US Business Visas

OnlineVisas offers the full spectrum of U.S. business visas that a company could use to employ a foreign national. Here’s the breakdown.

U.S. Immigration Attorney Jon Velie explains the range of U.S. Business Visas available.
US Business Visas explained

US Business Visas: Understand All Your Options

H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is for specialty occupations, i.e. they require a university degree. It is only available for a specific and limited range of occupations.

H-2A Visa

The H-2A visa is a temporary agricultural visa, which could be used on either seasonal or peak load basis. It requires the sponsoring company to pay for housing and other incidental events as well as the cost of filing the visa.

H-2B Visa

The H-2B visa is also a temporary need visa, but it is for non-agricultural work. It does not have the requirement of providing housing to the visa beneficiary, but does have a range of limitations that you need to know before you file.

The H-1B, H-2A, and the H-2B visas have cap limits on the number of visas in each category that can be awarded. These limits can be met quickly each visa season.

L-1A Visa

The L-1A visa is for executives and managers of international companies that want to move the individual or position to their U.S. operation. It is valid for up to seven years. It may lead to the EB1-3 green card.

L-1B Visa

The L-1B is similar, but for specialized employees. These visas are only valid for up to five years.

E-1 Visa

The E-1 visa is for treaty traders: companies that have substantial trade between the United States and the home country, which must account for minimum 50% of trade with foreign nations.

E-2 Visa

The E-2 Visa is for the treaty investor, which requires a substantial investment. The Department of State requires over $100,000 investment. USCIS will award E-2 visas with a lower investment, but there are best practices you need to follow. See video for details.

J-1 Visa

The J-1 Cultural or Educational Exchange visa has a number of visa options of which two (trainee and intern) may apply to U.S. businesses.

H-3 Visa

The H-3 is also a training visa, and one that has become very complex in recent years, requiring an extensive program of documentation.

O-1A Visa

The O-1A visa is for extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. It is important to provide the correct evidence to support the beneficiary’s status in their field.

O-1B Visa

The O-1B visa is also for extraordinary ability but for the film industry. Like the O-1A it also requires expert analysis.

B1/B2 Visas

The B1 and B2 are visitor visas, which can be critically important for people who need to visit the U.S. temporarily.

R-1 Visa

The R-1 visa for religious workers may apply in certain business contexts.

US Business Visas (Green Cards)

EB1-1 Extraordinary Ability

The EB1-1 green card is the permanent residency visa most similar to the O-1A/B non-immigrant visas, but must prove a longer period at the top of the profession.

EB1-2 for Outstanding Researchers or Professors

The EB1-2 green card requires a job offer from a university or research facility. White it does not require a petitioner, and has lower standards than the EB1-1, it does still involve a fair amount of preparation.

EB1-3 for Multinational Executives or Managers

The EB1-3 green card is most similar to the L-1A non-immigrant visa. It is possible to enter the U.S. on an L-1A and then move over to the EB1-3. Note there are challenges for those who own a high shareholding in the company. See video for details.

EB-2 National Interest Waiver

The EB-2 green card is another visa for those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability, somewhat like the EB-1. See the video for details on the steps required to prove eligibility and keys for success.

EB-3 Skilled Worker or Professional

Whereas the EB-2 requires the professional to have an advanced degree and/or over five years’ experience, the EB-3 green card can be obtained with a bachelor’s degree or sometimes no degree at all. We can advise on whether your case is likely to meet the criteria.

EB-4 Miscellaneous Green Card

The EB-4 green card can be applicable to religious workers, like the R-1 non-immigrant visa.

EB-5 Investor Visa

The EB-5 green card is for those seeking to invest a minimum $900,000 in a “targeted employment area”, and who plan to create jobs in the United States. See video for more details.