Non-Immigrant Business Visas
Non-immigrant business visas allow individuals to come to the U.S. temporarily to perform specific jobs for U.S. companies. The process is complex and there are a limited number of non-immigrant visas available each year. Therefore, it is not only important to start your application early, but also to have an experienced immigration lawyer on your side.
At the law office of David Estrella P.A., we work with our clients to understand their needs for the immediate and long-term futures. We will develop a plan of action so that you can get the type of visa you need in the short term while keeping an eye on your long-term goals. For personal service from a non-immigrant business visas attorney with more than 17 years of immigration law experience, contact our law firm.
H-1B Visas: Temporary Workers
H-1B visas allow employers to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. to perform temporary work (three years, with extensions available) in specialty occupations. In order for an employer to hire a non-immigrant, it usually must go through the labor certification/PERM process. The amount of time this process can take depends on many conditions, including the number of H-1B visas available.
L-1 Visas: Intra-Company Transferees
L visas, or "intra-company transfer" visas allows companies with overseas offices to transfer certain employees to their U.S. affiliate/division. Intra-company transferees may work in the U.S. for a period of three years, which may be extended depending on the classification:
- L-1A visa: This visa allows executives and managers to come to the U.S. for up to seven years. L-1A visa holders do not have to go through labor certification to be eligible for a green card.
- L-1B visa: This visa allows workers with specialized knowledge to come to the U.S. for up to five years.
E Visas: Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors
Non-immigrant visas are also available for individuals who are involved in a trade agreement with the U.S. or who would like to invest a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business.
An applicant qualifies for a treaty trader visa (E-1 visa) if he or she is a national of a treaty country, the trade involves the U.S. and the treaty country, the trade is substantial, and the applicant is a supervisor, executive or highly skilled worker.
An applicant qualifies for a treaty investor visa (E-2 visa) if he or she is a national of a treaty company who is willing to invest a substantial amount of money into an operating U.S. business, ensuring the business' continued operation. The investment should have a substantial impact on the U.S. economy or workforce and the applicant's intention on coming to the U.S. should be to develop and direct the business.
What is 'EB-1'?
'EB-1' refers to the first preference category of an employment based immigrant visa. It is not necessarily the case that employment based immigration is sponsored by the employer. Instead, it means that the individual's intention to continue to be employed in his or her field is the basis for immigration. Self-petition options for aliens of extraordinary ability are also included in employment based immigration, and would also be considered ‘EB-1’. Advanced degree professionals whose immigration is in the national interest would be considered ‘EB-2’ and given the national interest waiver (NIW).
What are the limits to employment-based immigration?
There are some restrictions that employment based immigration is subject to, such as a per-country limit. In addition, employment based immigration is divided into 'preference categories'. Those with more sophisticated training, expertise, and skills tend to benefit more from these categories than others.
What are the preference categories?
The first preference employment based category (EB-1) includes aliens of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers and professors, and multinational executives and managers. The second preference category (EB-2) includes professionals with advanced degrees and aliens of exceptional ability in science, art, or business. Those considered ‘EB-2’ typically are applying through PERM or the National Interest Waiver. The third preference category (EB-3) includes professionals with bachelors' degrees, and skilled workers with a minimum of two years of training.
How is it distributed?
In order to issue immigrant visas objectively and impartially, the Visa Office in the Department of State distributes green cards according to the preference category and the date the petition was filed. This date is also known as the priority date. Both the preference category and the filing date are of primary importance, after consideration of the green card backlogs.
What is a backlog?
A backlog means that there is a waitlist for green cards in the relevant preference category. Since 2005, there has been a backlog spanning several years for all foreign nationals applying under the employment based third preference (EB-3). There has also been a backlog for Chinese and Indian nationals applying under the employment based second preference (EB-2).
For more information or to schedule an appointment regarding the business visas, please contact David Estrella P.A. at 1-866-628-0510.