Nonimmigrant Work Visas
Greenstein & Associates works closely with US employers to assist with non-immigrant employment visas in fields ranging from research science to health care and accounting. We also assist religious organizations with R-1 visas. In our family-based non-immigrant visa practice we assist with fiancé(e) visa petitions. Following is a description of the most frequently used US non-immigrant visa categories.
The information contained on this site should not be viewed as legal advice and should not be relied upon without specific legal counsel being sought. Each individual has unique needs and circumstances.
The H1-B visa category can be utilized by an employer seeking the temporary services of a foreign professional in the United States in a specialty occupation.
- The position must require at least a Bachelor’s Degree in the field
- The position must meet “prevailing wage” standards and be approved by the Department of Labor
- Maximum six years of authorization, further extensions may be available at certain stages in permanent residence processing
This category is currently subject to a strict annual numerical limitation and is therefore not always available.
TN, Treaty NAFTA
- For citizens of Canada and Mexico
- Provides temporary US employment
- Profession or occupation must be included in the NAFTA Appendix
- The applicant must document the appropriate credentials for the profession (frequently a Bachelor’s Degree in the field is required)
- Canadian citizens may apply directly at a port of entry into the United States
- Mexican citizens may apply for a visa directly at a US consulate
The applicant will only be admitted to the United States for an initial three-year period. Extensions of TN authorization may be granted in three-year increments.
L-1 Visa, Intracompany Transferee
- Multi-national corporations seeking to transfer key staff temporarily from international affiliate, subsidiary, parent, or branch operations to the United States operations
- The employee must have at least one year of qualifying employment in an executive, managerial, or “specialized knowledge” capacity in the past three years
- Maximum seven years of authorization for managers and executives and five years for specialized knowledge employees
- For managers and executives, the L-1 category can become the basis for a permanent residency application
B-1 Business Visitor
The B-1 visa category can be utilized by individuals seeking to visit the United States to conduct a range of business transactions.
- This category does not permit employment in the United States and requires that the applicant illustrate continuing ties to his/her home country, a specific return date, and permissible business activities in the United States.
B-1 authorization is generally granted for a short period of time based upon the business necessity of the visit (one to six months) with the possibility of extensions. Note that nationals of certain countries may visit the US temporarily without a visa, pursuant to the visa waiver program.
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 visa category is appropriate for individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the sciences, the arts, education, business or sports.
- This category is intended for those individuals who have risen to the top of their field and have received sustained national or international acclaim for their accomplishments.
- The individual must be able to document that he/she meets the specific criteria which include receipt of awards, authorship of scholarly articles, or evidence of employment in an organization with a distinguished reputation.
- The applicant must have an offer of employment related to their field.
E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor
The E visa category is available to nationals of those countries that have qualifying treaties with the United States and who are entering the US to invest in a business or to set up a qualifying trading operation. E visas may be issued to employees of large multinational companies also.
- Approximately 50 countries have qualifying agreements with the United States
- E-1: international trade with the United States
- E-2: investment in United States business
- Visa issued for five years, extensions are available as long as the trade or investment continues to qualify
- E visas do not typically lead to permanent residency
R-1 Religious Worker
The R-1 visa category is for a religious worker who, for the past two years, has been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide 501(c)(3) nonprofit religious organization in the United States. It is for:
- Monks and nuns
- People in religious occupations, such as liturgical workers, religious translators, and cantors. This category is not for maintenance workers, fundraisers, or clerks.