There are 185 types of visas issued by the United States Government. There are two key visa categories that every visa applicant must be aware of and cognizant of the differences: immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas lead to a green card, which in turn leads to permanent residency in the United States. Non-immigrant visas will require the visa holder to leave the United States after the visa expires. However, depending on the visa type, non-immigrant visa holders may be able to apply for permanent residency. This requires the input and analysis of a professional immigration expert.
Visas reviewed here are the Tourist B-1 visa, the Lottery visa DV 2019, the Investment E1 visa, E2 visa, EB-5 visa Employer Sponsored H visa, Student Research J visa, Fiancé K visa, Manager or Executive L-1 visa, and the Outstanding Ability O visa.
Temporary. Can be extended to 6 months. Typically used for very short trips to the United States for business, a demonstration or convention.
Tourist. Valid for 6 months. Under certain circumstances can be converted to an L visa or an H. Once the visa expires the B visa holder must return to their home country. Please consult with an immigration specialist when considering which option works best for you.
The Lottery visa DV-2019, also known as the Green Card Lottery (because of the color of the card), leads to permanent residence in the United States for an applicant, a spouse and their children under 21 years old.
The lottery is generally held between October and November and applications are now being accepted for the year 2019. The Lottery visa has been mandated by Congress and is overseen by the State Department rather than United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There will be 55,000 visas issued in 2019 and applications are accepted online.
Applicants must meet several criteria:
Be a national of a country that is under represented in the United States. If you don’t meet this criteria you can adopt the country of your spouse or your parents as long as they have lived in the country of your birth. Check the State Department website for the list of countries applications are being accepted from for the 2019 lottery. Applicants must have completed the equivalent education of an American high school diploma or have attended high school in the United States; or have 2 years of work experience within the last 5 years in one of the fields listed on the State Department website.
The E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa which requires a lesser investment than an EB-5 visa. Proven success with an E-2 visa may pave the way toward citizenship. The maximum stay is 2 years; however, the stay for an E-2 visa can be extended every two years. There is no maximum number of times that an E-2 visa extension can be applied for.
The E-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that is similar to E-2 but is used by companies who wish to do business internationally.
The EB-5 Visa is a swift way to obtain your green card for you and your immediate family members. The EB-5 visa does not require specific type of education or experience other than reaching the legal age to enter into a legal transaction. Applicants must prove source of income and lack of any inadmissibility issues such as certain diseases, a previous illegal stay in the US or having a criminal conviction.
Once the EB-5 applicant’s form 1-526 petition has been approved he/she can adjust their legal status with USCIS which grants the EB-5 applicant residence for a 2 year period. The investor should file form I- 829 3 months prior to the 2 year approval expiration date in order to be granted permanent resident status for themselves and their families. The investor/EB-5 applicant must provide documents proving an investment at least $500,000 in a new commercial business or one million dollars based on the geographical area. The EB-5 applicant must prove that commercial business will create at least 10 full time direct jobs.
All H-1B applicants must hold a Bachelors degree and be recognized by an employer as an alien hire who will bring credit and merit to the US. There are also caps to “H” visas limiting the number of visas issued per year. H-1B visa holders can remain in the US up to 6 years. Under certain circumstances an H visa holder may be able to apply for a green card.
There are three types of J-1 Visas (non-immigrant visas) issued to overseas students, academics and researchers:
The L-1 visa applicant maybe sponsored by their overseas employer or maybe self-sponsored through ownership in their own corporation. The L-1 visa petitioner must demonstrate management, supervisory and executive skills required for the company or business that the L-1 applicant will be managing in the United States. An L 1 visa can offer a change in status to an immigrant visa after 1 year of employment in the US within the US within the 3 previous years.
The K-1 visa allows the fiancé of an American citizen to spend up to 90 days in the United States prior to the marriage date. The K-1 visa is a one step process and the K-1 visa is approved in the United States not in an overseas consulate. If the wedding is postponed or does not occur within 90 days the alien fiancé must return to their home country and reapply for a K-1 visa. The K-1 visa is less difficult to apply for than the K-3 visa. The K-3 visa is applied when the wedding of a US citizen to a non US citizen takes place overseas. The applicant for the K-3 visa must receive permission from the United States government to marry abroad.
Those possessing extraordinary ability in science, art, business and athletics may consider the O1-A visa. O1-A is a non-immigrant visa and the applicant must be sponsored. The O visa is valid up to 3 years.
This visa is issued to those with extraordinary ability in the television and motion picture sciences. One of the key advantages is that there is no limit as to how many of these visas can be issued a year.
These are the most common visa types. For more detailed information please check our website at 2immigration.com or feel free to contact us by phone with our WhatsApp number, +1-848-391-7882 or in the US at 440-835-4766.