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Daum Immigration Corporation

United States of America

Nonimmigrant Visas

A “nonimmigrant visa” allows the visa holder to stay in the U.S. for a temporary
period of time. The U.S. nonimmigrant visas include the following:

▪ Visitor Visa (B-1/B-2 Visas)

A visitor visa allows the visa holder to stay in the U.S. for up to 6 months. The “B-1 Visa” is for “business” and the “B-2 Visa” is for “pleasure.”
The term “pleasure” refers to a trip to the U.S. and visiting relatives/friends in the U.S. Even though the 3 Months Visa Waiver Program removes the necessity for this visa for the citizens of certain countries, they may still need to obtain a B-1/B-2 Visa if they intend to stay in the U.S. for longer than 3 months for any reason. In assessing the eligibility for a B-1/B-2 Visa, the Consulate General tends to place heavy emphasis on the ability of the applicant to leave U.S. and return to his/her home country prior to the expiration of the permitted period of stay in U.S.

▪ Student Visas (F-1/M-1 Visas)

“F-1 Visa” is applicable to the students who intend to pursue a “full course of study” in the U.S. at a language school, elementary school, secondary school or a regular Bachelor’s Degree course at a tertiary institution. On the other hand, “M-1 Visa” is granted to the students who intend to attend the vocational schools (usually for 2 years) in the U.S. The nail art schools, culinary schools, motor mechanic schools and flight schools are typical examples of such vocational schools. After completing their courses, the students will be eligible for an additional period of stay in U.S. (usually 1 year for the F-1 students, and 6 months at a maximum for the M-1 students) to work in a field-related occupation.

▪ Work Visas (H Visas/E-3 Visas)

The citizens of most countries need to obtain an H-1B Visa to be able to work in the U.S. To obtain an H-1B Visa, the applicant must
have either a regular Bachelor’s Degree, 12 years of work experience or a 2 year diploma and 6 years of work experience. There is a limit of 65,000 on the number of H-1B Visas that can be issued each year (even though there are separate quotas for the Chileans and Singaporeans). However, there is a separate work visa called the “E-3 Visa” for Australian citizens, which is subject to a separate quota of 10,500 per year.

▪ Treaty Trader & Investor Visa (E-1/E-2 Visas)

These visas are available to the investors who invest a certain amount of funding to a business in the U.S. Usually a small amount of investment is sufficient, and those who open or purchase small businesses such as dry cleaners, restaurants and convenience stores are eligible for these visas. More than 50% of the ownership of the business must belong to a non-American citizen who is also a citizen of an E-1/E-2 treaty country. Even though there is no set amount of investment required, the amount of investment must be sufficient to “direct and develop” the business, and usually the amount of US$100,000 is required at a minimum.

A holder of this these visas will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years in the U.S., and can have visa extensions granted in increments of up to 2 years each time. There is no maximum limit to the number of these extensions. The spouse of an E-1/E-2 visa holder can apply for a work authorization in the U.S., and his/her children under the age of 21 can attend public schools in the U.S.

The usual process of obtaining an E-1/E-2 visa is as follows:
① Selecting a new business to be established or an existing business to be invested into in the U.S.
(A profitable and stable business must be selected.)

② Establish a business and make an investment, or invest into an existing business.

③ Apply for an E-1/E-2 Visa.

④ Attend a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate and obtain the visa
(or file a visa application at the USCIS if the applicant is already in the U.S. with another visa).

⑤ Enter the U.S. (unless the applicant filed the application at the USCIS).

▪ L Visa (Visa for Intracompany Transferees)

L Visa is for inter-company transfer, and is available to the key employees of a company to be dispatched to a U.S. branch, subsidiary, parent company or head office of their company in their home country. To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must have been an employee of his/her company for at least 1 year out of the 3 years period immediately preceding the date of application for the visa. L Visa can be adjusted to permanent residence.

▪ R Visa (Visa for Religious Workers)

R Visa is available to the applicants who had a paid job offered at a religious institution in the U.S. The applicant must have been a member of the same denomination as the religious institution that offered him/her a job for at least 2 years, and the job must be related to the religious doctrine of the institution. R Visa can be adjusted to permanent residence.

▪ K Visa / V Visa (Visa for the Spouse and Children)

K Visas are available to the fiancé(e) or spouse of a U.S. citizen. K-1 Visa is applicable to the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen, and K-3 Visa is applicable to the spouse of a U.S. citizen. The K-1 Visa holder must marry his/her spouse within 90 days of admission to the U.S. The consequence of the failure to marry within the 90 days period can be very severe.
V Visa is available to the spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21) of a lawful permanent resident of U.S.
K and V Visas can be adjusted to the permanent residence based on family-based petition.

▪ I Visa (Media Visa)

I Visa is available to media workers. “Media workers” include journalists, reporters and film crews. To be eligible for an I Visa, the applicant must be employed as a media worker of a company (as either an employee or a freelance contractor), and such company must have its home office outside of U.S. I Visa can be adjusted to permanent residence.

▪ O Visa

O Visa is applicable to an applicant who demonstrated a distinguishing ability in science, arts, business and athletics. To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must meet at least 3 out of the following 10 requirements:
① Evidence of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence.
② Evidence of membership in associations in a field that demands outstanding achievement of their members.
③ Evidence of published material about the applicant in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
④ Evidence of participation by the alien as a judge, either individually or on a panel, of others’ work.
⑤ Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.
⑥ Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or major trade publications or other major media.
⑦ Evidence of work that has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases.
⑧ Evidence of having taken on a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations.
⑨ Evidence that the applicant commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration relative to others in the same field.
⑩ Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts.
Inquiry Regarding U.S. Visas:

1. Which visa are you trying to apply for?

2. What is your nationality?

3. Have you ever had your U.S. visa application denied at a U.S. Consulate?

4. If you have, which visa did you get denied?

5. Do you have any criminal record?

6. Have you ever violated any U.S. immigration law before?

Inquiry Regarding U.S. Permanent Residence:

1. Do you have any employer or relative in the U.S. who is able to sponsor your U.S. permanent residence?

2. What is your nationality?

3. Which academic degrees do you have?

4. Do you have any patents?

5. Have you ever been on TV or in newspapers?

6. Have you ever written and published any books or research papers?

7. If you have, do you know how many times your books and research papers have been cited in other people's publications?

8. Do you have any criminal record?

9. Have you ever violated any U.S. immigration law before?