W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law Professional Corporation
W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law Professional Corporation
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Non-Immigrant Visas


W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law Professional Corporation

If you wish to enter the U.S. for a temporary period of time, a non-immigrant visa permits you to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to visit for a specific purpose. That purpose might be work, schooling, a conference, tourism, or to visit friends or family.

A non-immigrant visa differs from an immigrant visa in that the non-immigrant visa only allows a person to enter temporarily, whereas an immigrant visa holder can enter and stay permanently.

W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law Professional Corporation

The length of time someone can stay in the U.S. depends on the visa status under which they are admitted (for example, specialty occupation). And a person admitted in one status can often change their status in order to stay longer or to perform different activities. For instance, a medical school student may want to change his or her status to an employer-sponsored non-immigrant visa once they graduate and find employment (assuming their new employer will sponsor them). Several types of non-immigrant visas also allow a person to extend their status and thereby lengthen their stay in the U.S.

The process can sometimes be confusing and complicated. Our firm can make it much easier, determine the visa that is right for you and assist you with changing status from your current category to the new category. In appropriate cases, we can also obtain legal status and work authorization for your dependent family members.

oranges.jpgW. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law Professional Corporation

The following is a brief list of the most commonly used temporary work visa categories:

H1-B Specialty Occupation
This non-immigrant visa classification applies to an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation (one which typically requires a Bachelor’s degree) or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. Under current law, there is an annual limit of 65,000 aliens who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. As many as 20,000 additional H-1B slots are available to graduates of U.S. Master’s degree (or higher) programs.

W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law Professional Corporation

L-1 Intra-company Transfers
The L-1 visa permits multinational companies to transfer high-level, essential employees from their international offices to the United States. The non-immigrant must work at the affiliate or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity

E-1 Treaty Traders

The E-1 visa allows an individual to enter the United States on a non-immigrant basis for the sole purpose of carrying on substantial trade between his or her country and the United States. The home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.

E-2 Treaty Investor

If you come to the U.S. to run an enterprise in which you invest, you may obtain the non-immigrant visa status of E-2 treaty investor. If you are an employee of a treaty trader investor you may also be qualified as an E visa holder if your duties require special qualifications essential to the business. The non-immigrant must have the same nationality as the alien employer.  The home country of the non-immigrant must have a treaty with the United States.

O-1 Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Highly talented or acclaimed individuals may be eligible for an O visa for entry into the U.S. People who may qualify for this visa are physicians, scientists and accomplished businesspeople as well as athletes at the top of their field.

TN Professionals

These visas are limited to nationals of Canada and Mexico.  If you are employed in one of the sixty-three listed professions in NAFTA, you can apply for non-immigrant TN status. Most of the listed professions require at least a bachelor's degree or a licensures degree.

R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 visa permits religious workers to come to the U.S. to assume a religious occupation and to perform services for their religious organization. The religious organization must already be established in the United States.

Find out about MANY other ways of obtaining a non-immigrant visa to the U.S., by contacting us today to arrange a free consultation.