Nonimmigrants are those persons entering the United States with a specific purpose and for a temporary period of time. Nonimmigrants include students, business visitors, and international exchange visitors. Generally, nonimmigrants must have ties to their home country and a residence there, to which they intend to return to upon completion of their stay in the United States. It is important to select the appropriate visa utilizing the following criteria:
Visitor Visas: Available to visitors coming to the United States for business or pleasure. B-1 Business Visitor visas are for a short duration and must not involve lemployment. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. More Information
E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas: Investors, traders, and their employees may obtain visas to conduct business in the United States if their home country has a commercial treaty with the United States.
E-3 Australian Specialty Workers Professional workers from Australia who have a job offer in the US may obtain work authorization indefinitely. Applicants must obtain a prevailing wage determination and Labor Condition Application approval before submitting visa applications directly at US consulates.
F-1 and M-1 Student Visas: Persons seeking to pursue a full course of study at a school in the United States may be eligible for a visa to pursue their studies and in some cases a period for practical training in their field of study. More Information
H1-B Specialty Worker Visas: Professional workers with at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent work experience) may be eligible for a non-immigrant visa if their employers can demonstrate that the position offered is professional in nature and that they are to be paid at least the prevailing wage. More Information
H-1B1 Specialty Worker Visas: Specialty workers from Singapore and Chile may apply directly for permission to work in the US at US consulates abroad. More Information
H2-A Temporary Agricultural Workers Visas: Individuals coming to the U.S. to engage in non-agricultural employment which is seasonal, intermittent, to meet a peek load need, or for an on-time occurrence where U.S. workers are unavailable.
H2-B Temporary Worker Visas: Individuals coming to the U.S. to engage in no-agricultural employment which is seasonal, intermittent, to meet a peek load need, or for an one-time occurrence where U.S. workers are unavailable.
H-3 Trainees: This visa is for workers coming to the U.S.A. to receive training which is not available in their home country. It will not involve productive employment unless it is necessary to the training.
H-4 Dependents: The H1-B, H2-B, and the H-3 employee’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old may be granted an H-4 visa. Holders of H-4 visas are not permitted to work in the U.S. However, they may attend school.
J-1 and Q-1 Exchange Visitor Visas: Persons coming to the United States in an approved exchange visitor program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s visa. J-1 programs often permit students, short-term scholars, business trainees, teachers, professors and research scholars, specialists, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs to enter the United States for temporary stays. In some cases, participation in a J-1 program will require the visa holder to return to their last country of residence for at least two years, before being permitted to change their status to a different non-immigrant visa or to obtain permanent residence.
K-1 Fiancée Visa: K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which recognizes the beneficiary’s intent to immigrate, based on her/his planned marriage with a U.S. citizen and allows the beneficiary to enter the United States to complete her marriage. The marriage must be concluded within 90 days of entry.
K-3 Spouse Visa: K-3 visa offers an opportunity for a spouse of a United States citizen to travel to the United States so that the family can be together in the United States during the lengthy wait for the USCIS to process the “immediate relative” immigrant visa petition. Once issued, the spouse would be able to travel to the United States to be with the United States citizen petitioner while awaiting approval of the immigrant visa petition through which the non-citizen spouse will apply for permanent residency. More Information
L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visas: L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized knowledge employees transferring to their employer’s U.S. affiliate, after having been employed abroad for the petitioning employer for one year. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for labor certification. More Information
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas: O-1 visas are available to foreign nationals who have reached the top of their field and who have extraordinary ability in a particular area. This includes entertainers, athletes, scientists, and businesspersons.
O-2 Assistants: The O-2 visa is for those people who accompany and assist an O-1 visa holder in a specific athletic or artistic event, or in the motion picture or television industry. O-2 visas are not available for those who accompany or assist O-1 visa holders in education, science, or business.
O-3 Dependents: The O-3 is for the spouse and children of an O-1 or O-2 visa holder.
P-1 Artists and Athletes Visas: P Visas permit athletes, artists and entertainers to come to the United States on a temporary basis to participate in professional and amateur competitions and events.
Q-1 Cultural Exchange Visitors: This visa is for participants in international cultural exchange program (s) in the U.S.
R-1 Religious Worker Visas: Ministers and religious workers coming to the United States to pursue positions within established religious denominations may be eligible for an R-1 visa.
R-2 Dependents: This visa is for dependents of R-1 religious workers coming to the U.S. on a temporary basis.
TN Visas: A special category has been set up for nationals of Canada and Mexico under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement. This provision allows individuals pursing employment in particular fields to enter the US.
TD Dependents: This type of visa is for spouses and unmarried minor children of TN visa holders.
U Visa: This visa was created upon the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (the Act). After three years of continuous residence in U status, the nonimmigrants may apply for adjustment of status, and will qualify if humanitarian grounds, family unity, or public interest justify their continued presence to protect people who are victims of human trafficking.
V Visas: V-1 Visas are available to the spouses and minor children of Legal Permanent Residents who have filed petitions on behalf of their family members. The sponsoring petitions must have been filed more that three years prior to the V visa application. This visa allows family members to await their green card in the United States allowing them to be reunited with their family member during the long wait for a green card.