We can help you decide on the type of US non-immigrant work visa to apply for when bringing in non-US nationals. There are almost 60 different types of temporary US non-immigrant visas in addition to several employment based immigrant permanent residence routes, known as the 'Green Card'. This guide should provide you with a basic understanding of the various US non-immigrant work visa routes.
This on-line guide cover the most commonly used visas for professional and management level staff. If you have a query about another visa type, please contact us.
Usually the best way in which to employ people in the US is to apply for a non-immigrant work visa such at the L-1 visa, E-2 visa or H-1B visa. The employment based immigrant categories (Green Cards) will probably take too long . Once the candidate arrives in the US on the USA visa, you can then look at applying for an employment based immigrant visa.
L-1A Managers and Executives and L-1B Specialzed Knowledge Worker Visas
The L-1 US non-immigrant work visa can be used to transfer staff who have been employed for at least one year in the last three years by your parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies outside the US to a new or existing office in the US. This is also a useful visa route for businesses wishing to set up a new business in the US with a minimal investment.
B-1 Business Visitor visas
If you wish to send someone to the US on a short term basis for say six months it may be worth applying for a B-1 business visitor visa. If you wish to send someone to the US that is a national of a visa waiver Country for up to ninety days then this is a quicker process. Visit visas in the US are called B-1 visitors for business visas or B-2 visitors for pleasure visas. Please see our B1 Visitor Visa page for more details.
TN1 Visas for Canadians
Easier visa options exist is if the candidate you wish to hire is a Canadian. The NAFTA Treaty between the US and Canada mean that it is far easier to obtain a work visa for people in certain occupations if the candidate is Canadian. Please see our TN1 visa page (for more information. Unfortunately, Canada suffers from many of the same skills shortages as the US, so you may need to consider hiring someone from elsewhere instead.
Concerning the US work visa, there are three main categories for professionals. The H-1B visa is probably the best known non-immigrant work visa. However, when the US economy is doing well the visa runs out at the beginning of April within a few days. There is then a lottery for the available visas. US employers wishing to employ graduate level staff may wish to consider applying for the H-1B visa. However, because of the shortage of visas the likelihood of success is low.
workpermit.com Advice and Assistance with US Visas
The table below provides a summary of the main types of US work visas available.
|B1||Business Visitor||For business people making sales, conducting negotiations, attending meetings and seeking investments.||6 months|
|H1B||Speciality Occupation Worker||For individuals having the equivalent of a US bachelor degree (Foreign degrees and/or work experiencemay be found to be equivalent to a US bachelor degree).||6 Years|
|L1A||Intra Company Transferee||For executives or managers who have worked for at least one year in the past three for a foreign parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office of the US company that will employ them.||7 Years|
|For specialized knowledge employees who have worked for at least one year in the past three for a foreign parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office of the proposed US employer.||5 Years|
|E1||Treaty Trader||For staff to direct and develop import / export trade between the US and the treaty country.||Indefinite (varies depending on nationality - up to 5 year increments)|
|E2||Treaty Investor||For staff to direct and develop investments made in the US by a treaty country national/company||Indefinite (varies depending on nationality - up to 5 year increments)|
|Permanent residence||First Preference Priority Worker||For international managers and executives. Also for aliens with extraordinary ability and outstanding Professors/Researchers.||Permanent|
|Permanent residence||Second Preference Priority Worker||Professionals with advanced degrees or those with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business.||Permanent|
|Permanent Residence||Third Preference Worker||Professionals with basic degrees, and skilled workers. Also "other workers" who have less than two years of relevant experience.||Permanent|
|'TN1'||Canadian Professional||For Canadian professionals and managers.|
Indefinite (1 year increments)
Further information, help, and advice
Workpermit.com's team of specialists has thirty years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by a US qualified lawyer that is also typically a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).