The H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the holder to work in the United States for three to six years. The visa is available for degreed workers in specialty occupations, certain Defense Department R&D workers and fashion models of distinguished ability.
Coming to the U.S. on a student or exchange visa comes with the responsibility to maintain your immigration status while you complete your program. You can violate your immigration status in several ways, but the primary ones include overstaying your visa, reducing your academic load below full time and exceeding your work authorization.
In August, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spoke at a Center for Immigration Studies event. The controversial think tank advocates for far less immigration being allowed in the U.S. At the event, the director said that a plan to end work authorizations for H-4 visa holders is still being worked on. Previously, the Department of Homeland Security had estimated it would stop offering the work authorizations in June.
The Department of Homeland Security has proposed eliminating the so-called "international entrepreneur rule," which allows foreign talent to build new businesses in the U.S.
A study by the Association of International Educators found that international students contributed some $37 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2016-2017 academic year in tuition and living expenses alone. That's a lot, but we should always keep in mind that the United States competes globally for top international talent. One program that has been drawing that talent and helping to keep it here is the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.
The H-1B visa allows certain highly skilled people to work in the U.S. for several years. It also allows fashion models and specific workers on Department of Defense projects to work temporarily in the United States. What H-1B visas are most noted for, however, is bringing in foreign talent when high-tech industries can't fill their jobs with home-grown workers.
An O visa is a non-immigrant temporary visa granted to individuals who possess extraordinary talents or achievements. Generally, the individual must be nationally or internationally recognized for their talents.
If you're an internationally recognized athlete, entertainer, artist or performer, you may qualify for a P visa, allowing you to live and work temporarily in the United States. Before you sign up, however, you should understand the purpose and qualifications for each type of P visa. Also, be aware that some artists and entertainers qualify for other types of visas instead.