Q&A Accordion

How do I find a sponsor?

With very few exceptions (e.g. tourists), temporary visas require a sponsor, usually an employer, school or program. For green cards, see How do I get a green card?

How do I get a green card?

Generally, Green cards take a long time, between 1 and 10 years to obtain. To be in the U.S. during the green card process, a temporary visa is required.

Generally, getting a green card means having the right job or family sponsor who is willing to bear sponsorship responsibility, and follow a multi-step application process.  Two types of self-sponsorship are possible, for work that is ‘in the national interest of the US’ or demonstrates ‘extraordinary ability.’

We recommend a consultation for green card questions.

How do I get into the United States?

Most foreign nationals need a visa. All temporary visas are purpose specific and time-limited, and most require a pre-application by a sponsor such as a school or business in the U.S.

The first step is to know what kind of jobs or programs fit the temporary visa categories, then find a job or program to hire/accept and sponsor for the visa.

SOME TEMPORARY VISA CATEGORIES ARE:VISITORS:

A B-1 or B-2 visitor may not displace a U.S. worker, or receive compensation from a U.S. source. The initial period of admission is typically six months. By reciprocal agreement between the US and other countries, some tourists enter the United States without first obtaining visas and are permitted to stay up to 90 days. B-1: Visitors for Business and B-2: Visitors for Pleasure and Visitors - Visa Waiver Pilot Program

BUSINESS OWNERS:

By reciprocal agreement between the US and certain other countries, buying or starting a business in the U.S. can provide a pathway to a work visa to manage, lead, direct the business.  See E-1: Treaty Traders and E-2: Treaty Investors F-1 students can also be work authorized to start a business in their field of study.

STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS:

The most popular temporary entry visa to the U.S, student and scholar visas permit extension to match the length of study and work permission upon completion of a degree. Students obtaining a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math fields may obtain multi-year work permits without needing employer-sponsorship. See F: Academic Students M-1 Vocational Students J-1 funded graduate students

PROFESSIONAL WORKERS:

Temporary work visas are generally restricted to professional and highly skilled workers.  Private businesses and universities may sponsor employees who hold at least bachelor’s degrees for H-1B visas.  Multinational company transferees are eligible for L-1 visas.  Certain highly skilled business executives, researchers and artists may qualify for O-1 visas.  SeeH-1B: Temporary Professional Workers and O: Aliens of Extraordinary Ability and L-1 executives and managers

CANADIAN, MEXICAN AND OTHER TREATY PROFESSIONALS:

Canadian and Mexican citizens holding bachelor’s degrees in specified fields have access to a simplified work visa process. Nationals of Chile, Singapore, and Australia also benefit from treaty provisions for simplified work visa rules.  See TN, H-1B1, E-3.

How do I study in the United States?

Student visas are for students admitted to colleges, universities, private primary or secondary schools, or public secondary schools if the school chargesa fee and admits the student for just one year. The most popular temporary entry visa to the U.S, student and scholar visas permit extension to match the length of study and work permission upon completion of a degree. Students obtaining a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math fields may obtain multi-year work permits without needing employer-sponsorship. See F: Academic Students M-1 Vocational Students J-1 funded graduate students

How do I get a work visa?

See E-1: Treaty Traders and E-2: Treaty Investors

See H-1B: Temporary Professional Workers

How do I start a business in the United States?

By reciprocal agreement between the US and certain other countries, buying or starting a business in the U.S. can provide a pathway to a work visa to manage, lead, direct the business. See E-1: Treaty Traders and E-2: Treaty Investors. F-1 students can also be work authorized to start a business in their field of study.

How do I become a US citizen?

After holding a green card for 3 to 5 years and fulfilling other requirements, an application to become a US citizen may be filed. Dual citizenship is permitted by the US, but not all other countries permit it.

How do I stay longer?

Maintaining unexpired lawful visa status is imperative to extending stay.Changing from one visa type to another, or extending stay is possible by application from within the U.S.Maximum time limits apply to most temporary visa types.

How do I get more information?

Request a consultation, or consult official US government websites regarding immigration programs.