification applies to trainees other than medical or academic. This classification also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children.
L-1 classification applies to intra-company transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the United States in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.
The spouse and unmarried children under age 21 of the H and L visa holder may be given H-4 and L-2 visas respectively, if they seek to accompany or follow to join the primary visa holder. Once the petition is approved, the USCIS sends a Form I-797, Notice of Approval, to the employer.
How To Apply
To apply, please check the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Procedures page. In addition to the basic documentary requirements, the applicant must submit/comply with the following additional documentary requirements:
For Principal Applicants
- H-1B (Specialty Occupation) and L-1 (Intra-company Transferee)
1. Copy of Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker)
*For Blanket L petitions submit the new Form I-129S (Rev. 11/23/10).
2. Original or copy of Form I-797 (Notice of Approval)
3. Copy of Labor Conditions Application certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (for H-1B only)
4. Copy of all supporting documents as filed with the USCIS
5. Original signed employment contract or a signed offer and acceptance letter specifying terms and conditions of employment, as well as salary
6. Proof of current or previous employment/experience and pay slips from related jobs that confirm the applicant's abilities to meet the job requirements in the United States
7. Professional license in the Philippines or in the United States, if applicable
8. Original of credentials like school transcripts and diploma
9. Two-year residency requirement waiver for J-1 visa holder, if applicable.
10. Proof of payment of $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection fee for blanket L petitions.
This non-refundable fee is charged in addition to the MRV fee of $150, and like the MRV fee, is collected before the interview. If the principal applicant's original L visa has expired and he/she applies under the same blanket petition, the anti-fraud fee of $500 is charged again. Similarly, if ten different principal applicants apply under the same blanket petition at the same time (or on different occasions, for that matter) each is charged $500. Only the principal applicant in any particular case is charged, however. Spouse and children are exempt from the anti-fraud fee.
11. Proof of payment of $2,250 Border Security Act fee for blanket L petitions.
Under Public Law 111-230, referred to as the “Border Security Act,” the U.S. government must collect an additional fee of $2,250 if the petitioning employer has more than 50 employees in the United States, more than 50 percent of whom are in H1B or L status. If the answer to both questions of Part 1A (“Data Collection”) of the I-129S (Rev. 11/23/10) are ‘Yes’ then the petitioner is subject to the new fee. The applicant will be directed to pay the additional fee on behalf of the petitioner at the time of application.
The above fees may be paid while waiting to be interviewed (after being finger scanned) at the scheduled date of visa application in U.S. dollar, Philippine peso, credit card, traveler’s check or U.S. postal money order, at Window 15 located at the 2nd floor of the U.S. Embassy Manila. Window 15 is open Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
If an H-1/L-1 visa expires and the principal applicant wishes to apply for a new one under a new or a similar petitioner, the following must be brought to the interview in addition to the above documents:
- All previously issued Form I-797 (Notice of Approval)
- Copies of at least last three months pay slips
- Copies of at least last three months bank statements
- Copy of latest income tax return
- H-2A (Temporary Agricultural Worker), H-2B (Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker) and H-3 (Trainee)
- Copy of Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker)
- Original or copy (especially for blanket petitions) of Form I-797 (Notice of Approval)
- Copy of all supporting documents as filed with the USCIS
- Copy of the signed employment contract or a signed offer and acceptance letter specifying terms and conditions of employment, as well as salary
- Copy of temporary agricultural labor certification with the U.S. Department of Labor (for H-2A)
Copy of temporary labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor or the Government of Guam, or a notice from one of these agencies that such a certification cannot be made (for H-2B or H-3)
- Original of credentials like school transcripts and diploma
- Two-year residency requirement waiver for J-1 visa holder, if applicable.
- Evidence of the applicant’s or applicant’s parents’, if minor, ties and financial status in the Philippines .
- H-4 (Dependent of H-1B) and L-2 (Dependent of L-1)
- Copy of principal’s current nonimmigrant visa
- Copy of all required documents of the principal applicant (H-1B or L-1) as mentioned above
- H-4 (Dependent of H-2A, H-2B and H-3)
- Copy of principal’s current nonimmigrant visa
- Copy of all required documents of the principal (H-2A, H-2B or H-3) as mentioned above
- Evidence of the applicant’s or applicant’s parents’, if minor, ties and financial status in the Philippines
- In some cases, additional documents may be requested.
- The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit does not require the receipt of H/L petitions, including cable notifications, directly from the USCIS.
- All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted, unless specified. The applicant must submit these documents to the interviewing consular officer during the interview. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit does not accept documents before the interview. Any documents received will not be returned and will be destroyed. Please note, however, that presentation of the documents will not guarantee visa issuance. Applicants must still qualify for the type of visa being sought.
- The approval of a petition by the USCIS does not relieve the applicant of the burden of establishing visa eligibility in the course of which questions may arise as to his or her eligibility to H classification.
Please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more information.
Nonimmigrant Visa Unit (NIV) is open for business Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on U.S. and Philippine Holidays.