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Non-Immigrant Visas

There are a myriad of non-immigrant visas that permit people to come to the United States for a temporary period of time, be it to study, work or participate in an exchange program. Some of the more common types of non-immigrant visas are:

B-1: Temporary Business Visitor
B-2: Visitor/Tourist Visa
E-1: Treaty Trader or Investor (E-2)
F-1: Student Visas
H-1B: Professional worker visa for those with a bachelor's or equivalent degree
qualification and specialized knowledge
H-2B: Seasonal, Peak, Intermittent, or One-time Occurrence Workers
H-1C: Petition for Registered Nurses in Healthcare Shortage Areas (HPSA)
H-3: Corporate Trainees
J-1: Exchange Visitor Program
K-1/K-3: Visas for a fiancé or spouse and children of a United States Citizen
L-1A: Intra-company transferees in a Executive, Managerial position
L-1B: Intra-company transferees with specialized knowledge capacity
O: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
P: Artists, Athletes and Entertainers
Q: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program
R: Religious Workers
TN: Canadian or Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers

Employment-Based Non-Immigrant Visas

In today's competitive business environment, with the globalization of economies, the movement and selection of the best qualified employees are essential to companies seeking competitive advantages. We assist businesses by navigating complex U.S. immigration processes so their foreign employees are appropriately counseled on the best visa category. We also advise qualified individual candidates who are seeking to enter and work in the United States.

Our Immigration Practice Group prepares and processes both temporary and permanent employment-related work visas. The non-immigrant worker petitions are frequently required by companies interested in employing foreign nationals on a limited basis. Under the temporary visa options, the foreign national is typically employed in a professional capacity. These visa categories include H, J and L and O and P visas. We also assist employers with seasonal or one-time goals such as those in the hospitality industry, with meeting their peak employment needs via the H-2B visa category.

Visas for Visitors

Millions of tourists visit the United States each year. Most visitors apply for a B-2 Visitor Visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to their home. To access the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate and the required forms, go to: http://travel.state.gov.

Some visitors are visa exempt, and are not required to have a B-1/B-2 visa in order the travel to the United States. However, new regulations require that these visitors have a machine readable passport. Nationals of the following countries are visa exempt and therefore do not need to apply for a visa if their only intention is to be a tourist for a period of 90 days or less. The countries that currently participate in the Visa Waiver Program are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Canadians and some Mexican nationals are not required to have visas to enter and in some cases, they are not required to have passports.

Student and Exchange Visitor Visas

While most educational institutions issue the actual visa document to the foreign student, we provide current information on student visas and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Our consultation with foreign students extends to their concerns over maintaining status, F-1 extensions, reinstatement, employment authorization, optional practical training and changing status. We consult with schools, colleges and universities on hiring foreign staff, scholar issues and certain F-1 student concerns. We are available to assist colleges and universities on how to maintain valid student visa status, SEVIS requirements and legal consequences of student status violations.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is a widely utilized visa category that encompasses a variety of programs for people who come to the United States to temporarily participate in an "exchange" of knowledge, ideas, information and culture. A participant in this program may be a Foreign Physician, Teacher, Professor, Research Scholar, Camp Counselor, Au Pair, Intern, Summer Work/Travel University Student, Trainee, Government Visitor, Student, Flight Trainee, or Short-term scholar. SAYER REGAN & THAYER prepares and processes many Exchange Visitor Visas on behalf of program sponsors.