Is my I-797 Approval Notice a visa?

An I-797 Approval Notice for an H-1B or other temporary nonimmigrant category issued by the USCIS is not a visa. As noted above, visas are only issued by a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate abroad. In some cases, the I-797 Approval Notice will need to be presented at a visa application interview at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate abroad in order to secure a visa stamp.