Non Immigrant Work Visas
Certain nonimmigrant visas allow individuals to come to the U.S. for temporary employment. These visas are for all granted for limited time and for a specific purpose. With the exception of the H, L and E visa categories, each nonimmigrant must maintain a foreign residence that he has no intention of abandoning. The Immigration and Nationality Act sets forth the nonimmigrant classes for the issuance of nonimmigrant visas. The visas are referred to by the letter of the alphabet where their class is described in the Act. The following visas are the most common temporary visas used for employment. The following is a general summary and does not include all relevant information. Each visa has restrictions with regard to qualification and duration. Please contact our office for specific and detailed information on each visa.
E-Visa Treaty Trader / Investor
The E visa category gives effect to treaties between the United States and other countries that provide for reciprocal benefits to nationals of each country who invest in or who conduct trade between the two countries. An initial period of stay of one year is granted to persons coming to the United States in the E category. However, this period can be extended almost indefinitely as long as the alien affirms that he or she will leave the United States at the end of the period of authorized stay.
H-1B Visa –Professional Worker
The H-1B is only appropriate where the position to be filled by the applicant is a “specialty occupation: defined as a position that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, AND the minimum entry-level requirement is a bachelor degree of higher in a specific occupational specialty. The position to be filled can full or part-time. Although permission to stay in the United States and employment authorization are temporary, the actual position filled by the employee may be a permanent one.
L-1 Visa Intracompany Transferee
This visa is available to individuals who are employed by a company abroad who will be coming to work in a related or affiliated company in the United States. The employee must have worked abroad for the overseas company for a continuous period of one year in the preceding three years. The company must be a qualifying organization and must continue to do business in the United States and one other country during the whole period of the transfer. Further, the employee must have been employed abroad in an “Executive” or “Managerial” position or a position involving “Specialized Knowledge” and will be employed in the United States in such a position.
An O-1 visa is available for individuals of extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, athletics and the arts. In order to qualify, the individual must have sustained international or national acclaim and be coming to the United States to work in the field of ability. The applicant must have an offer of employment and have a specific identifiable agenda for the employment such as a scientific project, conference, convention, lecture series, tour, exhibit, business project, academic year, or engagement. Such activity may include short vacations, promotional appearances, and stopovers that are incidental and/or related to the specific agenda or event.
P-1 Visa Athletes and Group Entertainers
The P visa is available to certain athletes and entertainment groups. Generally, the individual must be recognized internationally as being outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time. Performers must have a sustained and substantial relationship with the group over a period of at least one year. There are certain exceptions to these rules for circus performers.
TN Visa – Trade Visa
TN status is only available to Canadian and Mexican persons engaged in activities at a professional level defined as requiring “at least a Baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional. The regulations specify various categories of professions that are covered including accountant; architect; computer systems analyst; disaster relief claims adjuster; economist; engineer; forester; graphic designer; hotel manager; industrial designers; interior designer; land surveyor; landscape architect; lawyer; librarian; management consultant; medical /allied professionals; veterinarian; range manager; research assistant; scientific technician/technologist; scientist; social worker; sylviculturist; teacher (college, seminary or university); technical publications writer; urban planner and vocational counselor. Please note that spouses and children under age 21 may accompany the principal visa holder on related visas.
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