Nonimmigrant visas are for foreign nationals wishing to enter the United States on a temporary basis – for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, study, or other similar reasons. An immigrant visa is issued to a foreign national who intends to live and work permanently in the United States.
Understanding the non-immigrant visa process can be difficult. We’re here to answer your questions.
Persons who want to enter the U.S. temporarily for pleasure must first obtain a B-2 tourist visa. Applicants must show that:
A foreign person is allowed to enter the U.S. if they are a citizen of a foreign country that has a ‘treaty of commerce’ with the U.S. The purpose of the trip must be:
A foreign person is allowed to enter the U.S. if they are a citizen of a foreign country that has a treaty of commerce with the U.S. In order to qualify for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, the foreign person must:
To qualify for an E-3 visa, an applicant must demonstrate:
This category contains many subgroups, including:
The EB-5 category requires an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in a high unemployment or rural area) in a commercial enterprise that will employ 10 full-time US workers. Although the investor's role cannot be completely passive, he or she does not have to be involved in any way in the day-to-day management of the business unless he or she wants to do so. It is critically important that the investor be able to document the lawful source of investment funds, whether his or her own or funds given to him or her as a gift. The permanent residence obtained by the investor is conditional for two years and can be made permanent upon satisfying USCIS at the end of the two years that the investment proceeds have not been withdrawn and the requisite jobs have been created.
Persons who desire to enter the U.S. to pursue an education must first obtain a Student Visa. To qualify, the person must:
Persons who want to enter the U.S. to work in a professional occupation may be eligible to enter the U.S. under an H-1B Specialty Worker Visa. In order to qualify, the person must:
Persons who want to enter the U.S. as a skilled or unskilled worker in a temporary job, where the job is by nature temporary, such as seasonal or intermittent jobs, may be eligible to enter under an H-2B Temporary Worker Visa. In order to qualify for an H-2B visa, the person must:
Exchange-Visitor Program must first obtain a J-1 Visa. In order to qualify for the J-1 visa, the person must:
A foreign person, who is a fiance(e) to a U.S. citizen, may enter the U.S. temporarily under the K1- Fiance(e) Visa. In order to obtain a K-1 visa, the U.S. citizen on behalf of the fiance(e) must file the application, and the purpose of the admission into the U.S. must be solely to conclude a valid marriage with the petitioning U.S. citizen within ninety days after admission. After the marriage occurs, the foreign person can then apply for permanent residency as the spouse of a U.S. citizen and receive a green card.
A foreign person is allowed to enter the U.S. temporarily to work in the U.S. as an Executive or Manager of an international company. In order to qualify for a temporary work visa as an L-1A Intra-company Executive or Manager transferee, the alien must:
A foreign person is allowed to enter the U.S. temporarily to work in the U.S. as a Specialized Knowledge Employee of an international company. In order to qualify for a temporary work visa as an L-1B Intra-company Specialized Knowledge transferee, the alien must:
Persons who desire to enter the U.S. solely for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an established vocational or other non-academic institution in the U.S. must first obtain an M-1 vocational student visa. In order to qualify, the person must:
A Person with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics can enter the U.S. temporarily to work if the person:
Persons who desire to enter the U.S. to work temporarily as an Athlete or a member of an Entertainment Group must first obtain a P-1 visa (individual entertainers, not including athletes, are not eligible for P-1 status). In order to qualify for a P-1 visa as an Athlete, the person must show:
In order to qualify for a P-1 visa as a member of an entertainment group, the person must show:
In order to qualify for a P2 visa is reserved for artists and entertainers who perform individually or as part of a group, pursuant to a reciprocal exchange program between one or more U.S. organizations and one or more such organizations in other countries that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.
In order to qualify for a P-3 visa is granted to culturally unique artists and entertainers, individually or as a group, coming to the United States to develop, interpret, represent, coach, or teach their particular art or discipline.
Persons who want to enter the U.S. as a participant in an international cultural exchange program must first obtain a Q-1 visa. In order to qualify for a Q-1 International Cultural Exchange Visa, the person must:
Religious Worker must first obtain an R-1 Visa. In order to qualify for an R-1 Religious Worker Visa, the person must be coming to the U.S. temporarily:
The person must have, for the 2 years immediately preceding the time of application for admission, been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the U.S.
The R2 visa is a US temporary visa that authorizes the spouse and unmarried child (below 21 years) of an R1 visa holder to enter into the United States. The R2 status holders can stay in the country as long as the R1 holders remain in legal status. In other words, an individual lose his/her R-2 status once the principal R-1 person loses lawful status.
The R1 visa is a non-immigrant religious work visa issued to the following categories:
One can enjoy the following benefits on R-2 visa:
If you want to change the purpose of your visit while you reside in the country on a R2 visa, then you have to change or adjust your visa status. For this purpose, the R2 visa holder must file Form I-360 (application for special immigrant) and Form I-485 (application for Adjustment of Status).
Under any circumstances, persons holding R2 are not allowed to earn income in the US. To be exact, the R-2 visa holders can not accept any employment. If they wish to work in the country, they must obtain a work visa, which is a temporary approval to live and work in the country.
Extension of stay:
The initial R-2 visa may be granted for a period of up to three years. The R2 holder can apply for extension, if he/she wishes to stay longer. In this case, the applicant must submit Form I-129 (petition for a nonimmigrant worker extension) to the USCIS. In general, extension of stay may be approved for a period of up to two years. To be clear, the total period of stay for a person holding R2 dependent visa may not exceed five years.
Citizens of Canada and Mexico seeking to enter the U.S. temporarily to engage in work in the U.S. are eligible to enter under a TN NAFTA visa. In order to be eligible, the person must:
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship
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