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 from the Department of Homeland Security to visit for a specific purpose. That purpose may be business related, educational, to attend a conference, give a musical performance, to compete athletically or simply 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, for a specific amount of time 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. A person admitted in one status can often change their status in order to stay longer--or to perform different activities. For instance, a medical school student may want to change his or her status to an employer-sponsored non-immigrant visa once they graduate and find employment (assuming of course that their new employer will sponsor them). 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 sometimes 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 temporary visa categories:
COMMON NON-BUSINESS TEMPORARY VISAS:
B-2 Visitor’s Visa
Is the most issued visa intended to admit visitors to engage primarily in recreational activities, i.e. vacations, visits to family and friends. Among many of the other permissible activities are: visits for medical treatment, attending conventions, inclusive a foreign national entering to marry a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident as long as they return to their foreign country.
Fiance(e) K Visas
K-1 Category - Permits the fiancé(e) of an U.S. citizen to enter the USA for a period of 90 days to marry the U.S. citizen and later apply for permanent U.S.A. residency.
K-3 Category - allow the spouse and children of U.S. citizens who are the beneficiaries of a family immigrant petition to be admitted initially as a non-immigrant and later adjust to permanent resident after entry into the USA.
COMMON WORK RELATED (BUSINESS) TEMPORARY VISAS
B-1 Temporary Visa for Business Visitors
This visa allows the entry of a business visitor into the USA to conduct business. No salary is permitted to be earned from a U.S. employer while in the country.
H1-B Specialty Occupation
This non-immigrant visa classification applies to an alien who will be employed temporarily in a “specialty occupation” (one which typically requires a Bachelor’s degree). 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.
H2-B Seasonal, Temporary Employees
This visa classification allows U.S. employers to hire seasonal, temporary, peak load, intermittent, or one-time basis employees for a period of less than one year.
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 allows an individual to enter the United States on a non-immigrant basis for the sole purpose of carrying on substantial trade between his or her country and the United States. The home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.
E-2 Treaty Investor
If you desire to enter the U.S. to run an enterprise in which you are invested, you may obtain the non-immigrant 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 non-immigrant must have the same nationality as the alien employer and the home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.
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, educators and accomplished businesspeople as well as athletes considered at the top of their field.
P-1 International Athlete
Internationally recognized athlete or a member of an internationally recognized entertainment group may be eligible for a P-1 visa for entry into the US. P-2 visas are available for an artist or entertainer in a reciprocal exchange program while P-3 visas are available for artists or entertainer in a culturally unique program.
These visas are limited to nationals of Canada and Mexico. If you are employed in one of the sixty-three listed professions in NAFTA, you can apply for non-immigrant TN status. Most of the listed professions require either a bachelor's degree or a licensure degree.
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.
Click here to see a complete list of Non-Immigrant Temporary Visas.
Find out more details about these visas or about many other means of obtaining a non-immigrant visa to the U.S., by contacting us today to arrange a free consultation.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.