U.S. Non-Immigrant Visas – A Glimpse
A nonimmigrant visa (NIV) is issued to a person with permanent residence outside the United States, who wishes to be in the U.S. on a temporary basis. An alien who has been granted the right to reside temporarily in the United States is called a Non-immigrant. Each Non-immigrant is admitted into the U.S. in the Non-immigrant status which corresponds to the type of visa issued to them. Non-immigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States on a temporary basis for the purposes of tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work.
Temporary Work Visas:
Temporary Worker visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time, and are not considered indefinite. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). H-1B Visa is the most common type of work visa available in U.S. It is for high ranking or experienced professionals to work in a specialty occupation. The H-1B visa allows Petitioner employers to recruit and hire international professionals for a certain time frame which usually amounts to three years plus extension up to six years. The H-4 visa is for a dependent (spouse or children) of the H-1B recipient. If you are a foreigner who wishes to receive professional training in the U.S. that is not available in your home country, the H-3 Visa is for you. This visa can also be used by special education exchange visitors who will receive practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
The L-1 Visa category allows the foreigner to work at a U.S. branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of their current employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.This visa classification also allows a foreign company that does not yet have an established U.S. office, to send an employee of high standing to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
O Visas are forindividuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in the fields science, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognized achievements and sustained national or international acclaim in the motion picture and television industry.
Treaty Trader & Investor Visas:
Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. For the purposes of these visas, you must be coming to the U.S. to engage in substantial trade, including trade in goods, services, insurance, transportation, foreign banking, tourism or technology, etc. principally between the United States and the treaty country ordevelop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital.
Visas for Canadian and Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers:
The North American Free Trade Agreement also known as the NAFTAcreated special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Under this Agreement, the TN Visa allows thecitizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States in prearranged business activities for U.S. or foreign employers. Permanent residents of Canada and Mexico are not able to apply for TN visas.
Other Temporary Visas:
B Visas are visitor visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for tourism (B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2). The B-1/B-2 Visa holders can Attend business or professional conferences or conventions, consult with business associates, negotiate contracts, purchase goods or materials, appear as a witness in court trials, undertake independent research, visit friend/relatives, undergo medical treatment or participate in conventions, conferences or convocations of fraternal or social organizations.
If you would like to study as a full-time student in the United States, you will need a student visa. There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons wishing to study in the United States – F-1 Visa (Academic Student) and M-1 visa (Vocational Student). The J-1 visa is for exchange visitors only. These visitors should be involved in an approved program for the sole purpose of teaching, lecturing, conducting research, consulting, receive special training or receive a graduate medical training or education.
The DS-160 (Online Non-immigrant Visa Application form) is for temporary travel to the U.S. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the internet. Consular officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the Visa application, and combined with a personal interview, determine an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa.
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- Drafting Visa Petitions;
- Processing Visa Applications;
- Appeals; and
- Compiling requisite documentation.
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