McLean's Immigration Law PLLC: Immigration and Nationality Law

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Temporary Visas Employment Ba Family Based Permenant Visas U.S. Citizenship
Temporary Visas

Work Visas

H-1B Visa
The H-1B visa allows foreign workers in "specialty occupations" to enter the U.S. and work in a variety of fields, including architecture, engineering, modeling, medicine, and health. The job must require at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent. This visa is issued for a maximum of six years. Under certain circumstances, it can be extended further. Applicants must be sponsored by a U.S. employer, have a bachelor's degree or equivalent in their specialty. A license is required in fields that require licensing, such as teaching or pharmacy. The H-1B visa is often a first step toward permanent immigration.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the H-1B visa holder in the U.S. under H-4 status. The H-4 dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

H-1B1 Visa - Created by the U.S. - Chile Free Trade Agreement and the U.S. - Singapore Free Trade Agreement
The H-1B1 visa is similar to the H-1B visa above except that it is for persons in "specialty occupations" who are nationals of Chile or Singapore. The H-1B1 category does not recognize "dual intent" as does the H-1B status.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the H-1B visa holder in the U.S. under H-4 status. The H-4 dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

TN Visa
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) certain professionals of Canada and Mexico are eligible to enter the U.S. to work temporarily under nonimmigrant TN status. To be eligible for the TN visa, the profession must be on the NAFTA list, the foreign national must possess the necessary training for that profession, the proposed position must be classified as a professional position, and the foreign national must work for a U.S. employer.

Some of the most common TN visa occupations are as follows:

  • accountant
  • architect
  • computer system analyst
  • engineer
  • graphic designer
  • lawyer
  • pharmacist
  • RN nurse
  • physician
  • medical technologist
  • scientific technician/technologist
  • scientist
  • college professor

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the TN Professional in the U.S. under TD status. The TD dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

L-1 Visa
The L-1 visa is open to international organizations with offices in the U.S. who temporarily transfer employees to their U.S. office. This visa is sometimes referred to as the "intracompany transferee" visa. To obtain an L-1 visa, the foreign worker must have worked for the non-U.S. company for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager, or employee with specialized knowledge.

This visa comes in the following categories:

  • L-1A visas - for executives and managers. May work for up to 7 years in the U.S.
  • L-1B visas - for personnel with specialized knowledge - may work for five years in U.S.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the L-1 visa holder in the U.S. under L-2 status. L-2 status spouses are permitted to work in the U.S. upon issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

R-1 Visa
The R-1 visa enables religious workers to temporarily enter the U.S. Included are ministers and persons working in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation. A minister is defined as an individual duly authorized by a recognized religious denomination to conduct religious worship and to perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy. A religious vocation is defined as a calling to religious life, demonstrated by a lifelong commitment such as taking vows. Nuns, monks and religious brothers and sisters are examples of religious workers. Religious occupations include liturgical workers, religious instructors, or cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospitals, missionaries, religious translators, and religious broadcasters. The R-1 visa holders may remain in the U.S. for up to five years.

The R-1 applicant must demonstrate that he or she has belonged to a nonprofit religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years. The U.S. petitioning organization must be a tax-exempt nonprofit religious organization that is able to afford to pay and provide room and board for the religious worker.

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may accompany the religious worker to the U.S. under R-2 status. R-2 visa holders are not authorized to work while in the U.S., but may attend school.

H-2A Visa
The H-2A visa allows foreign workers entry into the U.S. to work in agriculture. The H-2A visa requires an employer to prove that there are no U.S. workers available to perform the work to be completed. This visa can be extended for up to three years.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the H-2A visa holder in the U.S. under H-4 status. The H-4 dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

H-2B Visa
The H-2B visa enables U.S. businesses, such as hotels, construction companies, and landscapers to sponsor foreign workers for temporary positions.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the H-2B visa holder in the U.S. under H-4 status. The H-4 dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

H-3 Visa
The H-3 visa is designed to enable workers in "any field of endeavor" to train in the U.S. However, it does not apply to people seeking graduate medical training.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the H-3 visa holder in the U.S. under H-4 status. The H-4 dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

O-1 Visa
The O-1 visa is for outstanding individuals. The visa enables people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture or television industry to enter the U.S. for temporary period of time. The O-1 visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent, or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. To be considered an outstanding individual, the foreign worker should be highly regarded in his/her field, and can only work in the U.S. in that area of expertise.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the O-1 visa holder in the U.S. under O-3 status. The O-3 dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

O-2 Visa
O-2 visas are offered to support personnel of O-1 visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, and motion picture and television production. This status is not applicable to personnel in the sciences, business, or education. The O-2 visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent.

A spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the O-2 visa holder in the U.S. under O-3 status. The O-3 dependent is not permitted to work in the U.S.

P-1 Visa
Outstanding athletes may apply for this visa in order to compete in the U.S., either as individuals or as members of an internationally recognized athletic team. Entertainment groups with an outstanding reputation can be granted P-1 classification as a unit; however, individual entertainers within these groups cannot apply for separate visas.

P-2 Visa
P-2 visas are issued to troupes or bands entering the U.S. as part of an exchange program. Either the U.S. labor group that negotiated the exchange agreement, the sponsoring organization or the U.S. employer must file the petition.

P-3 Visa
The P-3 visa allows "culturally unique" artists and entertainers to travel to the U.S. for temporary positions as performers, teachers, or coaches. Either the sponsoring organization or the U.S. employer must file the P-3 visa application.

 
 
 
 
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