Temporary Visitors to the United States: Non-Immigrant Visas

Non-immigrant visas permit foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. for limited stays without the ability to become permanent residents (holders of "green cards") and citizens of the U.S. Although in some limited instances the requirements for securing non-immigrant visas are less burdensome than that of immigrant visas, the non-immigrant visa process is nonetheless complex and cumbersome to manage and navigate without the services of a qualified immigration lawyer.

You Are Not Alone in the Application Process

At The Kasen Law Firm, LLC, we are here to help you navigate the complex non-immigrant visa process. With more than 30 years of experience, our founding attorney, Lawrence M. Kasen, is available to assist you in selecting the appropriate non-immigrant visa for the purpose for which you seek entry into the U.S.

We are a full service immigration law firm. For a free initial telephone consultation with an experienced South Carolina immigration lawyer, call 843-376-4085 or toll free at 888-370-5810. You may also contact us online. We have offices in Charleston, and Flushing, New York.

Non-Immigrant Visa Options

In addition to the simple C transit visa for foreign nationals passing immediately through the U.S., non-immigrant visas are available in many contexts and for various purposes.

Business and Employment-Based Non-Immigrant Visas

The vast majority of non-immigrant visas are available for business and employment-based immigration purposes and more commonly include the following visas:

  • E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor Visas — Available to investors, traders and their employees to conduct business in the U.S. if their country of origin has a treaty with the U.S. granting visa eligibility.
  • H-1B Specialty Occupation (Professional) Visas — Available to professional workers holding at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent work experience) upon demonstration by their employer that at least the prevailing wage shall be paid for the position.
  • J-1 and Q-1 Exchange Visitor Visas — Available to participants (including students, short-term scholars, business trainees, teachers, professors, research scholars, specialists, international visitors, government visitors, camp counselors and au pairs) entering the U.S. through an approved exchange visitor's program.
  • L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visas — Available to executives, managers and employees with specialized knowledge to transfer to their employer's U.S. parent, affiliate or subsidiary. Transferred executives and managers holding L-1 Visas may become eligible for permanent residency without the need for labor certification.
  • O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas — Available to foreign nationals with extraordinary ability seeking admission in the U.S.
  • P-1 Artists and Athletes Visas — Available to athletes, artists and entertainers seeking entry into the U.S.
  • R-1 Religious Worker Visas — Available to religious workers seeking entry into the U.S.
  • TN North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Visas — Available to nationals of Canada and Mexico under NAFTA who seek employment in the U.S.

Other Temporary and Non-Immigrant Visas

Additional bases for seeking non-immigrant visas include, without limitation:

  • B-1/B-2 Visitor's Visas — Available to business (B-1) and pleasure (B-2) visitors entering the U.S. for short durations (B-1 visitors may not engage in local employment). Foreign nationals of certain favored countries (i.e., Canada, United Kingdom and Japan) may be permitted stays in the U.S. for up to 90 days under applicable visa waiver rules.
  • C Transit Visas — Available to foreign nationals in immediate and continuous transit through the U.S.
  • F-1 Student Visas — Available to students engaged in full-time, non-vocational, academic studies at post-secondary institutions who are qualified to pursue such study. A person holding an F-1 visa is eligible to change status to H-1B (or another status) during the 60-day grace period.
  • I-1 Journalist/Representatives of Media Visas — Available to members of the foreign press or media (including reporters, freelance journalists and film crew members) seeking to enter the U.S. solely for non-commercial vocational purposes.
  • M-1 Vocational Student Visas — Available to foreign nationals pursuing non-academic vocational study at post-secondary vocational/business schools.
  • S Visa - Available to foreign nationals who assist U.S. federal or state government officials by providing information essential to the success of an authorized criminal investigation or prosecution.
  • T Visa – Available to individuals who have been subject to severe forms of trafficking in persons (including the use of force, fraud or coercion for sex trafficking and/or involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery).
  • U Visa – Available to persons who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse by virtue of being a victim of certain crimes.
  • V Visa – Available to spouses or children of lawful permanent residents, if the permanent residents filed a petition for the spouse or child before December 21, 2000 and it has been pending for more than three years.

Auxiliary Attorney Services

Non-immigrant visa applications generally require the filing of ancillary supporting documents that are generally outside of the immigration lawyer's areas of practice. With our firm's extensive auxiliary attorney services in business, corporate, family and real estate law, we are uniquely qualified to provide all of the necessary services to support your non-immigrant visa application with a "one-stop" shop approach, which has proven invaluable to our immigration clients.

Reach Out to Us Today

To learn more about non-immigrant visa options and for a free initial telephone consultation, call 843-376-4085 or toll free 888-370-5810. You may also contact us online. With the assistance of our non-immigrant visa attorneys, you will no longer be alone and isolated in navigating through the complex non-immigrant visa process and in accomplishing the important purposes for which you seek temporary admission into the U.S.