B-1 - Business Visitors For individuals traveling to the USA to consult with business associates; travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference on specific dates; settle an estate; or negotiate a contract.
E-1 / E-2 - Treaty Traders / Investors For individuals of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce, coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade, or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which have invested, or are in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.
E-1 Both the individual and the company must be from the treaty country. More that 50% of the international trade involved must be between the U.S and the treaty country. The individual must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or possessing highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. The immediate family members are eligible for derivative visas. The spouse is eligible for work authorization. The children are not allowed to work.
E-2 The investor (real or corporate person) must be a national of a treaty country. The investment must be a real operating enterprise. The investment may not be marginal. The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. The immediate family members are eligible for derivative visas. The spouse is eligible for work authorization. The children are not allowed to work.
H-1B - Specialty Workers For individuals with highly specialized knowledge and high education with a professional job offer from a company in the U.S. Usually, requires the individuals to hold minimum a 4-year Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent education plus experience (3-years experience is considered equivalent to 1-year education). The immediate family members are eligible for H-4 visas. They are not allowed to work.
H-2A / H-2B - Agricultural / Seasonal Workers For individuals with a job offer of a temporary or seasonal nature from a U.S. company. The immediate family members are eligible for H-4 visas. They are not allowed to work.
H-2B - Seasonal Nonagricultural Worker Non agricultural worker
H-3 - Trainees For individuals traveling to the U.S. to receive training which is not available in their country, or practical training in the education of handicapped children. It also applies to individuals from a multinational company traveling to the U.S. to receive on-the-job training. The immediate family members are eligible for H-4 visas. They are not allowed to work.
I Media, - Press and Radio For individuals, who are representative of the foreign media, traveling to the U.S. to work in their profession. It includes members of the press, radio, film or print industries, engaged in activities such as reporters, film crews, editors and similar occupations. The activity must be essentially informational and generally associated with the news gathering process, and reporting on actual current events. The immediate family members are eligible for derivative visas. They are not allowed to work
J-1 - Exchange Visitors For individuals traveling to the U.S. to participate in one of a wide variety of educational and cultural exchange programs, such as:
- Medical students coming to the U.S. as residents or interns
- Post-graduate students
- Foreign scholars sponsored by universities as temporary faculty
- Business and Industrial trainees
- Government visitors
- Summer camp counselors and staff
- Au-pair and nanny
- Anyone who takes part in a exchange program approved by the U.S. Department of State
The immediate family members are eligible for J-2 visas. They are not allowed to work.
Waiver J-1 Waiver An individual subject to two-year foreign residence may not change his/her status to that of H, L, or K, or to immigrant or legal permanent status until he/she has fulfilled the two-year foreign residence requirement by going back to his/her home country or receiving a waiver of this requirement.
A person may be may be subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement for any of the following reasons:
- The individual is an exchange visitor participating in an exchange program funded by the United States Government, his/her own government, or an international organization.
- The individual is an exchange visitor pursuing education, training, or a skill in an exchange program that appears on the Exchange Visitor Skills List (1997 Amendment) for his/her country.
- The individual is on a J-1 status obtained on or after January 10, 1977, for the purpose of receiving graduate medical education or training
L-1 - Intra-company Transfers For individuals who, within the three preceding years, have been continuously employed abroad for at least 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, or specialized knowledge capacity. The immediate family members are eligible for L-2 visas. The spouse is eligible for work authorization. The children are not allowed to work.
L-1 - Blanket Large Companies
A large U.S. company with at least 3 offices in the U.S. and oversees (branches, subsidiaries or affiliates) that frequently transfers employees to the U.S. offices can apply for a blanket L-1.
The company must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- At least 1,000 employees in the U.S.
- During the previous 12 months, has obtained at least 10 L-1 visas for its employees.
- Has annual sales of at least $25 million.
Once the blanket petition is approved, the oversees employee can take a copy of the approval and present to the U.S. consulate to obtain a visa stamp.
O-1 - Extraordinary Ability For individuals with a job offer in the U.S. who have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or with extraordinary achievements in the motion picture or television industry. The immediate family members are eligible for O-3 visas. They are not allowed to work.
O-2 - Support Staff of an O-1 For individuals accompanying an O-1 holder who are essentials to assist him/her in an artistic or athletic performance. The immediate family members are eligible for O-3 visas. They are not allowed to work.
P-1 / P-2 / P-3 - Athletes / Artist or Entertainers For individuals (or team/group) who are athletes, artists or members of an entertainment group recognized internationally. The immediate family members are eligible for P-4 visas. They are not allowed to work.
P-1 - Athletes or Entertainers Athletes or athletic teams traveling to U.S. to participate in an event of international interest and their support staff.
P-2 - Artist or Entertainers Artists or entertainers traveling to the U.S. to perform under a reciprocal exchange program and their support staff.
P-3 - Artist or Entertainers Artists or entertainers traveling to the U.S. to perform under a program that is culturally unique and their support staff.
R-1 Religious Workers For individuals who are ministers or religious workers of a legitimate religious organization traveling to the U.S. to work in religious vocations such as ministers, liturgical workers, religious instructors or cantors, catechists, missionaries, workers in religious hospitals, religious broadcasters. The immediate family members are eligible for R-2 visas. They are not allowed to work.
TN - NAFTA Professional For Canadian or Mexican citizens with a bachelor’s degree or higher education and a job offer in the U.S. for some specific occupations; among them: physicians, dentists, dietitians, laboratory technologists, nutritionist, pharmacist, physical therapist, psychologist, registered nurses and veterinarians, scientists, engineers, programmers, research assistants, management consultants, social workers, accountants. The immediate family members are eligible for derivative visas. They are not allowed to work.
TPS - Temporary Protected Status For individuals, citizens of one of the designated countries, who are temporarily unable to safely return to their country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Thee are entitled to a work authorization.