There are many factors that can affect your ability to obtain a temporary visa to work in California. These include the country from which you come and the work that you intend to do. Each of these two factors affects the type of temporary work visa that you can obtain. The U.S. State Department lists eleven different categories of temporary work visas. 

To obtain a temporary work visa, you must already have a job lined up with a prospective employer in the United States, whose assistance you will need during the application process. For example, it is the responsibility of your prospective employer to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on your behalf by submitting Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. 

Upon approval of the petition, you can then continue the application process. This begins with gathering the necessary documents, which include your nonimmigrant visa application and your passport, along with a receipt number from the USCIS. You can apply for your visa by filling out and submitting Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application. You can accomplish this online. You also need to submit a photograph of yourself. Upon acceptance of your application, you will receive a confirmation. You should print this out to bring to your visa interview. 

By applying for a temporary work visa, you also incur application fees, which you are responsible for paying. It is often necessary, though not always, for you to make an appointment at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home city for a visa interview. Applying early may allow you to schedule an interview in a more timely fashion. During the interview, a consular officer will review the legal requirements for a temporary work visa in the United States to determine whether you qualify and, if so, in which category. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.