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Temporary Employment Visas

Temporary Employment (H/L/O/P) Visas

Anyone wishing to work in the United States, for even a short period, requires an employment visa.  All temporary work visas are for specific positions and require prearranged employment.  United States law does not contain any provision for informal working holidays. 

If you are interested in working in the United States you must first locate an employer in the U.S.  The employer will then file the necessary paperwork with the U.S. Department of Labor to begin the process of obtaining a petition from the Department of Homeland Security that allows the employer to bring a foreign employee to the United States.  Applying for the visa is the last step in the process of going to work in the United States.   

Detailed information on the various types of employment visas can be found at the Department of State website


Temporary Employment (H/L/O/P) Visa Checklist

  • All Applicants (including dependents, spouses and children) must present the following documents at their scheduled interview time.
    All applicants over the age of 14 must have an appointment (including dependents, spouses and children)
  1. Valid Passport: Your current passport is required and must have 6 months validity remaining.   You must also bring any old passports that contain valid or expired U.S. visas.
  2. One Photograph: Color photo, less than six months old, 5x5cm, against a white background, where you are facing the camera directly. The face should be 25 to 35 mm from top of head to chin. The Embassy will reject any photographs that do not meet the specified requirements.  Please note that Icelandic style passport photos, 4.5x3.5cm, are not accepted. More details on visa photo requirements can be found here.  
  3. $190 application fee:  PAYABLE IN CASH ONLY with U.S. dollars or Icelandic kronur. Credit cards and debit cards are not accepted for this fee.
  4. DS-160 Application Form:  Each applicant needs his or her own DS-160 form, including minor children.  This form can only be completed online.  Once the form is completed you must print the confirmation page and bring it with you to your visa appointment.  Press this link for the DS-160 Non-Immigrant Visa application form.  Allow yourself 45 to 60 minutes to complete the form.  Detailed instructions and frequently asked questions about the DS-160 application form can be found here
  5. Envelope: If you would prefer to have your passport and visa returned to you by mail please include a self addressed stamped envelope.  We will mail your passport when we have finished processing your visa. 
  6. I-797 Notice of Action:  Applicants for H, L, O or P visas need to submit an original or copy of the I-797 Notice of Action from the Department of Homeland Security. 
  7. Blanket Petition (for blanket L visa applicants only):  Applicants with blanket L1 petitions must submit three copies of the petition.  In addition, there is an additional $500 MRV fee for L blanket petitions.  This fee is payable in cash only with either U.S. Dollars or Icelandic Kronur. 
  8. Court and Police Records: Persons who have been arrested or convicted of any offense or crime must provide an original police record, copies of court records and any prison records, even if you are the subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other act of clemency.  These documents must be submitted in English.  NOTE! If you have not been arrested you do not need to submit any of these records. 
  9. Children/Spouses: Original or certified copies of birth certificates and marriage certificate for all dependents traveling with you on your H, L, O or P visa.   
  10. Book Your Appointment:  After you have completed your DS-160 application and gathered all required documents it is time to BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT.  You must schedule your appointment online.  You need your passport and confirmation page from the DS-160 application form in front of you while you complete the online booking form. 


At the Interview

Please show up 5 mintues in advance of your scheduled interview to allow yourself time to get through security.  Phones and other electronic equipment are not allowed into the Embassy.  The entire interview process generally takes between 20 and 40 minutes.  You are welcome to bring reading material with you to pass the time while you wait for your interview with the Consular Officer.

Further Information

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