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Work Visas to the USA: Instructions

Posted by USAFRANCE, LLC on January 13, 2015 at 1:30 AM

For more information contact us and we will put you in contact with our lawyers on the subject.


When one wants to work in the United States, the question always arises, ‘How to get a visa.’ Indeed, there are many different types of visas and it is sometimes difficult to know which will be best suited to a particular situation. Here, below, a brief overview of various visas to come to work in the United States:


Visas E:

E visas are non-immigrant visas, therefore, applicants should plan to return to their country of origin. In addition, E visa applicants must have management skills in supervision or in specialized areas. The relatives of the applicants will get the E visa dependent. This category is available in two forms:

The E-1 Visa: Trading

The E-1 visa is for individuals representing a foreign company, 50% of trade is conducted between France and the USA. This visa has the advantage of being renewed as the company in question works and still has a substantial business with the United States.

The E-2 Visa: Entrepreneur

This visa is for entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in the United States. Like the E-1 visa, it may be renewed on forever as long as the company exists in the United States. The applicant must invest an amount that is correlated with the project and expand his business himself. Furthermore we must foresee hiring plan over 5 years and submit a business plan including a financial plan over 5 years



L-1: Transfer-company

L-1 visas can be an alternative to the E-1 visa. They are intended for intra-company transfers. However, the request is not made by the principal concerned, but directly by the company wishing to send a frame, an officer or a person with special skills. There are three requirements for a company to apply for a visa L-1 for an employee:

- The company must have at least 51% of the subsidiary or branch in the United States.

- The employee in question must have worked for at least one year for the parent in the previous 3 years.

- The position dismayed the United States must be a position of responsibility or requiring specialized skills.

The L-1 visa is divided into 2 categories:

L-1A: Officers and executives

This visa is intended for companies wishing to send someone with managerial skills or management.

The employee must be employed for either:

- Lead an organization, a department,

- Supervise and monitor the work of other supervisory,

- Be in charge of recruitment


If he does not have a management position, it must have a high level in the corporate hierarchy.

The maximum duration of L-1A visa is 7 years and can lead to obtaining a green card under certain conditions and if the employer sponsoring the employee concerned.

L-1B: Specialized knowledge

The L-1 visa is for people with specialized knowledge or skills in a field relevant to the business.

For example, the person may have extensive knowledge of the products, services, or other management techniques related to the company. Or, it can be expertly procedures within the company.

The maximum duration of an L-1B visa is 5 years.


O Visas: Extraordinary Skills


The O visa is for people that have extraordinary skills in the fields of art, science, education, business or athletics.

The O visa is divided into 3 categories:

- The O-1A: refers to the fields of Science, Education, Business or Athletics;


- The O-1B: refers to the fields of Art and Cinematography and Television industries;


- The O-2 refers to persons accompanying the holder of an O-1 visa to assist in the completion of an event or a specific task.

Visa P: Artists & Athletes

P visas are visas for athletes or international artists from participating in a competition or event or issue a provision that comes as part of a reciprocal exchange program.

There are 3 visa type D:

- P-1A: renowned for Sport

- P-2: Individual artists or member of a group

- P-1S, 2S-P: Essential Support Staff

P visas are valid for as long as the 'mission' is made in the USA






Visa EB: these visas allow access to the green card

Multinational executives and managers (EB-1)

If you own a company in your country of residence and you create an affiliate in the United States, you can transfer and after a year of activity, you can apply for a green card in the category EB 1 for multinational managers and executives. Similarly, you can be transferred with the L-1 visa by a company for which you work in a leadership position, and then apply for the green card in the same category.

Advantage to qualify in this category:

The biggest advantage to qualify in this category is that it does not go through the "labor certification". The "labor certification" is the process through which the applicant green card to prove it does not move for American workers.

Extraordinary Ability (EB-1)

Persons outside of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletic can qualify for a green card for their talents and expertise to the United States.


A job offer is not required in this category for green cards. It is not necessary to obtain a "labor certification.”


A candidate for the EB-1 green card in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletic must prove that he is among the best in its field of expertise at national level or international.

The foreign applicant must prove that he has received an international award recognized as the Nobel Prize, or it must submit at least three of the following evidence and documents:

• Prize or recognition at national or international level in the field of expertise;

• Membership in associations dedicated to people who have demonstrated extraordinary talent in their field;

• Articles about the completion of the applicant published in trade magazines or in newspapers of high reputation;

• Member of a jury to try the other work in the area of their specialty;

• An important scientific contribution, theoretical, or other in their field;

• Important papers published by the candidate in the trade press or in nationally recognized media;

• Employment in a key position to organizations or high reputation institutions;

• High salary or remuneration for services rendered in the field; or

• Other evidence or documentation (usually letters of recommendation by renowned personalities in the field of specialization.

Many people continue to qualify for the green card without having obtained price level "Nobel Prize" and without being recognized internationally. Sometimes just a candidate to be recognized as absolute expert in his field in his home country.

Outstanding Researchers or Professors (EB-1)

There is a category of green cards for teachers or outstanding researchers with at least three years’ experience in the field of education and research, which have been internationally recognized for their work.

Exceptional Ability (EB-2)

Foreigners who cannot qualify for a green card in the EB-1 category, but have exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, or business, can qualify in the EB-2 category for foreigners in exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business. In this category, it is nevertheless necessary to obtain a "labor certification". An immigrant in this category must have a "sponsor", an American company, organization or an educational institute submitting a petition to the immigrant.

Professionals and Skilled Workers (EB-3)

Professionals and skilled workers can qualify for a green card in the EB-3 category for professionals and skilled workers. In this category, it is nevertheless necessary to obtain a "labor certification". An immigrant in this category must have a "sponsor", an American company, organization or an educational institute submitting a petition to the immigrant.


If you would like more information on work visas in the United States or on entrepreneurship in the United States in general, feel free to visit our website and contact us so we can advise you best with our partners (lawyers, accountants ... Franco-American)

You can also contact us by mail, telephone or on social networks.


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