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Non-Immigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant visas are visas given to foreign nationals for temporary stay in the United States and according to the purpose of the particular nonimmigrant visa type. Generally, nonimmigrant visas are issued by the consular officer at U.S. Embassy in the foreign country. However, a nonimmigrant status holder in the United States can change to a different nonimmigrant status if necessary if they are still in their status when filing the change of status request. Moreover, the foreign nationals can extend their nonimmigrant status in the United States for additional periods depending on a visa type. There are some exceptional rules for the nationals of Mexico and Canada who do not need to obtain nonimmigrant visas to enter the United States.

Temporary Visitors (B-1/B-2):

B-1 visas are reserved for business visitors. B-2 visas are for visitors for pleasure. Applicants for both visas must show their temporary intent to stay in the United States. They must also show that they have strong ties with their home country and will return to their country as soon as their temporary stay expires in the United States. Either B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrants are not allowed to work in the United States for compensation.

Students (F-1):

F-1 visas are issued to students who would like to come to the United States to complete an education program by going to school or college in the United States. The F-1 student must first get a confirmation and admission records from the school in the United States admitting the student in their program and the program need to be approved by the USCIS.

TN – Professionals under NAFTA:

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provides agreement for Canadian and Mexican citizens to enter the United States and work in professional occupations. These nationals are designated a "TN" status upon entry to the United States. TNs must show their intent to not stay in the United States permanently. There are no visa requirements for TN professionals. Professional occupation is defined in NAFTA as requiring at least a bachelor's degree or other credentials demonstrating professional level.

H-1B - Specialty Occupation:

H-1B visas are reserved for foreign nationals who come to the United States to work temporarily in a specialty occupation for US employers. Every fiscal year 65,000 visas are allocated for persons with at least bachelor's degree or equivalent applying for H-1B visas and 20,000 additional visas are reserved for persons who obtained a master's or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education. An H-1B employee starts employment for the U.S. employer starting October 1 of each year and the period of employment is authorized for three years. At the end of three years the H-1B employee can apply for additional three years of employment with the same employer upon filing an extension of status request or request change of employer.

L-1 – Intracompany Transferees:

L-1 visas are issued to foreign employees of companies who need to transfer their employees from their foreign company to the U.S. company as a manager or executive (L-1A) or as a person of specialized knowledge (L-1B).

O-1 – Artists/Entertainers/Athletes:

O-1 visa is reserved to persons who have "extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim." The O-1 applicants must demonstrate that they intend to come to the United States temporarily and continue to work in their field of endeavor qualifying them under O-1 visa category.

 
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Non-Immigrant Visas - Los Angeles