US Work Visa For Indians

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US Work Visa For Indians

The United States of America is undoubtedly the most sought-after destination for job seekers. Plethora of work opportunities, higher salaries, high-quality education and healthcare, and an incredible social atmosphere are some of the many reasons that make the US one of the best countries to work in.

If you are planning to apply for a work visa in the US but do not know which visa to apply for, we have got you covered.

Read on to find out everything about different types of US work visas for Indian nationals.

US Work Visa Types for Indian Nationals

Following are the main US work visa types of Indian candidates:

Visa Type Suitable For Validity 
H-1B Individuals in specialty jobs Up to 3 years, can be extended up to a maximum of 6 years. 
H-2A  Temporary workers for agricultural jobs Up to 10 months
H-2B Temporary workers for seasonal non-agricultural jobs Up to 1 year
H-3 Individuals participating in a US training program Up to 2 years
H-4 Dependents (spouse and children below 21 years) of H visas.  Same as the validity of the respective H visa holder. 
L-1A and L-1B Employees of an international company who are transferred to the USA office.  7 years and 5 years respectively. 
L-2 Dependents of L-1 visa holders.  Same as the validity of the L-1 visa holder. 
O-1A and O-1B Applicants with extraordinary skills in education, arts, business, athletics or sciences.  Up to 3 years
Q-1 Candidates participating in international cultural exchange programs.  Up to 15 months

Let’s discuss these visa types in detail:

H-1B: It is the most common US work visa designed for foreign nationals who are employed in speciality jobs such as engineering or computer science. Since the demand for this visa is very high, there is a preset annual cap on the number of visa approvals. Individuals who have a Master’s or higher degree along with a job offer from a US-based employer are eligible for this visa.

H-2A: This type of US work visa is introduced for temporary/seasonal agricultural workers who are hired due to the shortage of workers in the country.

H-2B: This visa allows skilled and unskilled foreign workers to come and work in the US for a temporary period when there is a shortage of domestic employees. In order to initiate the visa application process, the respective employer needs to acquire a Department of Labor certification.

H-3: This type of visa is introduced for foreign nationals who need to visit the US to receive training from a US employer.

H-4: It is another common type of visa that is designed for the dependents of H visa holders (H-1B, H-2B, H-3). An important thing to note about this visa is that the candidates on H-4 visas are not allowed to work in the US.

L-1: It is a temporary work visa designed for individuals who work in international companies that have direct affiliation with US businesses or companies. This type of visa is applicable if an employee is transferred to the US location by their organisation. Further, there are two types of L-1 visas:**

L-1A: It is available for executives and managers who are sent to the US to set up a new work location.

L-1B: It is designed for employees below the executive and managerial level.

L-2: Similar to H-4, the L-2 visa is designed for the dependents of L-1 visa holders. But unlike H-4 visas, L-2 visa holders are allowed to work in the US.

O-1: These visas are used by individuals who have displayed extraordinary abilities in certain fields. There are two categories of O visas:**

O-1A: For candidates with extraordinary skills in the fields of education, science, business, education, athletics, etc.

O-1B: For candidates with extraordinary skills or achievements in television or motion pictures.

Q-1: Q visas are available for jobs and training in international cultural exchange programs that involve sharing or exchanging the culture, history, or traditions of your country. Note that dependents are not allowed with this type of visa.

US Work Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens

The table below shows the requirements and eligibility criteria for different types of US work visas for Indian:

Type of Visa Requirements/Eligibility Criteria
H-1B Visa applicants must possess a Master’s or Higher Degree and earn a minimum of $60,000 per year. 
H-2B Employers are required to obtain a Department of Labor Certification in order to start the visa application process. 
H-3 Applicants are required to submit the complete form DS-160 along with the USCIS receipt number, letter of employment, etc. 
H-4 Dependents (spouse and children below 21 years of age) of H-1B, H-2B, H-3 visas are eligible for H-4 visas. 
L-1A and L-1B Before starting the application process, the applicants must have an approved petition from the USCIS. 
L-2 Dependents (spouse and children below 21 years of age) of L-1 visas are eligible for this visa. 
O-1A and O-1B Applicants must possess extraordinary skills in the fields of arts, science, television or athletics. 
Q-1 Applicants should take part in a cultural exchange program or event.

Work Visa Guidelines and Requirements for US Employers

The potential or existing US employer of the visa applicant must obtain either the USCIS Notice of Approval, petition from the Department of Labour Certification (Form I-129), or both before the applicant initiates the visa process.

Note that these documents do not guarantee the work visa approval of the applicant. The final decision regarding this lies within the hands of the US Customs and Border and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Documents Required for US Work Permit Visa from India

You will need to submit two different sets of documents at the Visa Application Center (VAC) and the US Embassy/Consulate, respectively. The required documents are as follows:

:For the US Visa Application Center:

Passport with a validity of at least 6 months.

Passport-size photograph as per the US visa specifications.

DS-160 confirmation page.

Visa fee receipt in a printed form.

:For US Embassy/Consulate:

DS-160 confirmation page.

Copy of your appointment letter.


Supporting documents on the basis of the visa category you are applying for.

Receipt number mentioned on your approved I-129 petition.

Receipt of visa fee you have paid at the time of submitting your visa application.

:Additional Documents:

Apart from the ones mentioned above, you might need to submit a few other documents such as a job offer letter, education certificates, payslips from your current job, ITR form, bank statements, and others based on the type of work visa you are applying for.

Make sure to learn about the requirements before appearing for the interview.

US Work Permit Visa from India Application Process

Following is the step-by-step US work visa for Indian citizens application process for Indians:**

Part I: Submitting Visa Application Online**

Step 1: Launch the official CEAC (Consular Electronic Application Centre) website.

Step 2: Navigate to the non-immigration section and select the “DS-160, Online nonimmigrant visa application“ option.

Step 3: Select your location in India from the dropdown menu and enter the text shown on the screen to continue.

Step 4: Initiate the visa application process by clicking on the “Start Application” option.

Step 5: Complete the visa application form with accurate details and save the application ID for future reference.

Step 6: Next, carefully submit the application form.

Step 7: Make the MRV (Machine Readable Visa) application payment.

Step 8: Next, take a printout of the DS-160 Form you have submitted.

Part -II: Scheduling Visa Interview**

Step 1: Browse the official portal of the US Visa Information Services in India.

Step 2: Create your profile by providing the required details and then schedule an appointment with your nearest US Embassy/Consulates and the US Visa Application Centre.

Step 3: Select your preferred location for picking up your passport after US work visa approval.

Step 4: On the selected date, visit the Visa Application Centre and get your biometrics done.

Step 5: Next, visit the selected US Embassy or Consulate on the scheduled date for the visa interview. Make sure to carry all the required documents and supporting evidence with you.

Step 6: If your visa interview is successful, you will receive your US work permit.

Step 7: Finally, pick up your passport from the location you have selected.

US Work Visa Cost for Indian Nationals

Coming to one of the most anticipated questions: How much is the work visa for the USA from India price?

The application fee for a US work visa from India is $190 for all categories of work visas, including H, L, O, P, and Q. This roughly converts to ₹15,818.74 in Indian Rupees.

*Note: These fees are dynamic in nature. Make sure to check the latest charges before moving ahead.

US Work Visa Processing Time in India

The US work visa processing time is different for different categories of visas. It varies depending upon multiple factors such as visa type, job type, workload of immigration agency, annual cap, and so on.

The following table shows the estimated visa processing time for different types of work visas:

Type of Work Visa Processing Time
H-1B 3 to 6 months
H-2A 1 to 4 months
H-2B 1 to 4 months
H-3 1 to 1.5 months
H-4 Not fixed
L-1A and L-1B 3 to 4 months
L-2 15 days to 1 month
O-1A and O-1B 2 to 3 months
Q-1 3 months

US Work Visa for Indian Status Check

After your visa application is submitted, you can wait for the decision. However, it is important to keep an eye on the progress of your application to make sure it gets processed on time.

The good thing is you can easily check the status of your US work visa application online. Here is how to do this:

Step 1: Open the portal of the Consular Electronic Application Centre of the US Department of State.

Step 2: Select your visa application type from the dropdown menu. For a work visa, select “Nonimmigrant Visa”.

Step 3: Select your location from the dropdown list.

Step 4: Next, carefully enter your passport number.

Step 5: Fill in the security code displayed on your screen and hit “Submit”.

Under What Circumstances Can Your Work Visa for the US Get Cancelled?

By understanding the common reasons behind the rejection or cancellation of US work visas, you can prevent your visa from getting rejected.

Having said that, below are the main circumstances which can lead to the US work permit rejection:

Incomplete Documents: Incomplete or insufficient documents are among the primary reasons behind US work visa rejections. Therefore, learn about the required documents and submit them carefully. Make sure to provide authentic and complete documents at the time of visa application.

Choosing the Wrong Visa Type: Another mistake that can lead to US work permit rejection is applying for the wrong visa category. To avoid this mistake, select the right visa category depending on your education, qualifications, job profile, etc.

Security Issues: The visa applications of individuals with a criminal record or ongoing criminal case are likely to be rejected. Therefore, before applying for a visa, maintain a clean criminal record.

Medical Concerns: A US work visa for Indian applicants can also be rejected if they fail to meet the health standards. To avoid this, make sure to maintain good health a couple of months before starting your visa process.

Employer Non-compliance: Sometimes, your work visa can also be rejected if the employer sponsoring you fails to align with the immigration laws and regulations of the US.

Exceeding Quota: As mentioned above, some work visas in the US are approved on the basis of a fixed quota. In case the upper limit is reached, no further visa applications will be accepted until the next year. To increase your chances of visa approval, start your process as soon as you can.

Changes in Policies: US immigration laws and policies keep updating on a regular basis, depending on certain circumstances. Such types of sudden changes can sometimes lead to visa rejections. To avoid this, keep yourself updated regarding the changes.

Embassy of US in India

Address American Citizen Service Unit U.S Embassy in India Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi - 110021
Telephone   Number -24197920
Fax 011-91-11-2419-0017
Operating   Hours 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM (Monday to Friday)
Designations  Ambassador Eric Garcetti

Consulates of US in India

US Consulate  Address
US Consulate General Chennai Gemini Circle Chennai 600 006 Phone: 044-2857-4000 Fax: 044-2811-2020
US Consulate General Hyderabad  Survey Number 115/1 Financial District, Nanakramguda Hyderabad, Telangana, India, 500032 Phone: 040-6932-8000
US Consulate General Mumbai C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex Bandra East, Mumbai 400051 Phone: 91-22-26724000
US Consulate General Kolkata 5/1, Ho Chi Minh Sarani Kolkata - 700071 West Bengal, India Phone: 91-33-6827-2400 Fax: 91-33-2288-1616/0356

Embassy of India in US

Address Embassy of India 2536 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20008
Telephone   Number (202)939-7000
Fax (202) 387-6946
Operating   Hours 9.30 AM to 6.00 PM (Monday to Friday)
Designations  Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu

What to Expect When You Arrive in the US

Assuming that you have successfully acquired your US work visa and are all set to step into the land of opportunities, we are listing a few points that you can expect when you arrive in the US for the first time:

  • As soon as you hit the US airport, you will go through the entry procedure that involves diligent document verification. Thus, make sure to keep all the required documents handy, including your passport, visa, identity card, Form I-797, and so on.

  • You will also be asked a series of questions regarding your purpose and duration of visit by the respective US airport authorities. So, be prepared for it and try to answer all the questions in a calm and honest way.

  • To avoid any hassle, it is always better to book your transportation from the airport to your final destination in advance. It can be your employer’s place, or temporary or permanent accommodation.

  • Make sure to keep the contact information of your employer handy and ask them about the next steps you need to take.

  • Within a few weeks of your arrival, you will need to open a bank account and acquire a Social Security Number (SSN), as these will be used for salary and tax purposes.

  • The US is a culturally diverse country. So, arrive here with an open mind. Make yourself familiar with the local lifestyle, culture, workplace norms, and so on.

  • The public services are great in the US. Take your time to learn about them and utilise them as per your requirements.

How Can Tata AIG Travel Insurance USA Help?

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Final Words

The United States of America is a country that stays on the top of the bucket list of people from all across the globe. Being one the most powerful economies in the world, the US offers endless opportunities to grow and thrive, both personally and professionally.

By outlining the complete US work visa process, we have done our part in supporting your dream of working abroad. Now, it’s your turn to take the next step and get started with the visa application process.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

Related Articles

Is it difficult to get a US work visa from India?

Is it difficult to get a US work visa from India?


The difficulty in acquiring a work permit in the US depends on various factors, such as the type of visa, annual cap, education, immigration policies, and so on. Most visas in the US are approved on the basis of these points. Hence, it is advised to stay informed and seek professional advice if needed.

Can I convert a US work permit into PR?


A majority of work permits in the USA belong to the temporary non immigrant category. Hence, they cannot be converted directly into a green card or PR.

Is it worth living in the USA?


Living and working in the USA comes with numerous benefits, such as better work opportunities, higher salaries, a high quality of life, an excellent education system, cultural diversity, and more. All these perks make the US a perfect country to settle in.

Can I work in the USA on a visitor visa?


No, you can not work in the USA on a visitor visa. Doing so is considered illegal and can result in various consequences, such as your ineligibility for future visa applications and deportation. If you want to work in the States, then you must obtain an appropriate work visa, depending on your qualifications and job profile.