US Work and Tourist Visas – A Short Guide
For those of you hoping to move to the US permanently, the Green Card and permanent residency are definitely the best approach. But keep in mind there are numerous alternative visa options for you to go and settle there.
If you are Irish or UK passport holder a citizen of one of the visa exempt countries, you may travel to the United States for short periods for up to 90 days for business or tourism using the Visa Waiver program.
Employment based visas are usually issued for a certain job, for a specified period of time and with a particular US-based employer.
Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visas are suitable for nationals whose countries participate in treaties of commerce and navigation with the USA. For example if you are an Irish interested in investing in the US, you set up a company in the US and meet certain requirements, you can get an E visa type under such treaty.
Performers P visa
P visas are available for performers coming to the US as part of a group or individually to perform theatre, music etc. Performers usually need an authorised agent to initiate the process for them.
This visa is usually designated for athletes, people of science and business considered as outstanding in their profession. But criteria are really high and you need a lot of evidences to support such an application.
J-1 and H-1 visas
J-1 visa is aimed for student or recent graduates and it part of the Exchange Visitor’s programs. The H-1 visa is a six-year visa, subject to quota and requested by an US employer for a qualifying applicant. Because of the quota, H-1 visa is hard to obtain.
There are two types of this temporary work visa types:
H-2A visa is for temporary agricultural and H-2B is for temporary non-agricultural jobs.
H-2B visa is perfect for people, who want to enter the US on a one-time occurrence or just for a seasonal work. You have to have a job offer from a US employer.
Basic advice: Do not underestimate the visa processing time. It may vary from a couple of weeks to few months, depending on the visa type.
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