Employment Based Immigration

Temporary employment visa being filled out

The United States has made several employment-based visa categories available to encourage foreign nationals to come as entrepreneurs or for work. The Law Office of Nathan Christensen is ready and qualified to help you apply for a visa under any of the categories listed below. To get started, give us a call today and schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney.


E-1: Foreign Investors involved in International Trade

E-2: Foreign Investors involved in International Investments

To qualify for an E-1 or E-2 visa, you must be:

  • A citizen of a treaty country (click here to see E-1 and E-2 treaty countries)
  • Entering the U.S. solely to engage in substantial international trade (E-1) or to form or direct an enterprise into which there has been an investment of capital (E-2). There is no minimum required amount of the investment in the enterprise.
  • Subject to certain restrictions, treaty visa holders can also employ essential employees

If granted, the visa will initially be valid for a maximum of two years.  However, it can be renewed indefinitely.  This is a great option for those who are wanting to do business in the United States and is from one of the treaty countries.


E-3: Specialty Occupations from Australia

The E-3 visa is designed specifically to make it easier for Australians in specialty occupations to work in the U.S. To qualify for an E-3 visa you must

  • Be a citizen of Australia
  • Have a current employment offer in the United States
  • Have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent

If granted, the visa will initially be valid for a maximum of two years and it can be renewed.


H-1B: Specialty Occupations

The H-1B visa is for occupations requiring theoretical or technical expertise and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent). To obtain one, a petition must be filed for the worker by the company seeking to employ them. Only 65,000 H-1B visas are issued each year and they are essentially awarded on a lottery system.

USCIS begins accepting H-1B visa applications on April 1st of each year. Because of the overwhelming popularity of this type of visa, it is important to start preparing early and have your application ready to submit before then.

If granted, the visa will initially be valid for a maximum of three years and may only be extended up to a total of 6 years.


H-1B Subcategories

H-1B visas also have special subcategories where additional visas are available and will increase your chances of getting the visa.  They also require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) and are broken into three subcategories: nationals of Chile and Singapore (H-1B1), occupations related to Department of Defense projects (H-1B2), and distinguished fashion models (H-1B3).


H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Workers

H-2B: Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers

H-2 visas are primarily intended to bring workers into the United States when an industry or employer is unable to find enough employees to work a job. This means that jobs available to H-2 visa holders will be seasonal, intermittent, during peak load times, or a one-time occurrence. Only 66,000 H-2 visas are allowed to be issues each year, so the timing of your application is important.

H-2 visas are only available to nationals of certain countries. Click here to see a list of H-2A countries or here for H-2B countries (see the “H-2A(B) Eligible Countries List” accordion).


L-1: Intracompany Transferees

L-1 visas are for foreign nationals who have worked for a company at least one continuous year out of the last three years and are being transferred to a position in the United States within the same company.

The L-1A visa may be granted to managers or executives. It has a maximum initial stay of three years for established offices and one year if the office is new. Although it may be extended, it cannot exceed seven total years.

The L-1B visa may be granted to positions utilizing specialized knowledge. It also has a maximum initial stay of three years (or one year if the office is new) but it can only be extended up to five total years.


R-1: Temporary Religious Worker

Visit our Religious Workers web page to learn more.


TN: Temporary NAFTA professionals from Mexico and Canada

The TN visa is specifically for professionals from Mexico and Canada. In general, TN recipients will be employed in an occupation requiring a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some examples include accountants, engineers, teachers, pharmacists, etc. If granted, the visa will initially be valid for a maximum of three years.