Visa Pages

A resource detailing the various non-immigrant visas that U.S. employers use to bring temporary foreign workers to the U.S. 

H-2A    |    H-2B    |    H-1B    |    J-1    |    L-1    |    A-3/G-5    |    F-1    |    B-1

Each page contains detailed information summarizing key points of each visa, its history, the hiring process, data, basic regulatory scheme, enforcement mechanisms, and challenges it poses in seeking justice for migrants across borders. 

Background

In May 2012, Justice in Motion published Visas, Inc.: Corporate Control and Policy Incoherence in the Temporary Labor System. Visas, Inc. was the first panoramic investigation of U.S.temporary work visas. The findings revealed a fragmented system that lacks transparency and government oversight, resulting in abuse of both foreign and U.S workers. Indeed, U.S. immigration policy has moved away from its roots in permanent labor migration and embraced an array of utterly chaotic, constantly metastasizing temporary worker visa programs. Rather than developing a coherent, unitary system, the U.S. has responded piecemeal to employer demands and created a patchwork of visas subject to distinct rules.

To curtail abuse and misuse, Justice in Motion believes that future reform must happen holistically, with the recognition that these individual visas constitute a de facto temporary foreign labor system. By maintaining Visa Pages as an online resource, Justice in Motion seeks to advance an informed conversation around the future of temporary foreign worker programs in the U.S. 

H-2A
Agricultural Work
108,144 visas issued
94% of H-2A visas originate in Mexico

The H-2A nonimmigrant visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers for temporary agricultural jobs when they cannot find enough U.S. workers.

H-2B
Non- Agricultural Work
69,684 visas issued
73% of H-2B visas originate in Mexico

The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural jobs when they cannot find enough U.S. workers.

H-1B
Specialty Occupation
172,748 visas issued
69% of H-1B visas originate in India

The H-1B nonimmigrant visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers for specialty and professional occupations under conditions approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

J-1
Exchange Visitors
332,540 visas issued
11% of J-1 visas originate in China

The J-1 nonimmigrant visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers under the auspices of an educational and cultural exchange visitor program without testing the U.S. labor market.

L-1
Intracompany Transfers
78,537 visas issued
30% of L-1 visas originate in India

The L-1 nonimmigrant visa program allows multinational employers to bring to the U.S. as intracompany transfers their current or former foreign employees who are managers or executives or who have specialized knowledge.

A-3/G-5
Domestic Workers
1,824 visas issued
23% of A-3/G-5 visas originate in Philippines

The A-3 and G-5 nonimmigrant visas allow foreign diplomats and employees of international organizations to employ foreign workers for in-home domestic work.

F-1
Students
644,233 visas issued
43% of F-1 visas originate in China

The F-1 nonimmigrant visa allows foreign individuals to study in the United States; work is allowed on-campus part-time, and off-campus in only certain situations requiring government approval.

B-1
Business Visitors
43,421 visas issued
21% of B-1 visas originate in Philippines

The B-1 business visitor visa is available for a wide variety of business travelers, including domestic workers who are employed by U.S. citizens or nonimmigrants, trainees (B-1 in lieu of H-3), and high-skilled workers employed by foreign companies (B-1 in lieu of H-1B).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


The Justice in Motion team would like to recognize the following individuals who have contributed to the Visa Pages project since 2013. For the 2017 update, Kathleen Griesbach, Carol Brooke, Gillian Gillers, and Stacie Jonas reviewed and edited select portions of content, and Bea Abbott and Jessica Diaz-Hurtado provided data, chart and graphs support. Legal Director Nan Schivone drafted content for the original edition of Visa Pages published in 2014, based on research and writing of Ashwini Sukthankar and Philip Simon for Visas, Inc. Agnew::Beck Consulting - provided graphic design and Jill Hubley provided web support for the original web edition. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Justice in Motion protects migrant rights by ensuring justice across borders.

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