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The United States has a very restrictive immigration system. Very few people in the world can obtain visas to work in the United States. The general rule is that only executives or managers, professionals, health care workers, artists, athletes or religious workers can obtain temporary work visas -- and in almost all cases such persons must have an employer in the United States who seeks their services.  Most of the temporary visas are available for up to 6 years. Factory workers, mechanics, babysitters and non-skilled individuals might be able to get short-term visas for less than a year, but only if an employer can show it cannot find someone in the U.S. to do the job. Individuals from some countries can obtain temporary visas by investing in businesses in the U.S.

There are many categories of temporary visas in the United States, but the following are the main ones used by individuals seeking to work in the United States.

H-1B Visa

L-1 Visa
Multinational Managers and Executives

E Visa
Traders and Investors

O and P Visas
Athletes, Artists, Musicians and Other Extraordinary Individuals

R Visa
Religious Workers

Special Visas for Canadian and Mexican Professionals

If an individual is eligible for a temporary work visa, that person's spouse and minor (under 21) children can come to United States along with that person.