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Types of Non-Immigrant Visas: A Guide for Foreign Workers

 Posted on June 22, 2023 in Immigration

Dallas Temporary Work Visa LawyersThe dream of working in the United States is common among many people in other countries, and foreign workers may pursue employment opportunities that will allow them to support themselves and their families. In many cases, foreign workers may qualify for non-immigrant visas that will allow them to live and work in the U.S. temporarily. For some immigrants, this may serve as a stepping stone to permanent residence and eventual U.S. citizenship. Foreign workers will need to understand the different types of employment-based non-immigrant visas that may be available and the requirements they must meet when applying for these types of visas.

Types of Temporary Work Visas

Employment-based visas will require sponsorship from an employer in the United States, and they will provide a person with authorization to enter the U.S. and remain in the country for a certain period of time. Some common types of employment-based non-immigrant visas include:

  • H-1B visas - This is perhaps the best-known type of non-immigrant visa, and it is primarily granted to foreign workers who are qualified to work in “specialty occupations” that require at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of education or experience. Examples of such occupations include engineers, doctors, and computer programmers. H-1B visas are granted for up to three years, and they can be extended for an additional three years.

  • H-2A and H-2B visas - These visas are available for people who will be working in temporary or seasonal positions. H-2A visas will be available for agricultural workers, and they may allow people to enter and work in the United States during certain times of the year. H-2B visas are for temporary non-agricultural workers in fields where there are not enough workers in the United States to fill an employer's needs. These visas will allow workers to stay in the United States during the period while they will be working, and a stay can be extended in one-year increments, up to a maximum of three years.

  • L-1A and L-1B visas - These visas may be granted to workers who are employed by a foreign company and are being transferred to a branch of the same company in the United States. L-1A visas are often used by multinational companies for managers and executives, while L-1B visas may be available for workers with specialized knowledge. These visas will allow for a stay of one year if a new office is being established in the U.S., or three years for other types of transfers. Extensions may be granted in two-year increments, up to a maximum of seven years.

  • O-1 visas - This type of visa may be available for people who possess extraordinary skills or achievements in science, education, business, athletics, or the arts. Applicants must present evidence of their extraordinary ability in their field, high levels of recognition or acclaim, or extraordinary achievement in the entertainment industry. These visas will usually allow for stays in the U.S. of up to three years, and extensions may be granted if necessary.

  • P-1A and P-1B visas - Athletes and entertainers may qualify for these types of visas. P-1A visas may allow individual athletes or team members who are internationally recognized to come to the United States to participate in specific athletic competitions. P-1B visas may allow members of internationally recognized entertainment groups, such as circus performers or ballet dancers, to come to the U.S. to perform. These visas will usually allow for stays in the United States for as long as necessary to participate in an event, performance, or competition.

  • R-1 visas - These visas are available for religious workers, including ministers or others who will be working for religious organizations or non-profit organizations that are affiliated with a religious denomination. A person will be allowed to stay in the U.S. for 30 months, and an additional 30-month extension may be granted.

  • TN visas: This type of visa is available to Canadian and Mexican professionals who work in certain fields, such as scientists, teachers, engineers, attorneys, and accountants. To be eligible for a TN visa, the worker must have a pre-arranged job with a U.S. employer, and they must meet all qualifications of a particular profession. A TN visa will usually allow a person to stay in the United States for up to three years.

Contact Our Dallas Temporary Work Visa Lawyers

With the different types of employment visas that are available, determining the requirements that a person must meet to receive authorization to enter and work in the United States can be confusing. At John W. Lawit, LLC, our Addison employment-based immigration attorneys can provide guidance for workers and employers, helping them file the correct forms and documentation to receive the appropriate types of visas. To learn how we can assist with temporary work visas and other immigration issues, contact us at 214-609-2242 and schedule a consultation today.

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