What is a Visa?
A Visa is an official document appended to a passport which allows entry into a particular country. An American visa is issued outside of the United States and currently requires your photograph. The two main types of visas are: Immigrant Visas for Permant Residency, which allow the alien to live and work indefinitely in the United States, and the Non-Immigrant Visas, which allow the alien to visit or work in the United States temporarily.
Note: The information on this site is intended for general information only. It cannot be used in lieu of legal advice. You must consult an attorney to obtain specific advice on the subject or on your particular case.
A U.S. Company/Employer uses the H-1B visa to obtain authorization
to employ foreign professionals. The employment opportunity
offer must be a specialty occupation that requires a Bachelor’s
Degree or its equivalent.
- The employment opportunity must require a university Bachelor's
Degree, or the equivalent
- The foreign professional must be qualified to fill the
- The employment opportunity must qualify as a specialty
- The foreign professional must document that he/she has
a state license to practice the job duties when a license
- The company or the individual that requires the services
of the foreign worker must be American and possess a Federal
Identification Number/Social Security Number.
American companies use the H-2 category for temporary workers
in the area of agriculture during harvest season and for
temporary workers for other services, provided they prove
that there are not enough U.S. workers to perform the work
necessary during a “high season.”
A temporary worker may be invited by an individual or an
American company to receive training which is not available
in his/her own country. This type of visa does not include
International companies that have an American subsidiary
or are affiliated with an American company and want to transfer
a high profile executive to provide the same services in
the United States may use the L-1A visa. L-1B visas are
for specialized workers in the company. These individuals
must have been employed at least one year at the company
The K-1 Visa allows the fiancé(e) of an American
citizen to enter the United States for a 90-day period in
order to marry the American citizen and apply for a change
of status to Permanent Resident. The fiancé’s
dependents may enter the United States with a K-2 Visa.
This Visa category is based on commercial agreements with
the United States and certain countries. In order to qualify
for this visa a foreign worker must be a national of one
of these countries and the petitioner U.S. Company must
be 50% owned by a national of the particular country. This
company must establish business between the U.S. and the
beneficiary country or must develop a project with a substantial
investment from the beneficiary. The beneficiary can qualify
for this Visa as the investor or the essential worker for
F-1, M Visa
The foreign national may use the F Visa to enter the United
States for the purpose of taking an academic course of study.
The M Visa is for studies at a vocational college. To acquire
this type of visa (F or M) from an American Embassy the
student must have the I-20 A-B/M-N form from the school/college
offering the course in the United States and documentation
of his/her financial status. The student must provide evidence
of sufficient funds for payment of the course and for sustaining
him/herself without seeking employment in the US as well
as evidence of the return to his/her original country once
the course is completed.
Spouse and members of the family can
enter the United States with an F-2 visa.
The B-1 Visa is for foreigners who want to come to the United
States to do business temporarily. The term “business”
refers to conventions, conferences or other legitimate activities
that have a commercial or professional purpose. To qualify
for this Visa the applicant must prove that he/she is going
to maintain his/her residence in their country of origin
and is going to enter theUnited States for a limited period
of time. The usual maximum time of stay in the U.S. with
this visa is three months.
The B-2 Visa is for foreigners who enter the United States
for the purpose of tourism, visiting family members, friends
or for health reasons.The applicants for this Visa must
show proof of residence in his/her country of origin with
no intentions of abandoning it. Evidence may be provided
by ties to the country of origin and/or family. The usual
maximum time of stay with this visa is six months.
The R Visa is for individuals in religious occupations that
wish to enter the United States to perform services for
a religious organization of which they have been members
for a period of at least two years prior to submitting the
The TN Visa is for Canadian or Mexican professionals who
enter the United States to work for an American company
providing specific services.