Building Dreams

Non-Immigration Visas (including H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1 and TN)

The United States government issues several types of employment-based non-immigrant visas to foreign nationals. The most commonly known non-immigrant visa is the H-1B. H-1B visas are available to aliens coming to the United States to perform services in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model. It requires at a minimum a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) in a specialty occupation such as an architect, engineer, health professional, educator, accountant, legal professional or artist. The foreign national must first be sponsored by a U.S. employer who is responsible for filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA). This is not the same as the Labor Certification required for employment based immigration visas (EB visas). Because the H-1B is considered a “dual intent” visa, H-1B visa holders are permitted to pursue immigration based employment. See H-1B Visa Requirements.

Other non-immigrant employment based visas include: H-2A visas (for temporary agricultural workers); H-2B visas (seasonal non-agricultural workers); H-3 visas (for training in the education of handicapped children); L-1 visas (for intra-company transferees); and TN visas (for non-immigrant professionals from Canada and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]).

In addition, the United States issues numerous non-employment based temporary visas. These include visitor visas, investment based visas, student visas, cultural exchange visas, visas for ministers and other religious persons, and visas for internationally known athletes and entertainers, artists and persons with extraordinary abilities. The requirements for each of these visas vary. The common theme is that they are all non-immigrant based visas and (with the exception of “dual intent” visas like the H-1B) the U.S. government is looking for evidence that the alien is not seeking to immigrate permanently to the United States.

Contact San Diego Immigration Attorney Donald R. Oder for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions