USA non-immigrant visas for workers and businesses

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This section includes information on the most popular non-immigrant US work visas. For businesses E2 Treaty Investor visas and L1 intracompany transfer visas allow entry to the US with relatively small investments for both businessmen and employees. With the E2 Visa and L1 visa you can in many cases avoid the requirement of investing $500,000 or more to come under the EB5 Immigrant Investor Scheme Green Card Scheme. E3 Visas are designed for graduate level Australian citizens to work in specialty occupations in the US.

E1 Treaty Trader and E2 Treaty Investor Visas and E3 visas for Australians

  • E2 Treaty Investor For those who have made a significant investment in a US business in which the investor has at least a 50% ownership.  In many cases the investment can be at a level of say tens of thousands of dollars
  • E1 Treaty Trader For businesses and individuals engaged in substantial international trade between the US and the treaty investor country.
  • E3 Specialty Occupation Professionals For Australian nationals to come to the US to engage in a specialty occupation role.   The quota is never fully used.  Unlike with the US H-1B visa.

L1A Intracompany Transfer as an Executive or Manager or as a L1B Specialized Knowledge Employee

L1 visasThis category allows multinational companies to transfer workers from their overseas operations to a US branch, or to send a representative to the US in order to establish a US branch of their business. The L1 visa also allows entry of businessmen into the US.

Other non-immigrant US work visas

  • H1B visas: For graduate level workers usually with at least a bachelors degree or equivalent coming to the US to take a job in a specialty occupation, or to undertake specialist research for the US government's Department of Defence, or for successful fashion models. When the US economy is doing well there is a serious shortage of visas. Currently the visas run out within a few days of becoming available in the beginnint of April each year.  The lottery for available visas mean that the chances of obtaining a visa are quite low.   You may also be interested in our guide to obtaining a B1 visa in lieu of an H1B visa, which may be relevant in some cases.
  • H2B visasFor workers coming to the US to fill a temporary or seasonal shortage that is not in the agricultural sector. The employer must apply to USCIS for permission to employ migrants on this visa.
  • J1 visas: For workers and students coming to the US to take part in a recognised Exchange Visitor Program. The J-1visa is similar to the Q-1, with the main difference being that the J-1 allows students as well as workers to enter the US, while the Q-1 is solely for workers.

  • TN1 visas: This visa is similar to the H-1B, but allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to gain a specialist level work visa with greater ease.

  • O visas: This visa category is for people who are recognised at a national or international level for their extraordinary ability or achievement in one of several fields. There are 4 O visa sub-categories.

Further information, help, and advice's team of specialists has over 25 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 by an in-house US qualified lawyer who is also typically a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

For more information and advice on US immigration law and US visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at