Frequently asked questions about Non-Immigrant Visas
Popular Non-Immigrant Visas
There are two classes of visas which may be obtained by applicants interested in relocating to the United States. A permanent visa, legal permanent status or “green card” are references to the visa one would apply for if his or her intent was to reside permanently in the United States.
The other class of visas, non-immigrant visas, apply to those applicants who intend to reside in the United States on a temporary basis only. The most popular of the non-immigrant visas, for employment based cases are H visas, L visas and E visas. (For exhaustive list of visas handled please see Services page). Please note that the obtaining of a non-immigrant visa does not necessarily bar the later filing of an application for permanent residency.
“Ms. Klopman has specific expertise in O-1b visas for artists. She has successfully prepared visas for diverse members of film crews working in mainstream and independent film. She has extensive experience in visa preparation of successful O-1b visas for fashion designers, musicians, writers and other distinguished artists. “
H-1b Visa (Specialty Occupation)
Are you eligible for an H-1b visa?
Basic Criteria for and H-1b visa:
• You must have a job offer from an American company (the H-1b petitioner).
• The job must be a “specialty occupation” which requires a college degree.
• You must have a Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and your major field of study must be in an area which is appropriate to the job being offered.
• The American company must be willing to sign a Labor Condition Application in which it certifies that it will pay the applicant the “prevailing wage” as determined by the United States Department of Labor.
• You must have documentary evidence establishing your educational credentials (diploma and transcript) as well as letters which confirm your work experience.
• You must be aware that there is a life-time maximum of 6 years in H-1b or in H-1b and L status (subject to very narrow exceptions).
• Your INS processing time depends on whether you file a conventional case (30-90 days) or if you or your employer are willing to file a premium processing case at an additional cost (15 days).
L Visa (Specialty Occupation)
Are you eligible for an L visa?
Basic Criteria for an L visa:
• You must have worked abroad for 1 of the past three years for the parent, affiliate or subsidiary of a U.S. company.
• You must be transferred to the United States company to continue to work in a capacity which is managerial, executive or requires specialized knowledge.
• You do not need to be in possession of a Bachelor’s degree.
• The United States company should be in existence for at least one year in order to avoid more burdensome documentation requirements.
• You need to provide documentary evidence of your work experience as stated.
• You need to be aware that there is a lifetime maximum of six years in L status or in combined H-1b/L-status.
• Your INS processing time depends on whether you file a conventional case (30-90 days) or if you or your employer is willing to file a premium processing case at an additional cost (15 days).
Are you eligible for an E Visa?
“Ms. Klopman has a stellar record in getting E-2 visa approval for startup enterprises.”
Basic Criteria for an E visa:
• Your country of origin must have a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation, Bilateral investment Treaty or NAFTA with the United States.
• You may enter the United States for an indefinite period (though the visa must be renewed ) as long as there is an ultimate intention to depart the United States.
• You must be coming to the United States solely to carry on substantial trade which is international in scope but which is primarily between your country of origin and the U.S. (E-1 treaty trader) or
• You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct an enterprise in which you have invested or which you are in the process of investing substantial capital (E-2 treaty investor)
• You must, as an E-2 investor, have investment funds at risk, and must be running an enterprise which has the present or future capacity to general more income than is necessary to support yourself and your family.
• Your services, as a E-1 and E-2 “key employee” must be “essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise”
• You must, as a principal employer in an E-1 or E-2 enterprise be from a treaty country and must own 50% or more of the enterprise
You must be able, using documentary evidence, to establish the substantial nature of your trade or investment