E-1 Visas: Treaty Trader Visas
E-1 visas are issued to foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States in order to engage in a “substantial trade” between their country of origin and the United States. The trade refers to the international exchange of goods, services, money, and technology.
E-2 Visas: Treaty Investor Visas
E-2 visas permit people of foreign countries to enter the United States in order to direct and develop a commercial enterprise or business in which they have invested, or are in the process of investing, a substantial amount of money or capital. Foreign nationals wishing to obtain E-2 visas must be a citizen of a country with which the U.S. has a treaty of commerce. Although there is no specific dollar amount required under U.S. immigration laws, the investment must be “substantial” and cannot be marginal. An investor can also buy an existing business or create a new business in the U.S.
H-1B Visas: Professionals in Specialty Occupations
H-1B visas allow professionals to come to the United States to work in a field that requires a specialization or a special skill. In order to be granted an H-1B visa, the applicant must have at least the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree, and the job that they are applying for must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The applicant must also have a sponsoring U.S. employer that is willing to hire the applicant temporarily, pay him/her the required wage, and file a petition with immigration.
L Visas: Intra Company Transfers
Under an L visa, foreign-based executives, managers, and employees with a specialized skill can be transferred to a division, affiliate, subsidiary, or parent branch of an international company in the United States. The L visa is very popular as it provides a work permit to the spouse of the transferred foreign worker and can ultimately lead to a green card in the U.S.
O Visas: Persons of Extraordinary Ability
O visas are issued to foreign artists, athletes, entertainers, scientists, educators, and business people of extraordinary ability who wish to temporarily come to the United States to work in their field of achievement.
O-1A visas are issued to scientists, business people, educators, or athletes.
O-1B visas are issued to visual, performing, and literary artists, such as musicians, writers, singers, actors, artists, directors, photographers etc.
P Visas: Professional Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers
P-1 visas are issued to artists, athletes, and entertainers who wish to temporarily perform or compete—either solo or on a team—in the United States at a specific event.
P-2 visas are issued to athletes and entertainers who are participating in a reciprocal exchange program.
P-3 visas are issued to artists and entertainers who wish to perform, share, coach, or teach their talents in a cultural program.
R Visas: Religious Workers
R visas are issued to foreign religious workers who wish to temporarily enter the United States. A religious worker is considered a person who is continually engaged in an activity that is related to a traditional religious function, such as nuns, monks, cantors, liturgical workers, brothers, religious translators, missionaries, catechists, etc
K-1 Visa: Fiance Visa
K-1 visas permit U.S. citizens to bring their foreign fiances into the United States in order to marry. Under a K-1 visa, your foreign fiance is allowed to reside and work in the United States. Once your fiance enters the U.S., you and your fiance have 90 days to marry and apply for permanent residency. In order to obtain a K-1 visa, certain requirements must be met, such as:
•The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen
•Both you and your foreign fiance are free to get legally married
•You met in person with your fiance within the past two years
•Both you and your fiance have intentions to marry within 90 days of your fiance’s arrival in the U.S.
•You meet the minimum income/financial requirement
•Your fiance does not meet any criteria that render him/her inadmissible to the U.S.