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Extending your stay in the United States

Whether you are student, a worker or are simply visiting, there are several reasons a person may want to extend their stay in the United States. If you are grappling with the idea of staying longer than your student or work visa allows, it may be in your best interests to investigate applying for a temporary nonimmigrant visa.

There are several types of temporary nonimmigrant visas available. Choosing which is best for your situation and applying can quickly become complicated. To help you navigate the process, below are some of the most commonly used temporary visas and what they are used for.

Types of temporary visas

While this is a good primer on the basics of temporary visas, the counsel of an experienced immigration attorney is invaluable any time you are working with immigration. A simple miscommunication or improperly filled out paperwork could lead to serious consequences, so don’t leave anything to chance.

  • H-1B – For individuals working in specialty occupations, an H-1B requires at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • TN/NAFTA – This visa applies to citizens of Canada or Mexico coming to work in the US as a full or part-time NAFTA professional. Approval is generally less stringent on Canadian citizens.
  • L-1A – For foreign executives or managers, the L-1A allows employers to transfer these employees from a foreign office to a US office.
  • R-1s for religious workers – As the name implies, this visa applies to ministers and professional workers of recognized denominations. Support positions such as cooks or janitors do not qualify.
  • F-1 for students – Applies to full-time students attending qualified academic institutions ranging from elementary schools to colleges. Programs must climate in a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • E-1 and E-2 investor visas – For individuals interested in conducting substantial trade in the US, these visas can apply to people, partnerships or corporate entities.
  • B-1 – For individuals visiting the US to conduct general business which may include consulting with a business, settling an estate, attending a conference or negotiating a contract.
  • B-2 – This type of visa is typically used by people visiting for vacation, tourism, participantion in unpaid events, medical treatment and other general purposes.
  • U-1 visa – Specifically for individuals who have been the victims of violent crimes, the U-1 visa allows survivors to remain in the US while they help law enforcement bring the guilty parties to justice.

There are several other types of temporary visas available, but these are among the most common. Some of these visas can eventually lead to being awarded a green card, if that is your goal. A professional attorney will be able to help you along in that process.

The prospect of working with the American government on issues related to immigration can be intimidating. It does not need to be, though. With the help of an experienced professional, you can get your work, studies and tourism accomplished without incident.

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