H, L, O, P, and Q visas entitle the holder to work in the United States. All require the hiring company or organization in the United States to first submit a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for permission. If the petition is approved, the company will be issued a form I-797 enabling you to apply for a visa. You can find more information about the Petition Process in the DHS website.
Visa Specific Information
- H1B Visa: Person in Specialty Occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.
- H-2 Visa: Temporary Agricultural / Non Agricultural Worker; for temporary or seasonal work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
- L Visa: The L visa is for individuals who are being transferred by their company to a branch or related company in the United States. Applicants must intend to fill a managerial or executive position, or have specialized knowledge, and have been continuously employed by the same employer or a related company for at least one of three years immediately preceding the visa application. If the principal applicant is applying for an L-1 visa under “blanket” L visa provisions, the applicant must pay a $500 USD “fraud prevention and detection fee” at the time of their visa interview. Additionally, certain L visa applicants will be required to pay a $4,500 USD fee if the petitioning employer has more than 50 employees in the United States of which more than 50 percent are in H1-B or L status.
- O or P Visa: These visas are for performers or trade workers possessing unusual or extraordinary skills, who plan to perform, teach, coach, or participate in cultural exchange in the United States. The applicant’s work unit in Mexico and host institution in the U.S. should contact USCIS for information on filing such petitions or visit the USCIS web page for temporary workers.
- Q Visa: Participants in an international cultural exchange program designed to provide practical training, employment and sharing of the participant’s native culture, require classification Q visas. The training/employment must be approved in advance by the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) and the culture-sharing must take place in a school, museum, business or other establishment where the public is exposed to aspects of a foreign culture as part of a structured program.
Required Documentation for all Petition-Based Employment Visas:
- Valid Passport
- The DS-160 application form confirmation page
- Original Bank Receipt for Application Fee
- The original, photocopy or facsimile copy of the Notice of Action Form I-797A, B or C (or more commonly known as “The Petition”)
- Birth certificate or marriage certificate (original or certified copy) if applying as a dependent of the primary beneficiary
Optional documentation can vary depending on the applicant’s personal situation. The following are mere suggestions that may help the officer to assess your intentions to return to Mexico and is not an exhaustive list of what applicants should present at their interview
- Passports containing all previous U.S. visas or BCCs, even if expired
- Birth certificate (original or certified copy) of primary beneficiary
- Voter Registration Card (IFE/INE) if 18 or over
- Resume, including education and work experience
- Proof of Education (High School or College Diploma, Cedula Profesional)
- Proof of Employment (pay slips, company credential, letter from Human Resources Department)