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US Business and Work Visas : US Visas
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US Visas

US Business and Work Visas

If you are a foreign national intending to travel to the United States for business or work purposes, it can be difficult to know which visa is the right one for you. Following are the basic types of US business and temporary work-related visas, along with a brief explanation of what each covers.

B-1 Visa, Temporary Business

The B-1 visa is a limited stay visitor’s visa that allows foreign nationals to come to the United States for legitimate business, commercial, and work-related purposes. This includes attending training, seminars and conferences, and exploring US venture and investment opportunities. Individuals traveling on the B-1 are not allowed to earn income or receive compensation from a US source other than for reimbursement of travel-related expenses.

E Class Visa, Business Investors and Traders

E class visas allow investors and traders to travel and work within the US under the umbrella of “Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation” treaties. Individuals traveling under E class status are allowed to promote, develop, and direct investment and trade. Substantial investments that result in creation of US jobs can also lead to an E class green card and permanent residency.

H-1B Visa, Specialty Occupations

The H-1B visa allows individuals working in specialized occupations to come to the US to work for a limited period of time. This also includes individuals engaged in government-to-government research and development. The H-1B visa requires a petition to be filed, along with supporting documentation, by the intended US employer.

H-2B Visa, Seasonal and Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers

H-2B allows individuals to come to the US to perform seasonal or temporary work of a non-agricultural nature. As with H-1B, the applicant must be sponsored by a US employer who, in turn, must 1) file a petition with USCIS and 2) prove that there are no US workers willing or available to do the work.

I Visa, Foreign Media

The I temporary work visa is for members of foreign media who wish to enter the US to report on specific events or activities or engage in other media activity which can be classed as “informational”. Foreign press is not allowed entry into the US via the B-1 business visitor’s visa, nor are they eligible for entry under the Visa Waiver Program. Journalists and media personnel attempting to gain entry by these means will be turned away at point of entry.

L Visa, Intra-Company Transfer

The L work visa allows foreign nationals working for a US affiliate, branch, subsidiary, division, or parent company abroad to come to the US and fill a position within that company. The applicant must show that he or she has worked a minimum of one consecutive year out of the last three for the firm. Individuals working under the L visa are generally 1) managers and executives or 2) specialized staff. In each case, it must be proven that the individual is necessary and will be filling a comparable role within the US-based office.


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US Business and Work Visas : US Visas