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US Work Visas

  1. US L-1A Visa and L-1B Visas

The United States L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows overseas companies to transfer executives and managers and specialized knowledge employees to a new or existing US office for up to seven years. The employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of the US Company outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years. This can be an excellent way for businesses to expand into the US with a minimal investment.

The requirements for employment based immigration (permanent residence) under the EB1-C immigrant scheme are similar to the requirements for the L-1A Executive and Manager Visa category.  Many overseas executives and managers come under the L-1A visa scheme first and then apply at a later date for EB1-C which is one of the best ways of gaining an immigrant visa (green card).

Companies operating in the US can apply to the relevant USCIS service center for an L-1 visa to transfer someone to the US from their overseas operations. Employees in this category will, initially, be granted an L-1 visa for up to three years.

There are two types of employees who may be sponsored for USA L-1 visas:

L-1A Executives and Managers:

The legal definition of management and executive roles for these purposes is quite strict, and a detailed description of the duties attached to the position will be required. In particular, the executive or manager should have supervisory responsibility for professional staff and/or for a key function, department or subdivision of the employer. Such personnel are issued an L-1A visa, initially for a three year period extendible in two year increments to a maximum of seven years.

L-1B Specialized Knowledge Staff:

This category covers those with knowledge of the company’s products/services, research, systems, proprietary techniques, management, or procedures. Staffs in this category are issued an L-1B visa, initially for three years extendable to a maximum of five years. On completing the maximum allowable period in L-1 status, the employee must be employed outside the United States for a minimum of one year before a new application is made for L or H status.

If you would like to apply for an L-1 visa through uscispassportsvisa.com, please Contact us now at info@uscispassportsvisa.com

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com

 

b.)  US E-2, E-1 and E-3 Treaty Visas

US E-2 Treaty Investor Visa and E-1 Treaty Trader visas overview

In many cases it may be worth considering the E2 treaty investor or E1 treaty trader visa scheme.  Usually, the business needs to show that it is at least fifty percent owned by a national or nationals on the list of E-2 or E-1 Countries.  Both investors and employees of the same nationality can come under these visa schemes.  E2 treaty investor companies may be able to be registered under the E-2 scheme with investments of tens of thousands of dollars or less.  This is a much smaller investment requirement than the minimum $500,000 required under the EB5 immigrant investor scheme.  E-2 and E-1 employee visas can be obtained much more cheaply and more quickly than say L-1 or H-1B visas.

Over the years the United States has signed treaties of ‘Friendship, Commerce and Navigation’ with many Countries in the World which is a requirement to come under the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Scheme or E-1 Treaty Trader Visa scheme. These treaties are designed to promote trade and investment between the USA and the other contracting state, as well as encouraging good relations between the US and the treaty Country.  The USA has also entered into a number of Bilateral Investment Treaties with many former communist states, designed to promote investment and trade; Nationals of many former Eastern Bloc Countries can come under the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa scheme and E-1 Treaty Trader visa scheme. 

Nationals of countries with such Treaties with the United States together with their employees can obtain visas to work in the USA in order to develop and direct their investment in and/or trade with the USA under the E-2 and E-1 visa schemes. There is also the E-3 visa which is meant for professional level Australians who have a job offer in the US:

  • E-1 Treaty Trader For businesses and individuals engaged in substantial international trade between the US and the treaty investor country. The volume of trade must be sufficient to provide employment for a number of people in the United States and must constitute the majority of the trader’s international trade.
  • E-2 Treaty Investor For those who have made a significant investment in a US business in which the investor has at least a 50% ownership. The investment must be sufficient to provide employment for a number of people in the United States, and must be in an active US business.
  • E-3 Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia. For Australian nationals to come to the US to engage in a specialty occupation role. Applicants for this visa must have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) or higher, and the job must be in a specialty occupation.

 

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). If you would like to apply for (US E-2, E-1 and E-3 Treaty Visas) through uscispassportsvisa.com, please Contact us now at info@uscispassportsvisa.com.

For more information and advice on US immigration law and US visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com

c.) US B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa

B-1 in lieu of H-1B Visa faster alternative to the US L-1 and H-1B visa

It is usually, expensive and difficult to obtain non-immigrant temporary work visas such as the H-1B visa for graduate level staff or intra-company transfer visas such as the L-1A visa for managers and executives or L-1B visa for specialized knowledge employees.   The B1 in lieu of H1B visa grants entry usually for multiple entries for up to a year for a short term work need in the US. Usually the work is done based on a contract between the US Company and the overseas business.   The US Company could be in the same group of companies as the overseas company.

 

The H-1B visa is oversubscribed about three times over in the beginning of April each year to start in October in the same year. Therefore the likelihood of success is low.

The L-1A or L-1B visa requires the applicant to have worked for the overseas business for at least one year in the last three years. The overseas business must have a subsidiary, parent, branch or affiliate office in the US. It is frequently not possible to meet these requirements.

The E-2 Treaty Investor visa or E-1 Treaty Trader visa requires the business to first be registered which can be a time consuming and difficult process. In addition only certain nationalities can apply for this visa.

In some circumstances for graduate level employees it may be worth looking at the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa instead of some of the longer term work visas. If you wish to send people over to the US for work quickly in a matter of weeks and the work is the sort of work you would expect to be done by a graduate level employee this visa is worth considering.

This provision is useful when a non-US company wishes to send a member of staff to the US for a limited period in order to undertake specific projects for clients, or where you wish to bring in an employee of an overseas subsidiary, affiliate or parent for a limited period. The requirements for acquiring a B1 in lieu of H1B visa are as follows:

B-1 in lieu of H-1B Visa Requirements

  • The work to be undertaken in the US must be H1B level – i.e. the skilled worker must be engaged in a ‘specialty occupation’ in graduate level work usually requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent;
  • The worker will usually need to be a permanent employee of the non US business and must continue to be paid by the employer outside the US while in the US on a B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa;
  • The worker most remains on the payroll of the overseas business.  The worker may receive no compensation other than an expense allowance from a US source; 
  • The graduate level worker must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Ideally the bachelor’s degree should be relevant to the services to be provided – in some circumstances work experience and other qualifications may be considered to be equivalent to a degree.

 

B-1 in lieu of H-1B Visa Documentation Requirements:

The B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa can usually be obtained within a few weeks, and requires considerably more supporting documentation compared to a normal B-1 business visitor visa. Periods of admission and extension are usually the same as for the standard B-1 business visitor visa (i.e. generally 6 months).

Typical documentation for a B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa application include copy of bachelor’s degree for the applicant, rental agreement for the applicant, company accounts, payroll records, curriculum vitae, bank statements, contract with the US business, etc.

B-1 in lieu of H-1B Procedures on entry to the US

It should be noted that in rare circumstances, holders of this visa encounters problems when trying to enter the US.

This is because while it is issued by a US Consulate or Embassy, some US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) visa officers may not appreciate that the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa is different to the B-1 business visitor visa. It is advisable to have full documentation relating to the visa application available on entry to the US.

 

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). If you would like to apply for (US B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa) through uscispassportsvisa.com, please Contact us now at info@uscispassportsvisa.com.

For more information and advice on US immigration law and US visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com

 

d.) US H-1B visa for specialty workers

The US H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc. Any professional level job that usually requires you to have a bachelor’s degree or higher can come under the H-1B visa for specialty occupations. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree or higher you may be able to show degree equivalence through work experience and/or other qualifications.

 

However, because of the visa cap it is unlikely that an H-1B visa petition will be successful. The US employer petitions for the H-1B Visa in the US which has duration of up to 6 years.

Applying for a non-immigrant visa is generally quicker than applying for a US Green Card, therefore the H-1B visa is popular for companies wishing to bring in staff for long-term assignment in the US.  However, because of the lack of available visas employers frequently have to look at applying for other visa categories such as the L-1B for specialized workers, L-1A for managers and executives, E-2 Treaty Investor visa, E-1 Treaty Trader visa, E-3 for Australians etc. Please note that individuals cannot apply directly for an H-1B visa. Instead the employer must petition for entry of the employee.

H-1B Visa cap

H-1B visas are subject to an annual visa cap each financial year. US employers can begin applying for the H-1B visa six months before the actual start date of the visa. Employers can apply as soon as April 2, 2017 for the 2018 cap, but the beneficiary cannot start work until October 1, 2017.

Current immigration law allows for a total of 85,000 new H-1B visas to be made available each government fiscal year. This number includes 65,000 new H-1B visas available for overseas workers in specialty (professional) level occupations with at least a bachelor’s degree, with an additional 20,000 visas available for those specialty workers with an advanced degree from a US academic institution. In recent years the H-1B visa cap has been heavily oversubscribed near the beginning of April each year.  USCIS then holds a lottery for the available H-1B visas available.

 

Eligibility: specialty occupation

The US H1-B visa is designed to be used for staff in specialty occupations. The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  1. Have a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent.
  2. The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree.
  3. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position. 
  4. The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

 

Eligibility: employee qualifications

For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Have completed a US bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
  2. Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
  3. Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment. 
  4. Have education, training, or experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

 

Positions that are not specialty occupations, or for which the candidate lacks the qualifications/experience for an H1B visa, may be filled using an H-2B visa. Also, applicants that are not eligible for H-1B visas may want to consult our L-1 visa page. The L-1B visa a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad to transfer certain classes of employee from its foreign operations to their US operations for up to five years. The employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of your US Company outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years.

 

Length of stay

The H-1B visa is initially granted for up to three years, but may then be extended to a maximum of six years.
Even though the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the few US visa categories recognized as dual intent, meaning the H-1B visa holder can apply for and obtain a US Green Card while in the US on an H-1B visa. If you are still in the US on an H-1B visa and wish to remain in the US for more than six years, you can apply for permanent residency in the US to receive a Green Card. If you do not gain permanent residency prior to the expiration of your H-1B visa, then you must live outside the US for at least one year before reapplying for another H or L visa.

 

Family & Dependents

H-1B visa holders can bring their spouse and children less than 21 years of age to the US under the H-4 Visa category as dependents. An H4 Visa holder is allowed to remain in the US as long as the H-1B visa holder remains in legal status. While, an H-4 visa holder is not eligible to work in the US unless they may attend school, obtain a driver’s license and open a bank account while in the US.

 

Applications

If you would like to apply for an H-1B visa through uscispassportsvisa.com, please fill out an assesment form, or contact us on:
Email: info@uscispassportsvisa.com   

 

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). If you would like to apply for (US H1-B) through uscispassportsvisa.com, please Contact us now at info@uscispassportsvisa.com.

For more information and advice on US immigration law and US visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com

e.) US H-2B visa for temporary non-agricultural workers

From ski resort workers in Colorado to amusement park employees in Florida, 66,000 temporary workers come to the US every year on H-2B visas. The H-2B allows US employers to hire migrant workers to fill temporary non-agricultural roles in the US.

Eligibility

The H-2B visa is available to employers of foreign workers not working in the agricultural field. This visa is only available for work that is temporary in nature. For H2B purposes, that means one of the following:

  • Recurring seasonal need: work that is regularly tied to a season, such as amusement park work in the summer, or ski resort work in the winter.
  • Intermittent need: work for which the employer has not employed full time staff, and occasionally needs temporary workers. 
  • Peak-load need: work during busy periods for which the employer needs temporary staff in addition to their permanent employees.
  • One time occurrence: work needed during a short, one time period of need.

The employer must also prove that:

  • There are no unemployed US workers willing or able to do the work. This is established through the state’s employment agency using a labor certification process. This process requires a recruitment campaign, including advertising in a local newspaper for available temporary workers.
  • Employing a worker on an H-2B visa will not negatively affect the pay or conditions of US workers

 

Length of stay

The duration of the visa is limited to the employer’s need for the temporary workers. The maximum authorized period is one year. However, the employer may extend the duration of the visa up to three years.

Family and dependents

Spouses of H-2B visa holder or an unmarried child under 21 years of age of H-2B visa holder are issued an H-4 visa. They may remain in the US as long as the authorized stay of the H-2B visa holder. H-4 visa holders are not permitted to work in the US.

Required documents

In order to be considered as a non-immigrant under the above classifications, the prospective employer must file Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, with the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once approved, the employer is sent a notice of approval, Form I-797.

Petitions should be filed no more than six months before the proposed employment will begin. However, they should be submitted at least 45 days before the employment will begin, because the petition processing and visa issuance may not be completed before work is to begin.

If the prospective worker is outside of the US, he must then apply for a visa with the US consulate.

The H-2B visa application includes:

  1. DS-156, Application for Non-immigrant Visa
  2. DS-157 if male between the ages of 16 and 45)
    The necessary filing fees
  3. Copy of Notice of Approval of H-2B Petition
  4. Passport
  5. One passport-style photo
  6. Evidence of ties to the home country (family, property, current occupation, etc.) Like with any other non-immigrant visa, the Consulate needs to see that each applicant has ties to the country so that he or she will return home after their work period ends.

If the prospective worker is already in the US and is changing from one non-immigrant status to another, a visa is not required. However, if the worker leaves the US and wants to re-enter, s/he may need a visa.

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s specialist US immigration lawyer is on hand to help with application process.

Applications

If you would like to apply for an H-2B visa through uscispassportsvisa.com, please fill out the assessment form, or contact us on:
Email:  info@uscispassportsvisa.com

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped millions of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com

 

f.) US J-1 – Exchange Visitor Program Visa

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 Visa Program) currently includes 14 different exchange program categories. Depending on the particular category chosen, a visa obtained under the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program will allow a foreign national to work, train, or travel legally whilst experiencing life in the United States. The J-1 Visa program also benefits US businesses by providing them with seasonal and other staff.

Entry under the J-1 Visa program

Each category of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has sponsoring organizations designated by the US Department of State. It is their role to authorize the entry of a foreign national for the purpose of completing the objectives of a specific program which they approve on behalf of the Department of State. They then issue forms DS-2109 and DS-7002 which, along with other necessary documents must be presented at the appropriate US Embassy in order to obtain the J-1 Visa.

An applicant’s spouse and children should be able to obtain a J-2 Visa to accompany the applicant to the U.S. or to join him or her at a later date. A J-2 visa application should be submitted for each dependent either at the same time as the J-1 visa application or at a subsequent date.

An applicant and his or her dependents must:

  • Pay for round-trip air travel
  • Bring sufficient funds to cover all living expenses to be incurred in the U.S.
  • Purchase adequate health insurance which is mandatory for this visa.

They must also meet certain other specific criteria. The attorney at uscispassportsvisa.com will be happy to offer advice in this respect. At the conclusion of their program, participants are expected to return to their home countries.

The J1 Exchange Visitor Program categories

The various J1 Visa categories cover the Private, Academic and Government Sectors

The Private Sector:

Physician, Au Pair and EduCare, Camp Counselors, Student, Secondary School, Summer Work/ Travel, Teacher, Trainee, Intern.

The Academic and Government Sectors:

Government Visitor, International Visitor (Department of State), Short term scholar, Professor and research scholar, Specialist, Student College/University.

 

How can uscispassportsvisa.com help?

For the various J-1 Visa categories in the Academic and Government Sectors, the application procedure will be undertaken by the relevant Educational Facility or by the relevant Government body.

For those categories in the Private Sector however, the applicant will need to take a more active role involving contact with the relevant sponsoring organization. An applicant may consider using the services of an attorney who would offer guidance during the often complicated process.

uscispassportsvisa.com will assist with applications for the Trainee & Intern, the Au Pair, and the Summer Work/ Travel categories which are part of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in the Private Sector. For further advice please contact us on:

Email: info@uscispassportsvisa.com

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com

 

g.) US TN-1 Visa for Canadians

Canadians can often gain entry to the US with greater ease than others; this preferential treatment for Canadians is linked to treaty provisions within the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While there are many NAFTA related visas, the most useful one is the TN-1. The TN-1 visa was modeled on the H1B; it may only be used where the employer is based in the US, and the candidate is a professional in one of the categories listed on below.

The TN-1 visa has the following advantages over the H1-B:

  • It is granted for 3 years, but can continue to be renewed indefinitely.
  • It can be applied for at the border with the US, and is usually granted immediately.
  • The documentary requirements and procedure is far less burdensome than the H1B visa.

TN-1 Visa basic requirements

Prospective TN-1 visa applicants must meet the following basic requirements, they must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Have a US job offer in an eligible profession (see below) which requires someone with their professional skills 
  • Meet the educational or qualification requirements for the job

Applications for the TN-1 Visa

The TN-1 is granted for a specific employer. If needed for more than one employer, multiple TN-1 applications need to be made. Self-employed professionals would not be able to come under this particular visa category, and may consider the E-2 Treaty Investor category instead.

While it is possible to apply under the TN-1 visa with minimal documentation, it is prudent for candidates to arm themselves with the following documents at the border with the US:

  1. A description of the position from the US employer, confirming that the position is temporary and it’s expected duration, and including full details of why it is a professional occupation. This should also confirm that the candidate will be a direct employee, and state the salary level. Further, some information about the nature of the employer’s business should be included.
  2. Proof of the candidate’s qualifications, including, where appropriate, confirmation of the US equivalency of any foreign qualifications. This confirmation is generally obtained by a qualified credentials evaluator or US academic, and must be accompanied by verbatim translations of any certificates/transcripts in languages other than English.
  3. Copies of the candidate’s resume (curriculum vitae). 
  4. The original Canadian passport (if applicable), and, if relevant, copies of the candidate’s previous passports, visa stamps, and I-94s.
  5. Details of the candidate’s Social Security Number (if applicable)
  6. Details of the candidate’s foreign address
  7. A copy of the employment contract.
  8. Details of the employing company, including proof of ability to pay the wages offered.
  9. If relevant, a license enabling the candidate to work in the US.

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com  

h.) US O Visas for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

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

  • O-1A For people who have an extraordinary ability or achievement in one of the following areas: science, education, business, or sports.
  • O-1B For people who have an extraordinary ability or achievement in the arts: music, theatre, film, and the like.
  • O-2 For assistants to sportspeople and artists on O-1A or O-1B visas who are essential to the visa holder’s work in the US.
  • O-3 For the families (partner and/or children) of O-1A and O-1B visa holders. Please note that the US does not recognize unmarried partners for visa purposes.

 

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com

 

  • USA Employment based immigration visas (Green Cards)

Employment based immigration visas, or Green Cards, allow migrants to gain lawful permanent residence in the US in order to engage in skilled work. There are two ways to obtain a US Green Card: one way is through a family member, the other way is to obtain an employment based Green Card (you can also try for the annual Green Card diversity lottery). This section concentrates on the 5 types of employment based Green Cards.

There are 5 EB categories:

  1. EB-1 for multinational executives or managers, or for people with exceptional experience and ability in science, art, education, business, or sport.
  2. EB-2 for those in certain professions – such as medicine, science, and teaching – who hold a Master’s degree or higher.
  3. EB-3 for skilled workers with at least 2 years of experience in their field, Master’s degree and PhD holders who are not covered by the EB-2 visa, and for low skilled workers to take a permanent US job.
  4. EB-4 for certain migrants who do not fit into other visa categories: some religious workers, US Foreign service employees, and others.
  5. EB-5 for investors who invest a minimum of either $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a US business with at least 10 employees.

 

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com

j.) US F-1 and M-1 Student Visas

The US is a world leader in education, with 46 of the world’s top 100 universities on US soil. This popularity has made US educated world leaders commonplace: UN secretary general Kofi Annan, Korean prime minister Kang Young Hoon, and a long list of international Nobel Prize winners all attended US universities.

US Student F-1 and M-1 Visa Categories

This popularity could have made the US student visa system extremely complex, but luckily the system is streamlined. In fact there are only 2 main visas for full time students:

  • F-1 Visa For full time students studying at an academic institution such as a school, college, or university.
  • M-1 visa for full time students studying at a non-academic or vocational institution, such as a technical college.

Please see our F-1 Visa and M-1 visa guides for information on eligibility requirements and application advice for these visas.

 

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com

k.) US Family Visas

Helping a family member, whether it is your spouse, fiancé(e), child, parent or brother or sister, become a permanent resident of the US, follows roughly the same procedure as outlined below. It may seem straightforward, but there are many nuances in each type of family-based visa. Please read our site carefully, and if you have any questions, please contact us for more information on family based immigration to the US.

  • First, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant visa petition (I-130) for you. The US citizen relative fills this out on behalf of the foreign-born relative. It must be accompanied by proof of the relationship and the other required documentation in order to begin the family based immigration process.
  • Second, the Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is available for the foreign national, according to the category of visa applied for, even if that person already lives in the United States.
  • The third step in family based immigration, if the foreign relative is already in the United States, he or she should apply to change his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available. This is one way to secure an immigrant visa number. You can adjust your status, commonly known as AOS, by submitting a form I-485 along with other required documentation, such as the results of medical examinations, police certificates, etc. I-485s are considered by the USCIS directly. In this case, principal applicants, both petitioner and beneficiary should submit their applications together (I-130 + I-485 + required documentation) through the local office rather than regional one.
  • If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, the foreign relative must go to the U.S. consulate to complete the processing. This is the other way in which you can apply to secure an immigrant visa number for US family based immigration. If a beneficiary is based outside the United States, then his / her documents are considered by the National Visa Center (NVC) before his / her case is being sent to the US Consulate for further processing. NVC reviews the documentation and completes the required administrative processing, such as checking backgrounds and so on.

If you need this visa, contact us now info@uscispassportsvisa.com

l.) US B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visas

The US B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visa system allows entry for business and pleasure to the US. We provide guides on the requirements for US B-1 for business and B-2 Visitor pleasure Visas, and on the US Visitor Visa Waiver Pilot Program, which allows citizens of certain ‘visa waiver’ countries to enter the US by applying for a visa online using the ESTA system.

Sections;

  • US B-1 Business visitor visa and B-2 Visitor for Pleasure Visa: Business travelers may enter the United States using a B-1 ‘Visitor for Business’ Visa. Typically these visas are issued as joint B-1 business visit visa and B-2  ‘Visitor for Pleasure’ (i.e. Tourist) visa. This practice means that, if a candidate has an old tourist visa, it may be valid for a planned business trip.
  • US B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visa Waiver Pilot Program: The B-1/B-2 Visa Waiver Pilot Program allows citizens of certain countries to visit the US for up to 90 days without a Visitor Visa

Further information, help, and advice

Uscispassportsvisa.com’s team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by 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 info@uscispassportsvisa.com

m.) Have you overstayed your Visa?

What You Need to Know about Overstaying Your Visa

It is common for foreign nationals that have entered the U.S. to overstay the time allotted according to their visa restrictions. If this has happened to you, there are a few consequences/penalties, depending on the circumstances.

It is essential to deal with this situation without delay, as you might have options.

4 Main Consequences of Overstaying a U.S. Visa

  • Overstays may be barred from returning to the U.S. for 3 or 10 years, depending on the period overstayed
  • Overstays may be further restricted from an Extension of Stay or Change of Status
  • Overstaying will void your existing visa
  • Overstays generally are unable to obtain a new visa except in their country of nationality

 

Consequence #1: Inadmissibility

The Three Year Bar: Persons who remain in the U.S. after their authorized stay has expired for more than 180 days but less than one year, and who leave the U.S. prior to the institution of removal proceedings, are barred from reentering the US for three years from their date of departure.

The Ten Year Bar: Persons who remain in the U.S. after their authorized stay has expired for more than one year, and who leave the U.S. prior to the institution of removal proceedings, are barred from reentering the U.S. for ten years from their date of departure.

Consequence #2: Bar to Change of Status/Extension of Stay

Persons who remain in the U.S. after their authorized period of stay are not able to extend their stay in the U.S. or change their status to another nonimmigrant status. In most cases they are also barred from adjusting their status from that of a nonimmigrant to that of an immigrant.

However, the USCIS stated that as long as a foreign national files for an Extension of Stay or Change of Status or Adjustment of Status before the period of authorized stay expires, the foreign national will be considered to be maintaining status until a decision is made on the application or petition, even if the decision is after the date on the I-94 expires.

Consequence #3: Visa Voidance

The visa of any foreign national that overstays their period of stay is automatically voided. Immigration is very strict in its interpretation and application of this provision – overstaying by even a day will void your existing visa. A foreign national who has overstayed a visa may not be readmitted unless they have obtained a new non-immigrant visa in their country of nationality.

Consequence #4: No Consulate Shopping

The law provides that any foreign national who has stayed beyond his period of authorized stay in the U.S. must return to his country of nationality to obtain a new visa. You may no longer apply at a consulate that is ‘more convenient’ or closer to the U.S. If there is no consulate in your home country of nationality which issues visas, the Secretary of State may designate a third country where those individuals can apply for a new visa.

Exception to this Consequence

There is a narrow exception to this rule. If the foreign national can show that ‘extraordinary circumstances’ exist, they may be allowed to apply for a visa at a Consulate in a third country, i.e., a country that is not their country of nationality. Any person wanting to take advantage of this exception must receive the consent of the third country Consulate before making an appointment and submitting a non-immigrant visa application.

How a Waiver Can Help an Overstay Case

If you have overstayed your visa, you may be eligible for a waiver, which would mean you could avoid the three or ten year bar.

Waivers for Nonimmigrants

While a nonimmigrant is not eligible to apply for a waiver for the three or ten year bar, an individual would still be able to apply for a general waiver for most grounds of inadmissibility.

Waivers for Immigrants

The statute does provide a specific waiver for the three or ten year bar for foreign nationals who are the spouse, or son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The waiver is not available to foreign nationals who only have children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

To obtain the waiver, the foreign national must show that their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parents will suffer ‘extreme hardship’ if the foreign national is not allowed to return to the U.S. ‘Extreme hardship’ to the foreign national himself is not recognized for the purposes of the waiver.

Why Legal Help for Overstaying Your Visa is Important

Overstaying a visa can have serious repercussions, which can be mitigated with legal help. Without the assistance of a legal expert, an individual with an expired visa can face consequences that may have been avoidable.

Time is of the essence, and the process for attaining a waiver is crucial. Don’t hesitate to get the legal help you need.

Why Hire Us to Help You When You’ve Overstayed Your Visa?

While it may be tempting to just do nothing if you have overstayed in the U.S., this is not recommended. A life of “looking over your shoulder” is not a secure way to live.

For overstay cases, there is a high risk you can be caught by the U.S. Immigration Authorities and deported. But if you consult with an experience lawyer that handles these matters, then there are viable options for you.

Our lawyers belonging to the uscispassportsvisa Group have helped millions of applicants get admitted to the United States and have resolved their overstay problems. Contact us for a consultation to discuss your options or fill out our immigration assessment form located at the top of this page, and we will get back to you within one business day!

Or, simply email us now info@uscispassportsvisa.com

n.) Denied Entry to the USA

Have You Been Denied Entry to the USA? We are here to resolve the problem immediately!

Inadmissibility to the U.S Affects Many People

Under increased border security, the days of easy access to the U.S. are long gone. Inadmissibility affects many people, but for some, there is hope. The details of your denial are important, and can mean the difference between denial and acceptance.

The good news is even if you have attempted to enter the U.S., and you have been denied entry, there might still be an opportunity for you to enter the country.

Reasons Why You Could Be Refused Entry to the U.S.

Grounds for Inadmissibility

If you have been refused entry to the U.S., it is likely because you are subject to one of the many grounds of inadmissibility listed under the Immigration and Nationality Act. These include if you:

  • have a communicable disease
  • have a physical or mental disorder that makes you harmful to others
  • are a drug abuser
  • have been convicted of specific crimes
  • Were previously removed or deported from the U.S.
  • have violated immigration laws or committed immigration fraud

Were You Denied Entry to the U.S. Due to a Criminal Record?

One of the most common reasons that an individual is denied entry to the U.S. is due to “criminal inadmissibility”. This is a category that covers a lot of situations, but that does not mean that a person with a criminal past would be inadmissible.

Criminal inadmissibility includes if you have been convicted of:

  • multiple crimes
  • certain crimes like prostitution or drug trafficking
  • or have committed crimes of “moral turpitude”

 

What are “Crimes of Moral Turpitude”?

According to the legal definition, crimes of moral turpitude relate to conduct that is inherently “base, vile, or depraved, contrary to social standards of morality and done with a reckless, malicious, or evil intent”. This somewhat archaic definition covers a large spectrum of offences from common assault to drug offences, but generally relates to the following crimes:

  • Controlled Substance Traffickers – Includes “assister, abettor, conspirator, or colluder”
  • Conviction of 2 or more offenses with a combined sentence of 5 or more years
  • Prostitution and Commercialized vice
  • Individuals involved in serious criminal activity who have asserted immunity from prosecution

 

Crimes that are Exempt

Not all criminal records result in being denied entry to the U.S. Crimes that are not considered a CMT include where the individual has committed only one crime of moral turpitude, and:

  • The crime was committed when the individual was under 18 years of age and the crime was committed more than five years before the date of application for a visa.
  • The crime did not exceed one year of imprisonment.
  • If the individual was convicted of the crime, but the individual was not sentenced to imprisonment for a term greater than six months.

How Are Waivers Decided?

There are 3 criteria for an application for a waiver of inadmissibility:

  1. The risk of harm to society if the applicant is admitted
  2. The seriousness of the applicant’s prior violation(s) of immigration or criminal law, if any
  3. The nature of the applicant’s reasons for seeking entry.

How long are Waivers Valid for?

Waivers of inadmissibility are currently valid for a period of 0-5 years but could be issued for a lesser period at the discretion of the immigration officer. If the waiver is granted, the applicant can enter the U.S. despite his or her criminality and is required to display the waiver for each and every entry during the currency of the waiver.

 

How Do I Get a Waiver?

The procedure for applying for a nonimmigrant waiver involves:

  1. Obtaining local court records of the offence in question.
  2. Preparing a personal statement from the applicant concerning the circumstances surrounding the offence
  3. Two application forms, an I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant and a G-325A Biographic Information must also be completed
  4. Supporting documentation includes information relating to ties to the applicants home country such as the applicant’s family in their home country, employment, and assets.

We also recommended that 3 character references be included. If you have been convicted of a narcotics offence, then you should undergo a drug test and provide a letter of clean record from a physician.

Once the application package is ready for submission, you will attend at a designated port of entry to fill out an application in person and pay the application fee. Fingerprints will be taken during this process.

Processing time for waivers ranges from 1 to 9 months and the results are mailed to the applicant. If the application is denied, the applicant has 30 calendar days to file an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or the Administrative Appeals Unit.

Given the wide range of offences caught by the criminal inadmissibility provisions, it is essential that your potential criminal history is investigated before entering the U.S. for business or pleasure.

Why You Need Legal Help With I-192 (Waiver) Applications

Whenever someone is denied entry at the border, the individual is not only unable to enter the U.S., but he or she faces an unexpected trip back home (not to mention feelings of humiliation and depression). However, in addition to exploring opportunities to waive inadmissibility, a legal expert can help ensure that an individual is not wrongfully denied entry in the first place. Not every crime on a person’s record makes him or her inadmissible. It is therefore important to carefully investigate your background to determine if, despite whether you have committed a crime, you may still be able to enter the U.S.

Why Hire Us to Help You With Your Denied Entry Case?

For over 32 years, we have helped countless individuals who thought they had no hope in entering the States due to a refused entry with their cases. Our experience with immigration law has allowed us to help millions of individuals enter the U.S., who otherwise would have not had the opportunity.

The first step towards dealing with a denied entry to the U.S. is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our immigration assessment form or contact us, and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.

                
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