A Business That Wants to Learn About Temporary Visas

E-1 & E-2 Visas: Treaty Traders and Investors

The E-1 visa is for treaty traders and the E-2 is for treaty investors. The E visa is only available to nationals of countries that have commercial treaties with the United States.  A list of Treaty Countries can be found on the U.S. Department of State website. As an E-1 treaty trader, you must be engaged in “substantial trade” between the U.S. and your home country. This trade can relate to many different areas including merchandise, …
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E-3 Visa: Australian Specialty Occupation

The E-3 Visa is very similar to the H-1B visa. The E-3 is available to Australian nationals to perform services in a specialty occupation in the United States. A specialty occupation is one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.  “Equivalent” means that a person must have three years of progressive work experience in the field for every year of education.  Thus, to have the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree, you must …
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H-1B Visa: Specialty Occupation

The H Visa is for temporary workers and trainees.  The most common H visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.”  A specialty occupation is one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific field of study as a minimum for entry into a particular occupation. The “equivalent” means that a person must have three years of progressive work experience in the field for every year of education. Thus, to …
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L-1 Visa: Intracompany Transferees

The L-1 visa is for employees of multinational corporations who wish to come to the U.S. to work for a U.S. parent, branch, or subsidiary corporation. In order to obtain an L-1 visa, you must either be coming to the U.S. in a managerial or executive capacity, or have specialized knowledge about the company. There is also the requirement that you must have worked abroad for the employer corporation continuously for one year out of the …
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O-1 Visa: Extraordinary Ability and Achievement

The O visa is a temporary visa that is similar to the EB-1 employment based immigration category. The O-1A is for foreign nationals who have extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, as demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim. The O-1B is for foreign nationals involved in the motion picture or TV production industry who can demonstrate extraordinary achievement. There is also an O-2 visa, which is available for those who must come …
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Obtaining Employment Authorization

In order for a foreign national to be authorized to work in the United States, you must have either a Lawful Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Generally, in order to obtain an EAD, you must first obtain a visa that permits work authorization. There are additional classifications, such as Asylum and Temporary Protected Status, that also allow for work authorization.  Certain instances where a pending application or special circumstances may …
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P-1 Visa: Athletes and Entertainment Groups

The P-1 visa is available to individual athletes and entertainment groups who are internationally recognized. The P-1 visa holder does not necessarily need to be internationally recognized himself, but his/her team or performing group must be internationally recognized. However, as part of an entertainment group, you must be an integral part of the group and have a sustained relationship with the group for at least one year in order to obtain a P-1 visa. Circus personnel are …
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TN Visa: NAFTA Professionals

The TN Visa is very similar to the H-1B visa in that it is a temporary work visa for professionals. The TN visa was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and so it is available exclusively to nationals of Canada and Mexico. The regulations define who qualifies as a “professional.” Some professionals that qualify are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. As a Canadian, you must present certain documentation at the …
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