Getting a visa to enter the United States of America can be a difficult task if you don’t know which visa you need to apply for.  There are a lot of different visas for different situations.  There are a lot of terms and extra information that can be overwhelming and confusing, so here is a simplified overview of each type of visa to help you get started.  Each visa has an in depth description on the website under the Immigration FAQ tab.

H-1B

  • This visa is for applicants with a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent who have specialized knowledge that is usually associated with a bachelor’s or higher degree.  The applicant needs to have a sponsoring employer within the U.S. and the job they are petitioning for must require a bachelor’s degree.

H-1B1

  • The difference between this visa and H-1B is that the applicant must be from Chile or Singapore.

H-2A

  •  This visa allows agricultural workers to enter and work in the U.S.
  • Employers must apply for their employees.
  • Employees may be independent workers or part of a corporation or association.

H-2B

  • This visa allows for temporary non-agricultural work within the U.S. such as during a peak season.  This is a one-time visa.
  • Employers within the U.S. must sponsor employees.

H-3

  • This visa allows the applicant to receive training and education within the U.S. for almost any endeavor except medical graduate training.

L-1

  • This visa works with the transfer of employees between locations of an international company.
  • Applicants must have specialized knowledge and have worked for a non-U.S. company for at least a year within the last three years.

O-1

  • Applicants for this visa must show that they are an outstanding individual within the arts, science, business, education, athletics, or entertainment community.
  • The applicant must be highly regarded within their community and can only practice their craft within the U.S.

O-2

  • This visa applies to people who work as a support role to O-1 visa holders, but only in the athletic and entertainment industries.

P-1

  • Applicants for this visa must be outstanding circus entertainers, athletes, or performers.

P-2

  • This visa works for troupes, bands, or groups of performers on a basis of exchange.  Two organizations must apply for this visa with one group performing within the U.S and the other performing outside the U.S.

P-3

  • This visa works for ethnic, folk, or traditional artist groups or individuals who want to perform or develop their craft within the U.S.

R-1

  • This visa applies for religious workers who are looking to stay within the U.S. no longer than 30 months.

TN

  • NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) allows workers in Canada and Mexico to apply for this visa to work within the U.S.

This is just a very quick overview of the various visas that are out there.  Most of the visas allow the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children who are under the age of 21 to travel to the U.S. and live with them.   To find out more about which visa is right for you, check out the Immigration FAQ tab on the website or call us.

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