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Non Immigrant Visa

Non-immigrant visa holders are foreign national who arrive for temporary stays in the U.S. They have no intention of permanently residing in the U.S even though the U.S. immigration law presumes otherwise.
 
There are different types of non-immigrant visa and they include the following:
 
B1 Non-Immigrant Business Visa/B2 Visitor Visa
 
There is a presumption that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant (has an intention to stay back in the U.S. permanently). Therefore, applicants for visitor visas have to overcome this basic presumption against them. They will usually bear the heavy burden of proving to a consular officer that they are in fact coming to the U.S. either for business or for pleasure. 
 
STUDENT VISA  
Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals come to the United States from around the world for higher education. Numerous programs offer a various types of opportunities. There are principally three types of student visas that an international student can come to the United States with.  There are principally three types of student visas that an international student can come to the United States with. Student visas are issued for the period it takes the visitor to complete his/her course of study, program or work assignment.
The 3 Types of non-Immigrant Student Visa include:
 
  • F-1 Visa: Academic Studies
  • J-1 Visa: Academic Studies as an Exchange Visitor 
  • M-1 Visa: Non-Academic or Vocational Studies for individuals who want to study or conduct research at an accredited U.S. College or University.
 
Eligibility Requirements for an F-1
An alien who possess a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning, who wishes to come to the United States to pursue a course of study at an academic institution accredited by the USCIS, may qualify for an F-1 student visa. The alien have to have a valid educational reason for coming to the United States, and have to be able to support himself or herself while in the United States without working. usually the USCIS regulations determine whether or not one can work with this kind of visa but usually F-1 visa holders can work on-campus, off-campus, or pursuant to practical training. If in fact an F-1 who would like to know if you can work, the best place to start is by asking your institution’s Designated Student Officer.   
 
STEPS TO OBTAINING AN F-1 VISA
 
  • Take The Required Academic Test for your planned education you’re your home country and pass;Register at an accredited U.S. College or University
  • Find a University you would like to Attend in the United
  • Apply to the College/University
  • Fulfill all formalities of registration
  • Obtain an I-20
  • Apply for the Student Visa
 
You will apply for the student visa and go through a visa interview at a US consulate in your home country. Visa will be issued for the duration mentioned on the form I-20. (In practice most students successfully get five-year visas0
 
 J-1 VISA
The United States government issues J-1 visas to individuals who take part in a wide variety of exchange visitor programs sponsored by schools, businesses, and a variety of organizations and institutions. These programs are envisioned for business and industrial trainees, scholars, students, international visitors, teachers, research assistants and those on cultural missions.   In addition, there are several exchange visitor programs for young individuals, including summer employment programs, internship programs for university students, and au-pair programs.
 
The J1 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 receiving 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;International visitors coming to U.S. to tour, observe, consult, conduct research, receive training, demonstrate specialized knowledge or skills, or participate in an organized individuals-to-individuals program.
 
The chief benefits of the J1 Visa is that visa holders can enter the U.S. as an exchange visitor and their dependents can stay with them as long as they maintain your J1 status. They can also attend school while on the J-2 dependent visa. They are exempt from Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax withholdings. their dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization, and may work in the U.S. Nevertheless, they cannot successfully get work authorization if the money earned is needed to support the J-1 visa holder.
 
Eligibility Requirement for a J-1 Visa
You meet the criteria for a J-1 exchange visitor visa if you are coming to the United States as a student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, medical graduate or international visitor who is participating in a program of studies, training research or cultural enrichment specifically designed for such individuals by the United States Department of State, through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
 
M-1 VISA
Non-Academic or Vocational Studies M-1 visa gives a great opportunity for students to train in an enabling and positive U.S. environment and strengthen their technical and non-academic skills. The M-1 visa is given to students who wish to pursue full-time study at a USCIS approved vocational or non-academic school in the United States. These schools are usually community and junior colleges that give vocational and technical training or vocational high schools. The schools have to prove their international students program will reach certain educational objectives and will not be used to make students work. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of M-1 visa holders are allowed to join them in the U.S., under M-2 status. A prospective student's Form I-20M-N may be used to request an M-2 visa 
 
CHANGE OF STATUS
Certain non-immigrants who are maintaining status and wish to change to an additional non-immigrant status:  
 • Diplomatic and other government officials, and their families and employees on an A visa 
• Temporary visitors for business or pleasure on B visa category
• Academic students on F-1 visa and their immediate family members on F-2 visa
• Representatives to international organizations and their families and employees on G visa  
• Representatives of foreign media on I visa and their immediate family members 
• Exchange visitors on J-1 visa and their immediate family members on J-2 visa  
• Vocational students on M-1 visa and their immediate family members on M-2 visa 
• Parents and children of the individuals who have been granted special immigrant status because their parents were employed by an international organization in the United States
• Temporary workers and their immediate family members on H, L, O, P, Q or R visa  
 
Extension of Stay
Certain non-immigrant visa holders can apply to extend their period of temporary stay in the U.S. The following categories of non-immigrants can apply for extension:
• A-1, A-2, A-3: Diplomatic and foreign government officials, their immediate family members and employees
• B-1, B-2: Temporary visitors for business or pleasure
• F-1, F-2: Academic students and their immediate family members
• G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5: Representatives to international organizations and their families and employees 
• I Visa: Representatives of foreign media and their immediate family members  
• J-1, J-2: Exchange visitors and their immediate family members
• M-1, M-2: Vocational students and their immediate family members  
• N-8, N-9: Parents and children special immigrants
 
THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without receiving a visa. The program was established in 1986 with the objective of promoting better relations between the United States and its allies, eliminating unrequired barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. Visa Waiver eligible travelers may continue to apply for a United States visa if they prefer, but it is not obligated for stays up to 90 days. The Visa Waiver Program require all travelers to have a machine-readable passport in addition to other needs described in the Visa Waiver Information Guide.
 
Eligibility Requirements for the Visa Waiver Program
Not all citizens of Visa Waiver countries are eligible to enter the United States visa-free under the Visa Waiver program. Some applicants might be obligated to apply for a B-1 Business Visa or a B-2 Tourist Visa in order to visit the United States.
 
EMPLOYMENT-BASED NON IMMIGRANT VISAS
 
E Non-Immigrant Visa
E visas are for those entering the U.S. to engage in trade or investment services or activities. These visas can only be issued if the U.S. has a treaty with the alien's country. 
 
 E-1 Treaty Traders
 E-1 visas are for individuals involved in the exchange, purchase or sale of goods/services or merchandise. Services include technology transfer, architecture and engineering services, management consulting or accounting. The trade in goods and services should be substantial, as defined by the INS, in terms of value, volume or a large number of small transactions.  The trade have to also meet the following criteria:
 
Eligibility Criteria for E-1 Treaty Traders
 
  • The trade have to be principally with the treaty country.
 
  • More than 50% of the total volume of international trade has to be between the U.S. and the treaty country.
 
  • The amount of trade has to be sufficient to guarantee a continuous flow of international trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.
 
  • Trade can be binding contracts that call for the future exchange of items.
 
  • Income derived from the value of numerous transactions that is sufficient to support the trades and his/her family is a favorable factor. 
 
E-2 Treaty Investors  
E-2 visas are for owners and investors in businesses in the United States. The E-2 is a non-immigrant visa that may be granted for substantial investments in the U.S. The investment has to meet several criteria in order to qualify for an E-2 visa.  
 
Eligibility Criteria for E-2 Visa
  • Showing that "substantial" investment or funds are available and committed to the investment;
 
  • The investment have to be in an active business as opposed to passive investment such as purchasing a home;
 
  • At least 50% of the business have to be owned by an alien from a country which has a treaty with the United States;
 
  • The investment have to create enough profit to offer a living for additional than just the alien and his/her family.
 
  • There is no at the very least amount of investment required to receive an E-2 visa, and no matter if an amount will be deemed "substantial" is based upon on the type of business involved, the number of jobs created the alien's personal assets, etc. In most cases, the investment have to be at least $100,000USD.
 
Employees of E-2 companies may be granted E-2 visas if they are or will be engaged in duties that are executive, managerial, or supervisory in nature. If employed in a minor capacity, the employee may be granted E-2 visa if he or she has special qualifications that make the services to be rendered essential to the enterprise. The spouse and children (unmarried and under 21) of E-1 or E-2 visa holders are entitled to the same E-1 or E-2 classification as the principal.  
 
THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without receiving a visa. The program was established in 1986 with the objective of promoting better relations between the United States and its allies, eliminating unrequired barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. Visa Waiver eligible travelers may continue to apply for a United States visa if they prefer, but it is not obligated for stays up to 90 days. The Visa Waiver Program require all travelers to have a machine-readable passport in addition to other needs described in the Visa Waiver Information Guide.
 
Eligibility Requirements for the Visa Waiver Program
Not all citizens of Visa Waiver countries are eligible to enter the United States visa-free under the Visa Waiver program. Some applicants might be obligated to apply for a B-1 Business Visa or a B-2 Tourist Visa in order to visit the United States. Visa Waiver eligible travelers may continue to apply for a United States visa if they prefer, but it is not obligated for stays up to 90 days. The Visa Waiver Program require all travelers to have a machine-readable passport in addition to other requirements described in the Visa Waiver Information Guide.
 
H-1B SPECIALTY OCCUPATIONS
Professionals with at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience may be eligible for this non-immigrant visa if the position requires such a degree or equivalent experience.
 
L INTRA COMPANY TRANSFEREE
These visas are available to executives, managers and persons holding specialized knowledge who own or are employed by a business abroad if the company has a U.S. branch office or affiliate or intends to create one.
 
TN - NAFTA PROFESSIONALS
A special visa category for nationals of Canada/Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.