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Non-Immigrant Visas

If you wish to enter the U.S. for a temporary period of time, a non-immigrant visa permits you to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security to visit for a specific purpose. That purpose might be work, schooling, a conference, or to visit the country, friends or family.

A non-immigrant visa differs from an immigrant visa in that the non-immigrant visa only allows a person to enter temporarily, whereas an immigrant visa holder can enter and stay permanently.

The length of time someone can stay in the U.S. depends on the visa status under which they are admitted. An individual admitted in one status can often change their status in order to stay longer--or to perform different activities. For instance, a university student may want to change his or her status to an employer-sponsored non-immigrant visa once they graduate and find employment. Several types of non-immigrant visas also allow a person to extend their status and thereby extend their stay in the U.S.

The process can be confusing and complicated. Our firm can make it much easier, determining the visa category that is right for you and assisting you with changing status from your current category to the new category. In appropriate cases, we can also obtain legal status and work authorization for your dependent family members.

The following is a brief list of the most commonly used nonimmigrant visa categories:

H1-B Specialty Occupation

The H-1B visa is a visa for an individual who will be employed in a “specialty occupation”. A “specialty occupation” is an occupation that requires an individual who possesses, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in a specific field or the equivalent experience.

H-1B1 Visa (Singapore and Chile)

The H-1B1 visa is a visa that is set aside for nationals of Singapore and Chile in accordance with each of the U.S.-Singapore Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement. The substantive requirement of the visa is substantially similar to the H-1B visa described above.

E-3 Visa (Australia)

The E-3 visa is a visa that is set aside for nationals of Australia. The substantive requirement of the visa is substantially similar to the H-1B visa described above.

L-1 Intra-company Transfers

The L-1 visa permits multinational companies to transfer high-level and essential employees from their international offices to the United States. The non-immigrant would work at the affiliate or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

E-1 Treaty Traders

The E-1 visa is a visa for an individual who is coming to the United States to work in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity for an entity carrying on substantial trade between the treaty country and the United States. The home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.

E-2 Treaty Investor

The E-2 visa is a visa for an individual who is coming to the United States to work in an executive, managerial or “specialized knowledge” capacity for an entity that has made a substantial investment in the United States. The entity must be owned at least 50% by nationals of the same country as the E-2 visa applicant.

O-1 Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Highly talented or acclaimed individuals may be eligible for an O visa for entry into the U.S.

TN Professionals

The TN visa is a visa reserved for certain professional classifications for individuals who are nationals of Canada or Mexico in accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement. There are various categories of professions that qualify under the statute.

J-1 Visa Trainees and Interns

The J-1 visa is an exchange visitor visa for trainee and internship programs. The J visa is used for individuals who will come to the U.S. for training and will depart the U.S. after the completion of the training.

R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 visa permits religious workers to come to the U.S. to work in a religious occupation and perform services for their religious organization. The religious organization must already be established in the United States.

B-1/B-2 Visitors (and Visa Waiver Program)

The B-1/B-2 visa is a visa for temporary visitors for business or pleasure.

K-1 Visas

The K-1 visa is a visa by which you can bring your fiancée to the United States for purpose of marriage.

U Visas

The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa for crime victims.

Find out about MANY other means of obtaining a non-immigrant visa to the U.S., by contacting us today to arrange a consultation.