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,
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 (for example, specialty occupation). And 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 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 working visa categories:
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) 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 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.
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 come 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
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 businesspeople as well as athletes considered at
the top of their field.
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 licensures degree.
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
Find out about MANY other means of obtaining a non-immigrant visa to the U.S., by contacting us today to arrange a free consultation.