Legal Advisor

Staying in the US – The different Visas

There are three main categories of U.S. work visa for professionals :

H1B or the Speciality Occupation Worker

The United States H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, which allows a US company to employ a foreign individual for up to six years. As applying for a non-immigrant visa is generally quicker than applying for a ‘Green Card’, staff required on long-term assignment in the US are often initially brought in using a non-immigrant visa such as the H1B.

Individuals cannot apply for an H1B visa to allow them to work in the US. The employer must petition for entry of the employee. H1B visas are subject to annual quota.

The H1B visa is designed to be used for staff in “speciality occupations”, that is those occupations which require a high degree of specialized knowledge. Generally at least the equivalent of a job-relevant 4-year US Bachelor’s degree is required.

The L1 visa or how to bring alien workers into the US

An L-1 visa is a visa document used to enter the United States for the purpose of work in L-1 status. It is a non-immigrant visa, and is valid for a short amount of time, generally three years. L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both a home country and the United States, or which intend to open a new office in the United States while maintaining their home country interests. The visa allows such foreign workers to relocate to the corporation’s US office after having worked abroad for the company for at least one year prior to being granted L-1 status. The US office must be a parent company, child company, or sister company to the foreign company.

The J-1 Visa

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.

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.

To be eligible for Sponsorship on the J-1 Trainee/ Intern Visa, applicants must:

Have secured a training or internship with a company in the USA. The company must be willing to offer training or internship in one of the following fields:

- Information, Media, Communications, Management, Business, Commerce, Finance, Science, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, Industrial Occupations, Public Administration, Law

- Be proficient in English

- Be prepared to leave the U.S. within 30 days after completion of the program.

Source :Wikipedia