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National Summary
Visas are required for persons from other countries to enter the United States for work. There are two kinds of visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant. An immigrant visa is a visa issued to a person wishing to live permanently in the United States. Immigration law provides for a limited allocation of employment-based immigrant visas each year. Nonimmigrant visas are for international travelers (citizens of other countries) coming to the United States temporarily to visit, study, or work. These visas allow travel to a U.S. port of entry (an airport, for example) to request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.
The type of visa needed is defined by immigration law and relates to the principal purpose of the person's travel. While in the United States, temporary visitors are restricted to the activity or reason for which the nonimmigrant visa was issued with few exceptions. The most commonly referenced employment-related nonimmigrant visa is the H-1B visa, which is issued to individuals who work in specialty areas of expertise (usually highly technical and professional workers such as computer scientists or engineers). Generally, a bachelor's degree, at minimum, is required to obtain this visa.
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