Employment-based non-immigrant visas

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
There are several categories of non-immigrant visas which provide for employment authorization. Recent changes in statutory law, federal regulations, and the enactment of treaties, have impacted several nonimmigrant visa categories. The most frequently used business visa is the B-1 visitor. Although individuals may be admitted into the United States with this visa, they do not have employment authorization and cannot receive a salary. An H-1B (H-1-B) visa requires initial approval from the Department of Labor and from the INS (I-N-S). H-1B visa holders may obtain permission to work for up to six years in the United States from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. However, Congress has placed a numerical limit on the number of H-1B non-immigrants who may enter per year. The limit for fiscal year 2000 is 115,000 H-1 visas. Other non-immigrant visa categories include L-1 visas for intra-company transferals. The employment for transferee must be for the same foreign employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of a company for whom the individual has been continuously employed for one of the last three years. Executives and managers are eligible for an L-1 visa for up to seven years. Specialized knowledge employees are eligible for up to five years. 'O' and 'P' visas are available for athletes, entertainers, and other persons with extraordinary ability. 'R' visas are granted for religious workers. For more information, contact an attorney qualified in this area of the law.

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