NON IMMIGRANT: TEMPORARY STATUS
B-1/B-2 Visitor's Visa: B1 - Visitor for Business; B2 - Visitor for Pleasure
For coming to the U.S. for business or pleasure. B-1 business visitor visas are for brief visits and do not allow employment. Nationals of some countries are allowed to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.
E1 - Treaty Trader; E2 - Treaty Investor
Investors / traders and their employees may receive visas to carry on their business in the U.S. if the home country has a commercial treaty with the United States conferring visa eligibility.
F1 - Academic Student
Persons enrolling in a full course of study at an educational institution in the United States may be eligible for a visa for the course of their study and a period for practical training (P/T) in their field.
H-1B - Specialty Occupation, DOD employee
Professionls with at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in work experience may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa if the position requires such a degree. Their employers should demonstrate that they are paid at least the prevailing wage for the job.
H-2A - Agricultural Labor
H-2B - Other Temporary Labor
H-3 - Trainee
I - Representatives of Foreign News Media
J - Exchange Visitor
People coming to the U.S. through an approved exchange program may be eligible for the J-1 Exchange Visitor's Visa. These are students, scholars, job trainees, faculty, professors and research scholars, specialists, medical residents, government visitors, etc. Sometimes, a J-1 program will require that the beneficiary spend at least two years outside of the U.S. before being permitted to a different nonimmigrant visa or to permanent residency
K - Fiance/e of U.S. Citizen
A Fiance'(e) of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a nonimmigrant visa in order to marry within 90 days of entry to the U.S.
L - Intra Company Transferee
L-1 visas are available to executives, managers and specialized employees moving to their employer's U.S. affiliate sites. Executives and managers holding L-1 visas may be eligible for permanent residency without the need for a labor certification. See article entitled, "E13 Category for Multinational Executives and Managers."
M - Vocational Student
O1, O2 - Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 category is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, athletics, education, or business.
P1, P2, P3 - Athletes and Group Entertainers
For athletes, artists, and entertainers
Q - International Cultural Exchange Program
R - Religious Vocation or Profession
Religious workers include ordained clergy and those who have taken religious vows, as well as religious professionals such as choral directors, teachers of religion, and so forth.
TN - Trade NAFTA Professionals
A special visa category for nationals of Canada/Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
IMMIGRANT: PERMANENT STATUS: EMPLOYMENT BASED
EB1 - First Preference
A. Persons of Extraordinary Ability
B. Outstading Professors and Researches
C. Multinational Executives and Managers
In these categories, the candidate can petition for permanent residency without the time-consuming process of labor certification.
EB2 - Second Preference
Members of Professions holding Advanced Degrees or Aliens of Exceptional Ability.
Most EB2 candidates must have a job offer and the employer must complete the labor certification process. The labor certification involves testing of the job market to show that the potential visa holder is not taking away a job from a U.S. worker. If the individual can show that his/her entry is in the national interest the job offer and LC requirements can be waived.
EB3 - Third Preference
Skilled Workers, Professionals and other Workers.
Most EB3 candidates must have a job offer and the employer must complete the labor certification process.
EB4 - Fourth Preference - Special Immigrants
The EB4 category includes persons such as Religious Workers, Commuters from Border, Retired G-4 (Employee of international Organizations), Returning Residents and Ministers of religion.
EB5 - Fifth Preference - Employment Creation Investors
With the 1990 Immigration Act, Congress has kept aside up to 10,000 visas per year just for alien investors in new commercial enterprises, who will create employment for at least ten individuals. There are two investor groups under the program - people who invest at least $500,000 in "targeted employment areas" (rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average) and those who invest $1,000,000 in other areas. Not less than 3,000 of the annual allotment of visas in this category must go to the targeted employment areas.
IMMIGRANT: PERMANENT STATUS: FAMILY BASED
U.S. citizens can petition for parents, spouses, siblings, and children. Permanent Residents (LPR) can petition for spouses and children only. There is no quota or limit and, therefore, no waiting list for "Immediate Relatives" of U.S. Citizens - Unmarried children under 21, spouse, parent, widow/widower (under certain circumstances). Relatives in the following "preference" categories are subject to limits on the number of visas that can be issued each year.
Unmarried sons or daughters (over age 21) of U.S. citizens.
(2A) Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of LPRs; (2B) Unmarried sons and daughters (over age 21) of LPRs.
Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
DIVERSITY VISA: DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery")
Started in October 1994 as the permanent Diversity Program for natives of certain countries that have provided relatively few immigrants to the U.S. in recent years. Annually, 55,000 visas are given away in a random drawing to individuals from countries underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.
People with a real fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership in or identification with a particular social grou, or political opinion can apply for asylum or refugee status.
Representation to file citizenship applications.
LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND CONSULAR PRACTICE
Representation before the INS throughout the United States and U.S. Consulates worldwide.
OTHER IMMIGRATION MATTERS
Representation and counsel in other general immigration mattes.
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