Nonimmigrant Visas


B-1 Visa – Visitor (Business)

Requirements:

  1. Have a residence in a foreign country, which you do not intend to abandon.
  2. Intend to enter the U.S. for a period of specifically limited duration.
  3. Seek admission for the purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business.
  4. Examples of permissible activities: (i) consult with business associate; (ii) attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference; (iii) settle an estate; (iv) negotiate a contract.

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B-2 Visa – Visitor (Pleasure)

Requirements:

  1. Have a residence in a foreign country, which you do not intend to abandon.
  2. Intend to enter the U.S. for a period of specifically limited duration.
  3. Seek admission for the purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business.
  4. Examples of permissible activities: (i) tourism; (ii) vacation (holiday); (iii) visit with friends or relatives; (iv) medical treatment; (v) participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations.

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TN Visa – NAFTA Profession

Requirements:

  1. Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico. (Note: requirements for Canadians and Mexicans are different).
  2. Profession is on the NAFTA list.
  3. Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional.
  4. Applicant will work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for an employer.
  5. Applicant has the qualifications, meeting the specific requirements, education, and/or experience, of the profession.

A list of qualifying professions can be found at Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA Chapter 16.

F-1 Visa – Student

Requirements:

  1. Acceptance at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved school.
  2. Possession of sufficient funds to successfully study in the U.S. (without being forced to resort to unauthorized employment).
  3. Possess proper qualifications for course of study.
  4. Present intent to leave the U.S. at conclusion of studies. 

E-1 Visa – Treaty Trader

Requirements: 

  1. Existence of a qualifying treaty.
  2. Individual and/or business must possess the nationality of the treaty country.
  3. Activities constitute trade.
  4. Trade is substantial.
  5. Trade is principally between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  6. Applicant must be an essential employee, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm.
  7. Applicant intends to depart the U.S. when status terminates.

E-2 Visa – Treaty Investor

Requirements:

  1. Existence of a qualifying treaty.
  2. Individual and/or business must possess the nationality of the treaty country.
  3. Applicant has invested or is in the process of investing.
  4. Investment must be a real operating enterprise.
  5. Investment is substantial.
  6. Investment must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
  7. Applicant is in a position to "develop and direct" the enterprise.
  8. Applicant must be considered an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.
  9. Applicant intends to depart the U.S. when status terminates.

H-1B Visa – Specialty Occupation

Requirements:

  1. Possess a higher education degree or its equivalent.
  2. Prior to filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, the employer must file a labor condition application (LCA). 

H-2 Visa – Seasonal Employment

H-2A Visa: Temporary Agricultural Worker

  1. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the U.S. interest.
  2. Prior to filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, the employer must file a labor condition application (LCA). 

H-2B Visa: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker

  1. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the U.S. interest.
  2. Prior to filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, the employer must file a labor condition application (LCA). 

H-3 Visa – Trainee

Requirements:

  1. Proposed Training is not available in the foreign national's own country.
  2. The beneficiary will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and in which citizens and resident workers are regularly employed.
  3. The beneficiary will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training.
  4. The training will benefit the beneficiary in pursing a career outside the U.S.

L-1 Visa – Intra-company Transfer

Requirements:

  1. Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as a qualifying organization).
  2. Services performed must involve either “managerial capacity”, “executive capacity”, or “specialized knowledge”. 
  3. Company currently, or will be, doing business as an employer in the U.S. and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the U.S. as an L-1.
  4. Company must be viable.

J-1 Visa – Exchange Visitor

Requirements:

  1. Acceptance to a designated exchange visitor program.
  2. Sufficient funds, or adequate arrangements, to cover expenses.
  3. Proficiency in the English language to participate in program and compliance with the requirements of Section 212(j) (INA), if coming to participate in a graduate medical education or training program.
  4. Present intent to leave the U.S. at conclusion of program.
  5. Qualified for the program offered.
  6. Compliance with INA 212(e) (two-year foreign residence requirement). 

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P Visas – Athlete/Group Performer

P-1A Visa: Internationally Recognized Athlete.                      

P-1B Visa: Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group.

P-2 Visa: Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program.

P-3 Visa: Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program.

M-1 Visa – Vocational Student

Requirements:

  1. Acceptance at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved school.
  2. Must establish immediate availability to funds or assurances of support necessary to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of stay. 
  3. Possess proper qualifications for course of study.
  4. Present intent to leave the U.S. at conclusion of studies. 

R-1 Visa – Religious Worker

Requirements:

  1. Be a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.
  2. The religious denomination and its affiliate, if applicable, are exempt from taxation.
  3. Foreign national has been a member of the organization for two years immediately preceding application for admission.
  4. Foreign national is coming to the U.S. to work at least in a part time position (average of at least 20 hours per week).
  5. Foreign national is entering the U.S. solely as a minister or to perform a religious vocation or occupation (in either a professional or nonprofessional capacity).
  6. Foreign national is coming to or remaining in the U.S. at the request of the petitioner to work for the petitioner.
  7. Foreign national will not work in the U.S. in any unapproved capacity.
  8. If the foreign national has previously spent five years in this classification, he or she must have resided and been physically outside the U.S. for the immediate prior year (except for brief visits for business or pleasure).

K-1 Visa - Fiancé/Fiancée

Requirements:

  1. Petitioner is a U.S. citizen.
  2. Petitioner intends to marry fiancé(e) within 90 days of entering the U.S.
  3. Petitioner and fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
  4. Petitioner and fiancé(e) met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
  • Requirement would violate strict and long-established customs of you or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
  • Requirement would result in extreme hardship to you.

K-3 Visa - Foreign Citizen Spouse

Requirements:

  1. Be married to a U.S. citizen. 
  2. Have a pending Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by U.S. citizen spouse.

O-1 Visa – Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

O-1A Visa: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry).

O-1B Visa: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.

O-2 Visa: individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance.  For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1.

O-3 Visa: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s.

Requirements:

  1. Have a residence in a foreign country, which you do not intend to abandon.
  2. (O-1): Possess “a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top field of endeavor.”