The United States of America is one of the most popular countries in the world as an immigration/ study destination. The United States has over 60 types of non-immigrant visas. The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), the concerned body provides guidelines and facilitates the processing of immigration. The US visa processes, Immigrant and Non immigrant are elaborate and an applicant is advised to get expert help. Various US permit programs applicable to professionals and investors are listed below:
- US H1B, H2B, H3, H4 Permits
- US B-1 and B2 Permits
- US L1A and L1B, Permit or Intra-company Transfer
- O-1 Visa
- P-1 to P-3 Visa
- R-1 Visa
- US Green Card
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US H1B visa
The US H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. Under the visa a US company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years.
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:
- Have a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor's or higher degree or its equivalent.
- 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.
- The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.
- 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.
For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have completed a US bachelor's or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
- Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
- 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.
- 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.
The H-1B visa is initially granted for up to three years, but may then be extended to a maximum of six years.
Family & Dependents
H-1B visa holders can bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age to the US under the H4 Visa category as dependents.
The United States L1 visa is 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 the USA operations 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.
Companies operating in the US can apply to the relevant USCIS service center for an L1 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 L1 visas:
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 L1A visa, initially for a three year period extendible in two year increments to a maximum of seven years.
Specialized Knowledge Staff
This category covers those with knowledge of the company's products/services, research, systems, proprietary techniques, management, or procedures. Staff in this category are issued an L1B visa, initially for three years extendible 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.
Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extra ordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field.
P-1 to P-3 Visa
Individual or team of athletes , or members of an entertainment group, that are internationally recognised.
R-1 Religious Worker Visa
Religious workers can apply under this category.