Non-Immigrant Visa Options
In certain situations, a non-immigrant visa may be necessary for those who wish to gain entry into the United States. Below are the visa options for non-immigrants. If you believe you qualify for one of these non-immigrant visas, please schedule a free consultation to learn more about the immigration process.
E-1: Treaty Traders
Treaty Traders are from countries with a bilateral investment/trade treaty with the United States that contains E-1 visa authorization. They engage in substantial trade with the U.S. that accounts for at least 50% of their total international trade. E-1 visa holders may come to the United States to manage their trading business.
E-2: Treaty Investors
Treaty Investors are from countries with a bilateral investment/trade treaty with the United States that contains E-2 visa authorization. They have made a substantial investment in a U.S. company and own at least 50% of it; the entity should be an active, for-profit business that has the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income for the investor or to create a positive economic impact on the local economy. E-2 visa holders may come to the United States to manage their business.
H-1B: Professional/Specialty Workers
Professional or specialty workers employed by a U.S. company in an occupation that normally requires at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. An H-1B worker can be approved for an initial three-year period with one three-year extension. Additional extensions are available in limited circumstances.
J-1: Exchange Trainees
Exchange trainees who come to the U.S. to train with a U.S. company must have a bachelor’s degree or five years of experience in the area of training. While they are not allowed to engage in gainful employment, they may be compensated by the U.S. company during a training period that can last up to 18 months.
L-1A: Managers and Executives
Managers or Executives who are intracompany transferees may come to the U.S. to set up a new branch or subsidiary office if they have been employed as a manager or executive for at least one year at the parent company abroad and if the new U.S. office will support a managerial or executive position within one year. If the U.S. office is more than one year old, the L-1 approval can be granted for three years and extended to a maximum of seven years.
L-1B: Specialized Knowledge Workers
Specialized knowledge workers who have experience with the parent company abroad may come to the U.S. to work for a branch or subsidiary if they can demonstrate their specialized knowledge and that the company requires such services. The L-1B worker can be approved for a three-year visa, up to a five-year maximum.
O-1: Persons of Extraordinary Ability
Persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, athletics, business, education, or sciences may receive a visa if they can demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and that they are coming to the U.S. to continue to work in their area of extraordinary ability. O-1 approvals are itinerary-based, up to three years. O-2 visas are for persons accompanying and assisting O-1 artists or athletes for specific events.