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American Connections LLC

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Non-Immigrant Work and Study Visas


Let us help you through the complex U.S. immigration process to get the employment-based, non-immigrant visa you need to remain in this country. Some of the Visas that we specialize in, include:

  • H-1B Visa - Specialty Occupation Worker
  • L-1 Visa - Intra-Company Transferee
  • O-1 Visa - Person of Extraordinary Ability
  • E1/E2 Visa - Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor
  • E3 Visa - Australian Specialty Occupation Worker
  • TN Visa - NAFTA Professional Worker
  • J-1 Visa - Exchange Visitor Program
  • F-1 Visa - Optional Practical Training

H-1B Visa - Specialty Occupation Worker

Overview
U.S. -based companies may apply for this visa on behalf of foreign nationals in most professional occupations, including engineers, computer scientists, financial analysts, and others with a Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent in work experience.

Requirements
The applicant must be sponsored by a U.S.-based company and employed in a specialty occupation. The employer must pay their H-1B worker at least the required prevailing wage and the worker must have at least the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's Degree.

Period of Stay
Although initially granted for three years, this visa can be extended for another three years for a total duration of six years altogether. It may be extended beyond the sixth year if a labor certification was filed on the applicant's behalf more than 365 days prior to the end of the sixth H-1B year.

Please Note
The applicant's spouse can be granted an H-4 visa, but is not eligible to work in the U.S., although some exceptions apply.


L-1 Visa - Intra-Company Transferee

Overview
This visa is for executives, managers (L-1A), or employees with specialized knowledge (L-1B) who have worked for at least one year out of the past three years for an overseas parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of a U.S. company.

Business Executive

Requirements
There must be a qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. company. The applicant must have worked for the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding the visa process.

Period of Stay
This visa is good for one year for a newly-created company or three years for an existing U.S. entity that's been in business for more than one year. These visas can be extended for a total duration of seven years for an L-1A and five years for an L-1B.

Please Note
The L-1A status is a short path to a green card and the spouse is eligible for a work permit under this visa.


O-1 Visa - Person of Extraordinary Ability

Overview
To qualify for this visa, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she is one of the small percentage of individuals at the very top of his or her field and has sustained national or international acclaim as shown by specific, listed types of evidence. This includes receipt of a major internationally-recognized award, membership in an organization that requires outstanding achievement, original scientific or scholarly work of major significance in his or her field, and other feats of this nature.

Requirements
The applicant must demonstrate that he or she has either received a major internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or submit evidence that affirmatively answers at least three of the eight questions listed below:

  • Have you received a lesser nationally or internationally-recognized prize or award for excellence in your field?
  • Are you a member of any associations which require outstanding achievements of their members?
  • Is there published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you which relates to your work in that field?
  • Have you participated on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization?
  • Have you made original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance?
  • Have you authored scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media?
  • Have you been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation?
  • Have you or will you command a high salary or other remunerations for your services?

Period of Stay
This visa is granted for three year periods, but may be extended indefinitely in increments of one year.

Please Note
The spouse of an O-1 holder is not eligible to work in the U.S. and the O-1 visa is the most difficult temporary work visa to obtain. Many O-1 holders are eligible to apply for a green card under the USCIS first preference category for extraordinary ability, which provides quicker processing.


E1/E2 Visa - Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor

Overview
The E category of work visas includes treaty traders and investors who come to the U.S. under a treaty of commerce and navigation between the U.S. and the country of which the treaty trader or investor is a citizen or national.

E1 Requirements
At least 50% of the company must be owned by nationals of the treaty country and the applicant must be a national of the majority shareholder's treaty country. The applicant can either be an investor, an executive, a manager, or a highly skilled employee.

E2 Requirements
A substantial trade based on the number of shipments or transactions and its value in U.S. dollars. At least 50% of the trade must be between the U.S. and the applicant's treaty country. The company must be real and operational and the investment must be substantial, as well as actively creating a beneficial economic impact in the U.S.

Period of Stay
This visa is good for up to five years, depending on the treaty country and may be extended indefinitely.

Treaty Trader

E3 Visa - Australian Specialty Occupation Worker

Overview
Similar to H-1B visa, but is only available for Australian citizens. U.S.-based companies may apply for this visa on behalf of Australian citizens in most professional occupations.

Requirements
The applicant must be a citizen of Australia, sponsored by a U.S.-based company and employed in a specialty occupation, and have at least the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's Degree. The employer must pay their E3 worker at least the required prevailing wage.

Period of Stay
The applicant may be admitted initially for a period up to two years, but extensions of stay may be granted indefinitely in increments of up to two years.

Please Note
The spouse of an E3 holder may work legally in the U.S.

TN Visa - NAFTA Professional Worker

Overview
This visa is for Canadian or Mexican citizens whose occupations appear on Schedule 2 of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Some of these categories include engineers, economists, accountants, management consultants, nurses, and more.

Requirements
The employer must provide salary information and a detailed job description, along with the employee's credentials as specified in Schedule 2 of NAFTA for that occupation.

Period of Stay
A foreign national can work in the U.S. for up to one year with unlimited annual renewals, provided that he or she maintains ties to his or her home country.

Please Note
Canadian citizens may file the application for this visa at a port of entry into the U.S. and obtain an immediate decision on his or her application. Mexican nationals must obtain a visa at a consular post.


J-1 Visa - Exchange Visitor Program

Overview
This category is for individuals that have been approved to participate in work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs. There are 15 different categories under the J-1 visa program. For example, a J-1 business or industrial trainee is eligible to apply for this visa and receive work authorization in the U.S. for up to 18 months. Foreign national receive practical training that must be directly related to their occupation or academic curriculum and a training plan must be developed to outline the J-1 visa holder training regime.

Please Note
Some J-1 visa holders may be required to return to their home country for two years at the completion of their J-1 program before they can return to the U.S., change to some other status or seek permanent residence. Waivers of this requirement may be available in some circumstances.

Young Adult Student

F-1 Visa - Optional Practical Training

Overview
A student that's qualified to pursue a full course of study at an established college or university will enter the U.S. with an I-20 form issued by the institutions. Students who complete the study requirements in their program may be eligible for up to one year of Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT must be approved by the school before the student applies to USCIS for work authorization evidenced by an employment authorization card.

Please Note
On March 11, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule allowing certain F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees, and who meet other specified requirements, to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT. The 24-month extension will replace the 17-month OPT extension that was previously available to STEM students.