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Temporary Work Visas

Temporary Work, Student and Visitor Visas

  • B-1/B-2/VWP: B visas are given to people who come to the U.S. temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure (B-2). Citizens of some countries are exempt from obtaining a B-1 / B-2 visa in their passports and can enter on the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) through the ESTA system. For B-1/B-2 visa holders and those who enter on the Visa Waiver Program, only certain activities are allowed.
  • B-1 in Lieu of H-1B: B-1 in lieu of H-1B is a special subset of the B-1 visa. It allows foreign employees to come to the US to engage in short-term work assignments if certain conditions are met.
  • E-1/E-2: E-1/E-2 visas are given to nationals of countries with which the U.S. has signed a trade agreement who come to the U.S. to conduct certain activities in relation to trade with the designated country.
  • E-3: E-3 visas were created by free trade agreements and are given to Australians professionals. They are similar to — but in many ways less restrictive than — the H-1B visa described below.
  • F-1: The F visa is for students who are enrolled in certain authorized educational programs. In some circumstances, an F-1 student may obtain restricted work authorization (“CPT,” “OPT” and “STEM OPT”) during and/or after completion of his or her program of study.
  • H-1B: One of the most common and popular employment-based visas, the H-1B visa, is available to certain individuals who work temporarily in a specialty occupation that requires specialized knowledge and completion of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • H-1B1: H-1B1 visas were created by free trade agreements and are given to Chilean and Singaporeans professionals. They are similar to — but in many ways less restrictive than — the H-1B visa described above.
  • International Entrepreneur Parole: Temporary, authorized stay for a period of up to 30 months is granted to those entrepreneurs who demonstrate they will provide significant public benefit through the potential for rapid business growth and job creation.
  • J-1 : The J exchange visitor visa is given to interns or trainees, as well as medical researchers and au pairs, among others. J-1 visa holders are often subject to the “two-year home residency” rule, which often requires that a J-1 visa holder receive an approved waiver of the two-year requirement of stay in their home countries for a total period of two years after completion of the J-1 program, with some exceptions.
  • L-1A/L-1B: L visas are available to certain intracompany transferees who have been employed abroad continuously for at least one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity.
  • O-1A/O-1B: The O visa is available to certain individuals who have “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field.
  • P: P classification applies to certain individual or team athletes, or members of an entertainment group.
  • R: Certain religious workers are allowed to work temporarily in the U.S. on R visas.
  • TN: Nationals of Canada and Mexico who are coming to the U.S. to engage in certain professional occupations are allowed to come on TN visas, a special classification that was created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Contact the immigration attorneys of Becker & Lee LLP to learn more.