There are many different types of temporary visas, depending on your situation and employment status. Generally speaking, a citizen of foreign country must first obtain a visa before they wish to enter the United States, no matter if it is for a temporary or permanent stay. Temporary work visas are needed for people who want to enter the country for a set period of time, and require the prospective employer to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as an approved petition is needed before applying for a work visa.
H-1B visas are for those who work in specialty occupations that require a minimum four-year university degree or equivalent, with the prospective employee holding a four-year university degree or equivalent. These visas are typically valid for up to three years, with the option to extend for three years after that. H-2B visas, on the other hand, deal with temporary or seasonal work that is not agricultural in nature. This typically applies when employers are looking to hire foreign workers to perform work on a one-time, seasonal, or intermittent basis.
A TN visa is similar in some ways to an H-1B visa, but it is unique in that it is only for citizens of Canada or Mexico. The TN visa allows for Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans to work for up to three years in each other’s countries, with the ability to have the visa renewed indefinitely. This TN status is recognized in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was enacted in 1994.
Visitor visas or for citizens of a foreign country who wish to come to the United States, either via a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, or on an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The B-1 visitor visa is for those wishing to enter the USA temporarily for business, with the B-2 visitor visa being for those who wish to come for pleasure or medical treatment. Additionally, residents of some foreign countries are eligible to visit the United States for 90 days without having to apply for a B visa, via the Visa Waiver Program. In that case, they are required to complete the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) online before visiting the country.
The U visa is a non-immigrant visa which was created in 2000 for victims of crimes (along with their families), who have suffered mental or physical abuse. They can obtain this visa if they are willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
In order to study in the United States, a foreign citizen must apply for a student visa. There are F-1 and M-1 visas available, with the proper one depending on the course of study and type of school that the student will be attending. These visas can be renewed as long as student status has been maintained. F-1 visas are for those attending high school, university, or other similar educational school, including language training programs. M-1 visas are reserved for those attending a vocational or technical school, and are good for the length of the program plus a 30 day grace period.
O visas relate to those people with extraordinary ability or achievement in fields such as the sciences, arts, education, business, or other fields where they have received national or international acclaim. This also covers those people who provide essential support and services to those with the extraordinary ability.
Similarly, P visas are for athletes, artists or entertainers who have achieved a high level of sustained performance. The P-1 visa is for athletes and those providing essential services in support of the athlete. P-2 or P-3 visas relate to artists or entertainers to perform, teach, or coach, along with those who provide essential services to the artist and entertainer.
The L visa covers inter-company transferees, such as those foreign citizen employees who work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of an employer in a managerial or executive role. Additionally, the employee must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for one year within the preceding three years in order to qualify for an L visa.
At the Law Offices of Ron A. Kamran, we handle simple to highly complex immigration matters including visas. Contact us any time, 24/7 and let us help you today.