Types of US Visas – Paths for Becoming US Resident/Green Card Holder
February 14th, 2024
Although, as explained in our previous newsletter, one of the most common ways in which immigrants become US residents/Green Card holders is through a Marriage/Family Immigration Petition (form I-130), there are other ways to get permission to come live and workin in the US, via non- immigrant US visas. Many of these visas will allow you to apply for a Green Card /Residency at a later time. Depending if you are a foreigner coming into the United States for a specific period of time or purpose, or from a specific foreign country with a Treaty with the US, etc., there may be one type of visa which is more appropriate for you than others. That’s why, it’s important that you have a general understanding of the most common non- immigrant US visas, other than a tourist visa:
- H-1B Visa—for Specialty Occupation Work Visa for Professional Employees
- E-1 Visa (Treaty Trader) & E-2 Visa (Treaty Investor)—for Traders and Investors
- L-1 Visa—for Intra-Company Transfers
- K-1 Visa— for Alien Finacé (e)
- The “U” visa: for Victims of Crime, including Domestic Violence
- O Visa—for Foreigners with Outstanding Ability
Our Boston immigration lawyers have experience assisting you to obtain all types of non- immigrant US visas, including their corresponding derivative visas for immediate family members of the primary beneficiary of a non-immigrant visa.
At FitzGerald Law Company, we work closely with you to understand your goals and objectives and identify the best immigration strategy for you. We also work closely with your sponsor (family or employer) to identify and minimize potential issues and resolve them before preparing your applications and supporting documentation. This will help us make sure that your case is tailored to your needs and optimally prepared to obtain approval.
If you are in the New England area and need help with starting this process, you may call our office to make an appointment (617-523-6320, ext. 0), or complete the online appointment request at our contact page. Please forward this information to anyone you think may find it useful.
1.What Is an H-1B Visa?
An H-1B visa allows a foreign person with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in work experience to work in the U.S., if the position the foreigner will fill requires such preparation, and the employer agrees to pay the individual the prevailing wage for such a position in the location of employment. The person will be in non-immigrant status (meaning that the person will not be residing permanently in the U.S.). However, the individual may apply for permanent residency thereafter. This is appropriate for someone who has a specialty job offer in the U.S. (requiring a bachelor degree or its equivalent in relevant work) and wants to start working as soon as possible. Learn more about the H-1B Visa.
2.What Is an E Visa?
The E visa category allows investors making a substantial investment in the U.S. (see definition of “substantial” for investment purposes); or business owners, managers, and employees of an enterprise conducting trade between the U.S. and a treaty nation, who need to remain in the U.S. for extended periods of time to supervise work performed in the U.S., to be able to live and work lawfully. Learn more about the E visa.
3. What Is an L-1 Visa?
The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant work visa for employees in a specialized knowledge capacity or an executive or managerial position who are being transferred from a foreign company to a U.S. subsidiary, branch, affiliate or parent of the original foreign company. There are no limits to the number of L-1 visas that the U.S. Immigration Service can issue per year and the petitioning company does not have to obtain a prevailing wage approval or file any documents with the Department of Labor. L-1 visa aliens may possess dual intent, allowing them to apply for a permanent residency concurrently with the L application. L-1A aliens do not need to go through the labor certification process when applying for permanent residency, however, L-1B aliens do. Learn more about the L-1 visa.
4. What Is a K-1 Visa?
The K-1 fiancé (e) nonimmigrant visa is designed to allow entry into the United States to fiancé (e)s of U.S. citizens, for the purpose of marrying their fiancé (e). The process requires submission of applications, documents, and proof that the couple is willing to marry within 90 days of entry into the United States. Once the visa is approved, the fiancé (e) can enter the United States but must marry the U.S. citizen within 90 days. The K-1 fiancé (e) is authorized to obtain employment during that 90-day period before marriage. After the marriage, the nonimmigrant can apply to adjust their status to permanent resident as an immediate relative. Learn more about the K-1 visa.
5. What Is a “U” visa?
The U visa program was designed to provide relief in the form of immigration benefitsfor victims of certain crimes here in the U.S. and in some rare circumstances, to individuals that are outside the U.S. Learn more about the U visa
6. What Is an O Visa?
An O Visa is a non-immigrant visa that may be granted by USCIS to an individual who has extraordinary ability in the areas of sciences, arts, education, business, athletics or who has had extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry and received national or international recognition. Learn more about the O visa.
For more answers to Frequently Asked Questions about US Immigration and US Visas please click on this link: /faq/
The FitzGerald & Company team