Non-Immigrant Visas for Temporary Periods in the United States

  • H-1B – Professional Workers: For professionals with a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent in work experience, seeking temporary employment to fill a position which requires such a degree. H-1B visa applicants must demonstrate that they will be paid at or above the prevailing wage in the industry. The length of stay generally may not exceed 6 years. 
  • L-1 – Multi-National Business Transferees: The L visa is available to executives, managers and personnel with specialized knowledge entering the United States to continue working for the same employer, its affiliate, or subsidiary. The length of stay generally may not exceed 7 years for executives or managers and 5 years for specialized-knowledge personnel.
  • E-1 / E-2 – Traders / Investors: Investors, traders, and their employees whose country of citizenship has a commercial treaty with the United States may obtain this status to carry on their business in the U.S. Applicants for these visas may be employed in the U.S. for 2-year increments.
  • F or M – Students: For students entering the U.S. in order to engage in a full course of academic or vocational study. Many students may be eligible for employment authorization for up to 1 year (and for some students, even greater periods of time) for purposes of practical training in their fields (OPT).
  • K – Fiancé(e) or Spouse: For fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens who intend to marry within 90 days of admission to the U.S., in addition to certain spouses of U.S. citizens who have filed for an immigrant visa.
  • O-1 / O-2 – Extraordinary Ability: For persons who can demonstrate “extraordinary ability” in the arts, sciences, business, education or athletics, in addition to those assisting such persons.
  • P-1 / P-2 / P-3 – Athletes, Entertainers & Artists: For athletes, entertainers and artists who are members of a group or team, part of a reciprocal international exchange, or performing in programs that are culturally unique. 
  • R – Religious Workers: Qualified religious professionals or other religious workers, for visits of up to 5 years.
  • TN – NAFTA: Professionals from Canada or Mexico seeking to enter the U.S. to engage in specified professional business activities.
  • B-1 / B-2 – Visitors & Visa Waiver Program: The B-1 and B-2 visas provide for brief visits to the U.S. involving business or pleasure for an initial stay of less than 180 days. Nationals of certain countries may be permitted to visit the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

A wide variety of visas exist for those seeking to come to the United States for temporary periods of time:


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