This brief list outlines some of the most common visa types. Contact us for a Free initial consultation to review your unique situation.
E-2 TREATY Investor
The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the US maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the US when investing a substantial amount of capital in a US business. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:
Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. List of US Treaty countries.
Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the US.
Be seeking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
EB-5 IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM
Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:
- Make a minimum investment of $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise in the US. A lower investment minimum of $500,000 can apply for "Targeted Employment Areas" with high unemployment or rural locations.
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers.
Investments can be made directly or through regional centers and include a wide variety of options including real estate, businesses and restaurants among others. Investments can either be passive or actively managed by the investor.
EB-1 to EB-4 PERMANENT WORKER VISAS
Under this program, if you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the US. Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year for aliens (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. The visa preference categories are as follows:
- EB-1: This preference is reserved for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers. Labor certification is not required. EB-1 criteria.
- EB-2: This preference is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Labor certification is required unless applicant can obtain a national interest waiver. EB-2 criteria.
- EB-3: This preference is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers. Labor certification is required. EB-3 criteria.
- EB-4: This preference is reserved for “special immigrants,” which includes certain religious workers, employees of US foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the US, and other classes of aliens. Labor certification is not required. EB-4 criteria.
H1-B SPECIALTY OCCUPATIONS
This visa category applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in the H-4 nonimmigrant classification.
E-3 Specialty occupation from australia
The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia coming to the US solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields and at least the attainment of a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the US. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to the same E-3 classification. Your spouse is entitled to work authorization, but not your children.
L-1 INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE
The L-1A and L-1B nonimmigrant classifications enable a US employer to transfer an executive, manager or professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the US. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated US office to send an executive or manager to the US with the purpose of establishing one.
To qualify for L-1 classification the named employee must:
- Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the US; and
- Be seeking to enter the US to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity or to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
O-1 TEMPORARY WORKER VISAS
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. O-2 and O-3 visas are available for assistants and family members accompanying O-1 visa recipients. O-1 criteria and classifications.
TN NAFTA Professionals
The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the US to engage in business activities at a professional level as authorized under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The initial period of stay can be up to 3 years and may be extended upon application.
Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. The TN nonimmigrant classification is available to qualified citizens of Canada or Mexico who have prearranged a full-time or part-time job with a US employer. Any accompanying or “following to join” spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. Spouses and children are not permitted to work while in the US, but they are permitted to study.
STUDENT & EXCHANGE VISITOR VISAS
F-1 STUDENT VISA
The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the US as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the US government to accept international students. A students spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in the F-2 visa classification.
F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. There are various programs available for F-1 students to seek off-campus employment, after the first academic year. F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for one academic year. These three types of employment are:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)
M-1 STUDENT VISA
The M-1 visa (Vocational Student) category includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training. M-1 students may engage in practical training only after they have completed their studies.
For M-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) and USCIS.
J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR VISA
The exchange visitor J-1 classification is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.
In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 nonimmigrants are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the US Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange or persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.
Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:
- Professors, scholars, teachers & research assistants
- Students & Trainees
- Nannies/Au pairs
- Camp counselors
Some J-1 nonimmigrants enter the US specifically to work (as a researcher, nanny, etc.) while others do not. Employment is authorized for J-1 nonimmigrants only under the terms of the exchange program. The sponsoring agency would provide information on any restrictions that may apply to working in the US.
Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, are entitled to J-2 classification. Your spouse and children are entitled to work authorization; however, their income may not be used to support you.
B-1 BUSINESS VISITOR VISA
A business visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa and generally is used to enter the US temporarily for business. Some examples of activities permitted with a business visitor visa:
- Consult with business associates
- Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
- Settle an estate
- Negotiate a contract
B-2 TOURISM AND VISIT VISA
A tourism visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa and generally is used to enter the US temporarily for tourism, pleasure or visiting.
Chudnovsky Law is a California based law firm practicing in the areas of immigration, criminal defense, business, family and personal injury law. While the firm represents both US and foreign clients, we have a special competence in representing international and immigrant clients in the US. Our experienced, multilingual attorneys help clients skillfully navigate the complex and shifting US laws, visas and international treaties that apply to international businesses and individuals.
The firm offers a rare combination of multi-lingual immigration & business attorneys combined with top criminal defense & litigation attorneys. The intersection between immigration and criminal law is one of the most complex and technical areas of law. Chudnovsky Law is recognized as a leader in criminal immigration law and addressing the immigration consequences of crimes. The firm provides critical legal services to consulates, immigrants, corporations, students, scholars and clients from all countries.
Contact us for a Free initial consultation to review your unique situation.