How to apply for a temporary worker visa

How to apply for a temporary worker visa

Ask the US Embassy

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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Q: I have heard that there is a visa for temporary workers. Can you provide further information on this?

A: The H-2 visa is for temporary or seasonal work. Temporary worker visas are for people who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite.

Before you can apply for an H-2 visa at the US Embassy in Kingston, a petition for a nonimmigrant worker, Form I-129, must be filed on your behalf by a prospective employer and must be approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

How to Apply

If USCIS approves the petition (Form I-129), you may apply for a visa. The following steps are a guide to the US visa application process.

1. Complete the online visa application process

• The online nonimmigrant visa application form is Form DS-160

• Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the Form DS-160.

2. Schedule your visa appointment at the US Embassy

• To schedule an appointment, please visit the website of our contracted scheduling provider at:

• You will need to provide the receipt number that is printed on your approved petition, Form I-129, or notice of action, Form I-797 that was sent to your employer, to schedule an interview.

• You will also need to pay a non-refundable visa application fee.

3. Gather the required documentation

• Your passport. Make sure that your passport will be valid for at least six months beyond your planned period of stay in the United States.

• The confirmation page from your nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-160.

• The application fee payment receipt.

• The receipt number from your approved petition.

4. Attend your visa interview

• During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process.

5. Your legal rights and protections

• H-2 visa applicants should read the Legal Rights and Protections pamphlet at to learn about your rights in the United States and the protection available to you.

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a US 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), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port of entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.

Admit Until Date

At the port of entry, a US Customs and Border Protection officer will stamp your passport with an Admit Until Date. This is the date that determines how long you are permitted to stay in the United States.

Departing the United States

You are not authorised to work after the expiration of the petition unless you have an approved extension of stay from USCIS. You also must depart the United States on or before your Admit Until Date unless you have an approved extension from USCIS.

Additional Information

The approval of a petition does not guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.

For further information, please visit the visa information page of the US Embassy in Kingston at

For more information about visas, please visit our website and the website of our authorised service provider at Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page, and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

For safety and security reasons, the US Embassy asks that all individuals arrive at the embassy no more than 15 minutes before their designated appointment time.

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