Visas & Compliance:
Maximum Stay Information for Temporary Employment Visas
Types of Visas
Diplomatic Employees and Personnel (A)
The A visa is a nonimmigrant visa for diplomats, officials, and employees of foreign governments coming to the U.S. on official business.
This category includes ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats, and consular officers, recognized by the U.S., who are accepted by the President or the Secretary of State. Also included are certain other reciprocity-based foreign officials and employees, as well as their immediate family members.
This category also includes, based on reciprocity, the attendants, servants, personal, and employees of the foreign nationals described above.
Business Visitors (B-1) or Tourists (B-2)
The B visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa for foreign nationals desiring to enter the U.S. temporarily for business (B-1), or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). B-1 business visitor visas are for a short duration and must not involve local employment. Travelers coming to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa, pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program. Currently, 29 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom*, and Uruguay. Visitors entering on the Visa Waiver Program cannot work or study while in the U.S., cannot remain longer than 90 days or change status to another category. *The United Kingdom refers only to certain British citizens. Please contact us if you have questions in this regard.
Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2)
The E visa is a nonimmigrant visa for traders and investors. The E visa category is based on particular treaties between the U.S. and certain foreign countries that are intended to encourage trade and investment. The E visa is available only for citizens of those particular countries which have entered into the requisite treaty with the U.S.
There are two types of E visas:
The initial period of stay for the E category is one year; however, it can be extended almost indefinitely.
The primary requirements for E visas are:
E-1 visas (Treaty Traders):
E-2 visas (Treaty Investors):
Applying for an E visa often involves the preparation of a substantial amount of documentation regarding corporate relationships, investments, and trade. Although each element appears to be simple in principle, when it comes to actually establishing each element in practice, the process is often quite complex. Moreover, the U.S. Department of State has developed a considerable number of rules that come into play with respect to each element. The U.S. has treaties with over 40 countries which permit nationals from those countries to own or be employed in the U.S. in a business which conducts a substantial volume of trade between the U.S. and the person's country of citizenship. Greenberg Traurig can help by guiding your company through this maze based on its considerable experience in preparing these petitions.
Specialty Occupation Workers (E-3)
The E-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa for temporary workers that are Australian nationals, entering the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation. E-3 visa holders must show that they are an Australian national seeking employment in a specialty occupation requiring possession of a bachelors degree or higher (or its equivalent) and possess the appropriate degree (or its equivalent) in the field in which the alien wishes to work. E-3 nonimmigrant status is initially granted for a period of no more than two years, extendible indefinitely in increments of two years.
The F visa is a nonimmigrant visa for a foreign national having a residence in a foreign country which s/he has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study, and who seeks to enter the U.S. temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at an approved academic institution or approved language school (check that the academic/language school is authorized to issue Form I-20). This visa also includes the foreign student's spouse and minor children who accompany or follow-to-join the foreign national.
International Organizations Employees (G)
The G visa is a nonimmigrant visa for a designated principal resident representative and accredited staff of a foreign government recognized by the U.S., which foreign government is a member of an international organization entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions, and immunities under the International Organizations Immunities Act. Also included are other diplomatic representatives, officials and employees who are not included in this definition, and members of their immediate families. In addition, this visa includes the attendants, servants or personal employees (and their immediate families) of any representative, official or employee described above.
Temporary Worker (H1-B)
The H-1B visas are temporary employment visas, entitling the visa holder to work in the U.S. for a particular employer, in a particular job, for a specified period of up to a total of six years. H-1B visas are available for temporary specialty occupations or professional positions.
The main requirements for the H-1B visa:
H-1B visa holders may also bring their family members with them on H-4 visas. The spouse and children under 21 years of age are not permitted to work, but may attend school.
Temporary Worker (H-2B)
The H2B visa is a temporary visa that allows employers in the U.S. to recruit foreign workers as long as the terms of employment are temporary in nature. This visa is granted for a 1 year period and may be extended for additional periods of 1 year to a maximum of 3 years. Temporary in nature refers to jobs that;
It is the responsibility of the employer to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor that states there are no American workers who are able to fill the position of employment. The H-2B visa can only be granted if the job of the foreign worker will not limit the employment opportunities of American workers. The foreign worker must prove they meet the criterion for the job (skilled or unskilled labor), and have the intention on leaving the United States after the employment is done.
International Media Representatives (I)
The "I" visa is a nonimmigrant visa given to a foreign national who is a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media, seeking to enter the U.S. solely to engage in such vocation. Also included in the I visa category are the spouse and children of such a representative, if accompanying or following to join him or her. Journalists, TV news personnel, and other similar occupations come under this category.
The "J" visa is a nonimmigrant visa category for foreign nationals to participate in exchange visitor programs in the U.S. The "J" visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the U.S. Information Agency, (USIA).
The "J" exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants include students at all academic levels; trainees obtaining on-the-job training with firms, institutions, and agencies; teachers of primary, secondary, and specialized schools; professors coming to teach or do research at institutions of higher learning; research scholars; professional trainees in the medical and allied fields; and international visitors coming for the purpose of travel, observation, consultation, research, training, sharing, or demonstrating specialized knowledge or skills, or participating in organized people-to-people programs.
The regulations state that:
Applicants for exchange visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence.
Intra-Company Transferees for Managers and Executives (L-1)
The L-1 visa category is intended to facilitate international business by permitting the transfer of non-U.S. managers and specialized personnel into the U.S. by companies with operations in the U.S. and abroad. There are two types of L-1 visas: L-1A visas are available for executives and managers; and L-1B visas are available for "specialized knowledge personnel."
The main requirements for L-1 visas are:
L-1 Visa holders may also bring their family members with them on L-2 visas. The spouse and children under 21 years of age may attend school and the L-2 spouse is also allowed to work, with a valid work authorization document (applied for separately from the L-1 visa).
Extraordinary Ability Workers (O)
The O visa category is designated for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability. This includes educators, entertainers, athletes, scientists, businesspersons and support personnel. The O category requires that extraordinary ability be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. In the case of foreign nationals seeking O status in the film and television industries, a lesser "extraordinary achievement" standard prevails. With regard to persons seeking O status in the arts, the standard is "distinction" which is defined identically with the "prominence" standard under prior law. The admission of an O nonimmigrant is limited to the period of time necessary to complete the event for which the person is admitted.
The P visa is the nonimmigrant visa category for performing artists and athletes, entertainment groups and athletic teams. The foreign national must perform individually, or as part of a group at an internationally recognized level. P-1 foreign nationals must show international recognition for outstanding performances over a sustained and substantial period of time. The P-2 category allows foreign performers to enter the US if there are reciprocal exchange programs. The P-3 category is for performers of a culturally unique group.
The P visa category is also for those entertainers and athletes who cannot qualify under the extraordinary ability standard of the O category. The coverage of the visa is twofold: (1) athletes who compete individually or as part of a team at an internationally recognized level and (2) foreign nationals who perform with or, are an integral and essential part of the performance of, an entertainment group that has received international recognition as "outstanding" for a "sustained and substantial period of time."
An eligible athlete must have a ratified contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or documentation of at least two of the following:
An eligible group will have at least 75% of their members maintaining a substantial relationship with the group for at least one year. Under applicable USCIS guidelines, international recognition can be established by:
Cultural Exchange Visitors (Q)
The Q visa is a nonimmigrant visa category for persons to participate in exchange visitor programs in the U.S.. The Q visa is designated for international cultural exchange programs.
The Q international cultural exchange program is designed for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the participant's home country in the U.S.
The regulations state that:
Disney often utilizes these visas to bring international visitors to work at Epcot Center.
Applicants for exchange visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.
The R visa is a nonimmigrant visa designated for the religious workers from a foreign country.
Religious workers include ministers of religion who are authorized by a recognized denomination to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by members of the clergy such as administering the sacraments, or their equivalent.
The term does not apply to lay preachers. A religious vocation means a calling to religious life, evidenced by the demonstration of a lifelong commitment, such as taking vows. Examples include nuns, monks, and religious brothers and sisters.
A religious occupation means a habitual engagement in an activity which relates to a traditional religious function. Examples include liturgical workers, religious instructors or cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospitals, missionaries, religious translators, or religious broadcasters. It does not include janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, fund raisers, solicitors of donations, or similar occupations.
The activity of a lay-person who will be engaged in a religious occupation must relate to a traditional religious function: i.e., the activity must embody the tenets of the religion and have religious significance, relating primarily, if not exclusively, to matters of the spirit as they apply to the religion.
The regulations state that the requirements for this visa include the following:
Temporary Workers: Canadian and Mexican Professionals Under NAFTA (TN)
The TN visas are temporary employment visas for NAFTA professionals (Canadian and Mexican citizens). The TN entitles the visa holder to work in the U.S. for a particular employer, in a particular job, if they possess the credentials required, as well as proof of qualifying citizenship. TN status allows the visa holder unlimited entries into the U.S. for the period of service required by the U.S. employer (including foreign employers), up to a maximum of one year, extendible indefinitely as long as the temporary purpose of the employment continues.