Many clients prefer to be in the U.S. before or during a green card application. Therefore, they first come to the U.S. on a temporary visa. There are about 30 different kinds of temporary visas. The most common temporary visas are as follows:
- B-1/B-2 Visitor Visas, which permit a visitor to remain in the U.S. for up to six month (employment is not permitted).
- E-1 Treaty Investor Visas, which permit investors who engage in principal trade which qualifies as “principal trade” between the U.S. and the treaty country, when more than 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the U.S. and the trader’s treaty country.
- E-2 Treaty Investor Visas, which permit investors from certain countries to invest a substantial amount of money and acquire a controlling interest in an active U.S. business. The visa is issued for up to five years and is renewable. The investor can work in his or her own business. The spouse can qualify for an unrestricted temporary work card. Children up to the age of 21 can accompany the parents and attend school, but cannot work.
- F-1 Student Visas, which permit foreign students to attend U.S. educational institutions. Limited employment is permitted in some cases.
- H-1B Visas for Workers in Specialty Occupations, which permit employment of professional level workers by a sponsoring employer. The visa is issued for up to three years and can be renewed another three years (additional renewals are possible in some cases).
- J-1 Visas for Participants in Exchange Programs, which permit business trainees to come to the U.S. to learn about an occupation or profession for up to 18 months.
- L-1 Visas for Multinational Managers, Executives and Specialized Knowledge employees who are being transferred to the U.S. by a related international company.
- O-1 Visas for Aliens with Extraordinary Ability who are seeking temporary employment. This visa is issued for up to three years and can be renewed in one year increments.
- R-1 Visas for Religious Workers who are being transferred to the U.S. by a related international church.