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US Immigration and Naturalization Services

US immigration can be quite complex, but does offer a wide range of work permit and visa applications. The list below contains an overview of a range of Work Permits and Work Visas for Immigration to the United States of America. Please click on the relevant title for more information.

As a general rule, nationals of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) need not obtain a visa to perform regular business activities in the US. These countries are Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals of other countries will need a visa to perform business activities in the US, most likely the B-1 visa.

This visa is somewhat unusual as it allows the holder to work in the US, yet does not require the filing and approval of a petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services like most work visas do. It also does not involve a US employer. This may in rare circumstances cause problems when the holder enters the US. Please consult with one of our US immigration specialists for more information concerning this issue.

There are two types of E visas, E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor. The basis for the classifications lies in treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangements between the US and certain countries that were entered into to enhance or facilitate economic and commercial interaction between the US and the relevant countries.

There are two types of E visas, E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor. The basis for the classifications lies in treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangements between the US and certain countries that were entered into to enhance or facilitate economic and commercial interaction between the US and the relevant countries.

A bona fide marriage to a US Citizen may be the safest and sometimes also the quickest way to a US green card. For immigration purposes, spouses of US Citizens are considered to be in the so-called Immediate Relative category, which enjoys some advantages compared to other preference categories. In particular, there are pronounced procedural benefits where the US Citizen spouse is residing in the UK.

Generally, the H-1B visa is designed to enable US employers hire foreign workers in specialty occupations on a temporary basis. A specialty occupation is one that requires (a) the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and (b) the attainment of a bachelor or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the US.

Generally, representatives of the non-US media traveling on assignment to the United States require “I” classification visas. They are not eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program or enter the United States on B-1 business visas. Those who attempt to do so may be denied admission to the United States by immigration authorities at the port of entry.

This category facilitates transfer of employees between two or more existing or related companies: One in the US and one overseas. This is also for transfers of employees between a non-US company and a planned US subsidiary.

The O-1 visa category is meant for individuals having extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics and also for individuals involved in motion picture or TV production having a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement.

Generally, the P-1 visa is suitable for individual or team athletes that are internationally recognised. The athlete must enter to US to participate in a competition, event or performance. This includes promotional appearances and can also include an entire season.

The R-1 visa category is suitable for religious ministers and for persons working in a religious vocation or occupation. The person must be entering the US to work in one of these religious capacities.
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