Types of Non-Immigrant Visas

If you are outside of the United States you must apply for a visa upon approval of a petition. You may then use the visa to seek admission to the United States as a non-immigrant (temporary). If you are already in the United States, you may be able to apply for a change to the correct non-immigrant (temporary) classification, or for an extension of a prior period of admission. If you are not in a valid non-immigrant status or have not continuously maintained your status, your application for change of status or extension of stay may be denied, and you may need to go abroad to apply for a visa upon approval of the petition.

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides several categories of non-immigrant visas for a person who wishes to work temporarily in the United States. If you want to work in the U.S. temporarily, under immigration law, you need a specific visa based on the purpose of your travel and type of work you will be doing.

Available to persons who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field.

Available for persons accompanying an O-1 alien to assist in an artistic or athletic performance for a specific event or performance

Available to nationals of many countries – the E-1 requires over half of the company’s trade to be between the treaty country and United States.

Available to nationals of many countries the E-2 requires a considerable investment in U.S business (this varies dependent on the nature of the business).

This visa category is only available for nationals of Australia. He or she needs to have a legitimate job offer from a U.S. company, possess necessary academic credentials and will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation.

F-1 visa holders can enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited university, college or other academic institution. The student must be enrolled in an institution that is authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and an offer of employment which relates to that degree are required. The petition for a visa is applied for by the U.S. employer and can be approved for up to 3 years and can be extended to a maximum of 6 years.

This visa category is introduced with the Singapore–United States Free Trade Agreement. The category is available for nationals of Chile and Singapore and follows the same requirements as H-1B visas.

This visa category is available for bona fide representatives of foreign media who represent a foreign information media outlet (press, radio, film or other foreign media)

Available for exchange visitors to participate in authorized exchange visitor programs as a trainee.

Available for intracompany transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive. Available on an individual of blanket basis.

Available for intracompany transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. that has specialized knowledge capacity. Available on an individual of blanket basis.

Available for individual or team athletes, or members of an entertainment group that are internationally recognized. Issued to perform as a specific event.

Available for artists or entertainers who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program.

Classification applies to artists or entertainers who perform under a program that is culturally unique (same as P-1)

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) temporary professional visa for persons from Mexico and Canada.

This visa category is available for victims (who have suffered substantial physical and mental abuse) of qualifying criminal activities that occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.

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