Temporary Employment & Business

IMPORTANT

Due to pandemic restrictions, U.S. Embassy Lome is extremely limited in how many applicants it can see each day. Priority is given to immigrant visas for 1) immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and 2) spouses and minor children of Lawful Permanent Residents.

U.S. Embassy Lome is not processing non-immigrant visas, which includes B1/B2 tourist visas. When we are able to resume routine visa processing, we will update the website. You should NOT contact the Embassy.

 

 

Temporary employment visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition is required to apply for a temporary employment visa.

 

Visa category General description – About an individual in this category:
H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.
H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional Chile, Singapore To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. (Note: This is not a petition-based visa. For application procedures, please refer to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Chile or the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.)
H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker For temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
H-2B: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker For temporary or seasonal non- agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.
H-3: Trainee or Special Education visitor To receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
L: Intracompany Transferee To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.  Individual must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the three preceding years.
O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognized achievements in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) For performance under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-3: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) To perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program For practical training and employment and for sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of your home country through participation in an international cultural exchange program.

Some temporary worker visa categories require your prospective employer to obtain a labor certification or other approval from the Department of Labor on your behalf before filing the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, with USCIS. Your prospective employer should review the Instructions for Form I-129 on the USCIS website to determine whether labor certification is required for you.

Some temporary worker categories are limited in total number of petitions which can be approved on a yearly basis. Before you can apply for a temporary worker visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, must be filed on your behalf by a prospective employer and be approved by USCIS. For more information  about the petition process, eligibility requirements by visa category, and numerical limits, if applicable, see Working in the U.S. and Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers on the USCIS website. Once the petition is approved, USCIS will send your prospective employer a Notice of Action, Form I-797.

Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements (PDF, 57 KB). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160

Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none”(Do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.

Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing the DS-160 incorrectly, causing us to postpone their planned visa interview dates.

Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation Only a passport, DS-160 confirmation page, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background, the forms listed in Step 2, and the Receipt Number for your approved petition as it appears on your Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) or Notice of Action (Form I-797), from USCIS.

L Visa Applicants – If you are included in an L blanket petition, you must bring Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, to your interview.

All visa applicants, except H-1B and L, will generally need to show proof of compelling ties to your home country to demonstrate your intent to return after your temporary stay in the United States. Examples of compelling ties include:

  • A residence abroad which you do not intend to abandon
  • Your family relationships
  • Your economic situation
  • Your long term plans
Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please consult the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. Please have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.
Step 5. Submit Your Passport and Visa Application Forms Submit the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet, forms listed in Step 2, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months, and a valid passport, to the Consular Office one week before your scheduled interview date.
Step 6. Pay the MRV Fee On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees: $ 160 for B-1 (Business) and B-2 (Tourism & Visit) nonimmigrant visas; $ 190 for H, L, O, P, Q, and R visas; and $ 270 for E visas.

Other Fees:

  • L visa fraud prevention and detection fee – for visa applicant included in L blanket petition (principal applicant only): $500.00
  • The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-113) increases fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners. Consular sections collect this fee for blanket L-1 visa applications (principal applicant only) filed by petitioners who employ 50 or more individuals in the United States if more than 50 percent of those individuals are in H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant status: $4,500.00.
Step 7. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

Step 8. Pay the Visa Issuance Fee If your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, depending on the type of visa issued. Citizens of Togo are not required to pay this fee. To learn whether citizens of your country must pay a visa issuance fee, you may visit the U.S. State Department’s reciprocity page and search for your country.
Step 9. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa If you are determined to be qualified for a visa, you may return on Friday at 10:00am to collect your passport and visa.”

You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on usvisas.state.gov.

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.

Extending Your Stay

See Extend Your Stay on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94.

You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS.  Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas you may apply for in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.

Change of Status

While in the United States, you may be able to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) change your nonimmigrant status to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.

Requesting a change of status from USCIS while you are in the United States and before your authorized stay expires does not require that you apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the United States while USCIS processes your change of status request, you must apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Additional Information

  • The approval of a petition does not guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
  • Spouse and Children –
    • With the exception of Cultural Exchange Visitor Q-1 visa applicants, your spouse and unmarried, minor children may also apply for the same visa category as you to accompany or join you. You must be able to show that you will be able to financially support your family in the United States.
    • For information about employment and study, review Temporary Workers information and Employment Authorization on the USCIS website.
  • Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

 

As of August 6, 2019, Togolese passport holders are required to pay visa reciprocity fees for the following visa categories:

Visa Category Fee
E $210
F $255
H $225
I $255
L $225
R $225

 

 Note: Reciprocity fees are paid in addition to the interview fee, only if a visa is approved.

For more information please see Togo reciprocity at travel.state.gov

Rate: 1 USD = 550 FCFA rounded up to the nearest thousand

 

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