Non Immigrant Visas
VISAS FOR NON-IMMIGRANTS ARE THOSE GRANTED BY THE UNITED STATES TO TEMPORARILY STAY IN THE COUNTRY.
VISA B-1 Is granted to those who enter the United States for business purposes.
VISA B-2 Gives a person permission to enter the United States with the sole purpose of tourism.
A tourist visa is granted to a traveler from a foreign country who wishes to travel to the United States for a determined time and purpose. Once their goals or plans are fulfilled, the traveler abandons U.S. territory. They are foreigners not immigrants. For them, there is a special category of visa with a large number of variations depending on the reason for the trip, for example: business, tourism, investments, education, cultural exchange, artists, temporary laborers, special assignments, etc. There are about 76 different visas under this category. These visas are processed through the United States Embassy located on each country. Some of the requisites are:
- To demonstrate that the purpose of the trip into the United States is for a specific reason which must be declared on the visa application.
- That you will only stay for a definite time. If passed, you could be subjected to punishments that will prohibit the entrance into the United States for a period of 3 to 10 years.
- Must present evidence of sufficient funds to cover the stay during the trip.
- Demonstrate substantial evidence of social and economic ties in your home country.
- Demonstrate evidence of residency outside the United States, as well as other links to your country to ensure your return at the end of the visit.
VISA E-1: Allows citizens originating from a nation with which the United States has a trade agreement to enter the country to do business.
VISA E-2: For entrepreneurs with substantial investments or investment plans in American companies.
VISA F-1: For students.
VISA H-1B: For professional workers.
VISA H-2B: Granted to temporary workers.
VISA J-1: Granted to visitors who comply with an exchange program.
VISA K-1: Granted to the fiancé of someone who resides in the United States possessing a permanent legal resident card.
K-1 Visa is a visa granted to foreigners which allows the fiancé of a U.S. citizen to travel to the United States to get married to the citizen within 90 days of their admission to the country.
Foreigner Visa K3 and K4
The immigration law allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen and their minor children to be admitted into the United States as foreigners while the wait for the completion of the permanent residence process. This visa also allows them to obtain authorization for employment while they wait.
In order to qualify for the nonimmigrant visa K-3, the individual must:
- Be married to a U.S. citizen.
- Have their U.S. citizen spouse present the Form I-130, petition for a foreign relative.
- He or she is single, younger than 21 years of age and son/daughter of an eligible K-3 nonimmigrant visa applicant.
L-1A Transfer of Executives or Managers within the same company.
The classification nonimmigrant L-1A allows U.S. employers to transfer an Executive or Manager from their foreign company affiliated to their offices in the United States. This classification also allows a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated office in the United States, to send an executive or manager to the United States for the purpose of creating an office. The employer must complete the application I-129, Petition for a nonimmigrant worker, under the employee’s name.
The following explains some of the requisites and characteristics of the program for nonimmigrant visa L-1.
General requisites for the employer and employee
In order to qualify for the classification L-1 in this category, the employer must:
- Have an eligible relationship with a foreign company (central office, branch, subsidiary or affiliated, collectively referred as eligible organizations).
- Currently be, or will be making business as an employer in the United States and at least another country, directly or through an eligible organization during the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. While the business must be viable, it is not required to be involved in an international commerce.
Also, in order to qualify, the assigned employee must
- Generally, have been continuously working for an eligible organization abroad for one year, and within three years prior to admission to the United States.
- Seek to enter the United States with the intention of rendering services in executive or managerial capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its eligible organizations.
Establishment of new offices for the company
For foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager, to establish a new office. They must also demonstrate:
- Sufficient physical spaces have been secured to establish the new office.
- The employee has been hired as an executive or manager for a full year within the previous three years of filing the application.
- The U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the petition being approved.
Family members of those possessing an L-1 visa
Employees transferred to offices in the United States may be admitted accompanied by their spouse and children under 21 years of age. These family members can request admission with a visa under the L-2 classification, should it be approved, it will be granted for the same amount of time as the employee with the L-1. If these family members find themselves in the United States and ask for a status change or extension for their stay under the L-2 classification, these could be requested collectively, paying the appropriate tariff, with the application I-539. The spouses of employees with an L-1 can request authorization to work with the application I-765. Should it be approved, there are no specific restrictions for work.
VISA P-1 Is a temporary work visa for athletes and artists. Contact us for more information regarding those visas.
VISA R-1 Granted to religious workers. Contact us for more information regarding those visas.
VISA NAFTA (TN)
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) creates special economic and trade relations for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The TN status for nonimmigrants allows professionals from Canada and Mexico to work in the United States. Mexican professionals must obtain a TN visa at the consulate or United States Embassy in order to enter the country. Canadian professionals can request their TN status at the United States Port of Entry. Contact us for a list of professions included in the NAFTA agreement.
The V visa was established by the “Legal Immigration Family Equity Act- LIFE”. This law establishes a new category of visas for “non-immigrants” which allows the spouses or children of a legal permanent resident the right to live and work in the United States under the nonimmigrant category. The spouses or children can remain in the United States while they wait until they are eligible to solicit their permanent legal residence (status adjustment), or for an immigrant visa, instead of having to wait outside of the United States as it was previously required.
HOW TO QUALIFY FOR A V VISA:
The person can present their application for a V-1 or V-2 at the U.S. consulate outside the U.S. or find their nonimmigrant status V-1 or V-2 in the United States if:
- The person is legally married to a legal resident of the United States (V-1) is a single child (under 21 years of age) of a legal resident.
- The person is the principal beneficiary in a family petition (form I-130) entered by a legal resident spouse before December 21, 2000.
- The person has been waiting for at least 3 years since the petition was received for legal residence because their petition is pending or has been approved, but no immigrant visas are available, or there is a pending request to adjust status or for an immigrant visa.
- The child of a nonimmigrant with a V-1 or V-2 visa qualifies for a V-3 visa or V-3 status.
If you are outside of the United States, you must contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy within your jurisdiction. If you are in the United States, a form I-539 must be filled out to change your nonimmigrant status, and the supplement to pay the established fee. A fee must be paid for the digital fingerprints attached to the application. The additional instructions found in Supplement A of form I-539 must be followed.
You must consult with an attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected and the correct steps are taken.
VISA H-1B/ SPECIALIZED OCCUPATION:
One of the Visas most sought out by foreigners who wish to migrate to the United States is the H-1B Visa. The H-1B Visa allows U.S. companies to hire employees from foreign countries for specialized jobs. The immigration laws define “specialized work” as that which complies with the following two requisites:
- Requires a body of highly specialized theoretical and practical skills in professions such as: Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Medicine, Law, Accounting, Social Studies, Education, Business, Theory and Art.
- Requires a university degree or equivalent in that specialty and a license if required.
If you would like to get more detailed information, consult our “Frequently Asked Questions” or click the following link: