Would you like to enter the U.S., temporarily? A nonimmigrant visa permits admission for a specific purpose, such as work, school, a conference, or a visit, with friends or family.
A nonimmigrant visa differs from an immigrant visa in that the nonimmigrant visa only allows a person to enter temporarily, though potentially for years, whereas an immigrant visa holder can enter and stay permanently, and usually become a U.S. citizen in time.
The length of time someone can stay in the U.S. depends on the visa status under which he or she is admitted (for example, specialty occupation). And a person admitted in one status can often change status in order to stay longer--or to perform different activities. For instance, a medical school student may want to change status to an employer-sponsored nonimmigrant visa once they graduate and find employment (assuming their new employer will sponsor the person). Several types of nonimmigrant visas also allow a person to extend their authorized period of stay in the U.S.
The process though, is often confusing and complicated. Our firm can guide you through it, by determining the best visa category and assisting you with changing status from one category to a better one. 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 temporary working visa categories:
H1-B Specialty Occupation
This nonimmigrant visa classification applies to an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation (one which typically requires a bachelor’s degree), for example, a computer systems analyst or engineer, or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. Under current law, there is an annual limit of 65,000 aliens who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. As many as 20,000 additional H-1B slots are available to graduates of U.S. master’s degree (or higher) programs.
L-1 Intracompany Transferee
The L-1 visa permits multinational companies to transfer high-level and essential employees from their international offices to the United States. The nonimmigrant 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 Trader
The E-1 visa allows an individual to enter the United States for the sole purpose of carrying on substantial trade between his or her home country and the United States. The home country of the nonimmigrant must have a treaty with the United States. Such visas can be extended indefinitely.
E-2 Treaty Investor
If you come to the U.S. to run an enterprise in which you are invested, you may obtain the nonimmigrant visa status of E-2 treaty investor. If you are an employee of a treaty trader investor you may also be qualified as an E visa holder if your duties require special qualifications essential to the business. The nonimmigrant must have the same nationality as the alien employer and the home country of the nonimmigrant must have a treaty with the United States. Like E-1s, these can be extended indefinitely.
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. People who may qualify for this visa are physicians, scientists and accomplished business persons, and athletes.
These visas are limited to nationals of Canada and Mexico. If you are employed in one of the 63 listed professions in NAFTA, you can apply for nonimmigrant TN status. Most of the listed professions require either a bachelor's degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional.
R-1 Religious Workers
The R-1 visa permits religious workers to come to the U.S. to take on a religious occupation and perform services for their religious organization. The religious organization must already be established in the United States.
Find out about many other means of obtaining a nonimmigrant visa to the U.S. by contacting us today to arrange a consultation.