About Visa Categories
Review Eligibility Chart before entering the appointment in PHR to determine eligibility for non-paid appointment.
A-1, A-2, A-3
Visa Staff of foreign embassies & members of their immediate family. A-3 are attendants, servants of A-1, A-2. Clearance for any work beyond diplomatic work must be given in advance by the Protocol Division of the Department of State. Will have Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
The Business Visitor classes, B-1 and W-B, allow short-term visitors to come to the U.S. to conduct business, present a lecture, and attend conferences, seminars and other business meetings. These visa classes do not allow employment. They do, however, allow honorarium, provided that the academic activity does not exceed nine days and the visitor has not accepted reimbursements from more than five other institutions in the U.S. during the preceding six-month period. Reimbursements or payments for travel expenses, lodging, meals and incidental costs are allowed.
The B-2/W-T visitors for pleasure allow short-term visitors to come to the U.S. as a tourist for the purpose of tourism, medical reasons, and conference/convention participation. B-2 visitors are not permitted to engage in employment of any kind while in the U.S. They do, however, allow visitors to receive honorarium provided that the activity is for the benefit of the academic institution and does not last longer than nine days and the visitor has not accepted reimbursements from more than five other institutions during the preceding six-month period. Reimbursements or payments for travel expenses, lodging, meals and incidental costs are allowed.
B-2 Prospective Student
Alien with clear intent to study in the U.S.; will change to F-1 status. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source until visa has been officially changed to F-1.
B-2 Prospective Exchange Visitor
Alien with clear intent to change to J-1 status for study, research or teaching. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source until visa has been officially changed to J-1.
C-1, C-2, C-3
Visitors in transit. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source.
Foreign crewman. May be paid only for work done in connection with shipping/transport.
Treat traders, treaty investors & their dependents. May be paid for business and investing work used as justification for issuance of visa; no other work is legally permitted.
Foreign students. On-campus work permitted by USCIS regulations (with restrictions, i.e. 20 hours/week when school is in session, 40 hours/week during school vacations); Off-campus work possible if employer has filed labor attestation or student has been approved for practical training; Off-campus permission given on 3rd page of I-20 or on EAD.
Dependents of foreign students, may receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source.
G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5
Employees of international organizations & their immediate family members. G-5s are attendants, servants of G-1 to G-4. May be paid only by the organization for which they received their G designation; no other work legally permitted. Spouses & dependents may apply for special work permission from the Dept. of State.
Registered nurses. Can only be paid by the facility that filed the labor attestation & applied for the H-1A.
Temporary workers in a specialty occupation other than nurses, agricultural workers, athletes or entertainers. Visa is job specific - can only be paid by the organization which filed the petition for H-1 status.
Aliens coming to U.S. to perform agricultural work of a temporary/seasonal nature. Can only be paid by petitioner or original sponsor - job specific.
A trainee. Cannot be paid by other than original sponsor or petitioner - job specific.
Dependents of H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B or H-3s. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source.
Journalists, representatives of the media & their dependents. May work only for media organization that obtained I visa for them.
Students in the U.S. under Exchange Visitor Program. May work on- or off-campus if granted permission by Exchange Visitor sponsor.
J-1 Professor & Research Scholar
Researchers, professors, scholars here under Exchange Visitor program. May work for university academic department or organization that issued or is listed on DS-2019 form.
J-1 Short-term Scholar
Short-term researchers & professors. Limited to 6 month stay. No extensions permitted. May work for the university academic department or organization that issued or is listed on DS-2019 form; permission for other work granted by petition to U.S. Information Agency.
Dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors. May request work authorization from USCIS so long as monies earned will not be used to support the J-1; work permission is shown on EAD.
Fiancés of U.S. citizens. May request work authorization upon entry to U.S.; permission shown on EAD. Must marry U.S. citizen w/in 90 days & apply for permanent residence.
Intra-company transfers, i.e. managers, executives who have worked abroad for branch of U.S. firm. May work only for the company that obtained L-1 visa; no other work permitted.
Dependents of L-1s. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source.
Students at vocational schools. May receive permission to work for six months after completion of studies; shown on EAD.
Dependents of M-1s. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source.
Aliens from NATO member countries in the U.S. under sponsorship of NATO for study, research, or training. Payment limited to funds provided through NATO award.
Alien who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion pictures or T.V. May be paid only by the organization that petitioned.
Alien coming to U.S. solely to assist in the artistic or athletic performance by an O-1. May be paid only by the sponsor of the O-1 alien.
Alien coming to U.S. to perform at a specific athletic competition. May be paid only by the sponsoring organization.
Alien coming to U.S. to perform as artist or entertainer. May be paid only by sponsoring organization.
Alien coming to perform as an artist or entertainer in a culturally unique program. May be paid only be sponsoring organization.
Dependents of P-1, P-2, P-3s. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source.
Alien coming to participate in an int'l exchange program for sharing of attitudes, customs, history, heritage, philosophy and/or traditions of alien's country. May be paid only by sponsoring agency.
Alien who is a member of a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the U.S. May be paid only by sponsoring agency.
Federal Witness, not eligible for change to another non-immigrant status.
Professional from Canada or Mexico who entered the U.S. under NAFTA agreement. Employment is restricted to the employer sponsoring the TN.
Dependents of TN professional. May receive no payment whatsoever from any U.S. source.
Those who have filed for asylum in the U.S. May request work authorization; permission shown on special card.
Those granted asylum or refugee status. May request work authorization; permission shown on EAD.
Those who have filed for adjustment to Immigrant status. May request work authorization; permission shown on EAD.
Immigrants (Permanent Residents/Resident Aliens)
Those who have been granted residence in the U.S. No limits on employment; status shown on Green Card.
Those who have been approved for legalization after having been here in illegal status for 5 years. May request work authorization for the year (or longer) it will take to obtain permanent residence; permission shown on EAD.
Conditional Permanent Residents
Those who have applied for immigrant status through marriage to U.S. citizen or permanent resident. No limits on employment; permission on EAD.
Those who have entered the U.S. illegally or who lost legal status. Not eligible for employment.