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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding

The Most Important Visas

B-1 / B2 Visas: Visitors

  • Do I have the right to work under this type of visa?
    Absolutely not.
    B1 visa holders are those who enter temporarily for business purposes as negotiating contracts, representing a foreign employer for projects with a U.S. employer (business), purchasing property on behalf of his employer, taking orders for goods manufactured overseas, or attending seminars, but not based on U.S. employment.
    B-2 visitors enter the U.S. only for pleasure, vacation and tourism purposes, and not for employment goals.

  • How long can I extend my B visa?

    B1/B2 visitors may extend their visa valability one single time with up to 6 months but the entire stay period has not to pass 1 year.

  • Can I change this visa in another type of visa?

    Yes, you can change your B visa in many types of other visas.
    For example: F, H, L, M, R, O, ...etc.

  • Can I marry a US citizen while I am under B visa?

    Yes, you can marry a US citizen and then you may apply for Green Card, which includes Work Permit and Travel Permit.

    E-1 / E-2 Visas: Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors

  • How long can an E visa holder reside in the U.S. under this type of visa?
    E-1 and E-2 entrants are granted their status for one or more years, but this actually depends on the country where they are from.
    Generally, their status may be extended for as long as they manage their business.

  • Who qualifies for this type of visa and what can they do?

    Aliens entering the U. S. in order to engage in trade or investment pursuant to a bilateral treaty between the USA and their country of nationality.
    This visa category authorizes the employment in the USA to manage the trade or investment enterprise.
    Family members have the same classification but are not authorized to work.

    F1/F2 Visas-Academic Students

  • Am I required to attend full time at school?
    Yes, otherwise you can lose your student visa.
    F-1 students enter at all levels of academic education and they are required to attend on a full-time basis in a degree program.

  • Can I change the school or program?

    Yes you can, but only with Immigration Service approval and you must file another I-20 for the prospective school or program.

  • Does an F-1 visa holder qualify for an Employment Authorization?

    Usually foreign students do not qualify for EAD until they graduate or finish their programs and go into optional practical training status (OPT).
    OPT takes 12 months. During the educational period F1 visa holders are allowed to work only 20 hours /week and only in school campus.
    The USCIS may accept off-campus employment for foreign students in exceptional situations such as the death of sponsor, or other cases when the student lost his financial support.
    Family members of F-1 visa holders are accorded F-2 status but are not authorized to work.

  • Can a foreign student marry a U.S. citizen?

    Yes. An F-1 visa holder can marry a U.S. citizen and then apply for Green Card.

  • Can a foreign student travel in his/her country of nationality?

    Yes and No.
    Yes, if he/she obtained the visa from a U.S. Embassy abroad.
    No, if he/she changed to F1 from another type of visa, here in U.S.

    H-1 Visas: Temporary Workers

  • What is H-1B visa category and who qualifies?
    The H-1B category is accorded to individuals employed in a Specialty Occupation and is one of the most important nonimmigrant categories for employers wishing to hire a foreign national in a professional or highly technical position.

  • How about H-1 visas in general?

    H-1B aliens are mostly speciality or professional workers such as scientists, engineers, programers, research analysts, management consultants, journalists, accountants, professional fashion models, and professional nurses (H-1C).
    Many of these high skilled workers will occupy positions that normally require a minimum of a bachelor degree to perform, as well as holding a degree, or the equivalent in education or experience.

  • For how long is this visa issued?

    H-1 aliens are admitted for a maximum of three years initially and can have their status extended for an additional three years period.
    In limited circumstances ( for instance: if the Labor Certification process took more than 365 days), extensions beyond the total six years could be possible in one year increment.

  • How long it takes to get an H-1 visa?

    Six-to-ten weeks to approve.

  • How can I speed up my process of obtaining H-1 visa?

    The procedure which it speeds up your visa petition is called "Premium Processing".
    Under the new program, the USCIS guarantees that within 15 days of receiving an H-1B petition it will either approve, deny, provide a notice of investigation in case of fraud or request additional information.

  • Can a dependent of H-1 visa holder, work?

    No, H-4 aliens are not allowed to work but they are allowed to study.

    J Visas: Exchange Visitors

  • How can I get a J1 visa?
    There are various types of exchange visitor visas. The persons who apply for this type of visa are usually students, but can also come to receive other training, or participate in programs that have exchange components like for instance: summer camp counselors and au pairs.
    Their status depends on the duration of the exchange program.
    In order to be trained legally in the USA, international applicants must obtain DS2019 through an officially authorized J1 Exchange Sponsor Program in their country of nationality.

  • Can I change this type of visa to another?

    Sure, if the alien is not subject of section 212 E, which means that the J-1 visa holder is required to return to his/her country of nationality for two years, before switching to some of the other visas.

    K-1 Visa: Fiancé(e) of US Citizen

  • Can a K-1 visa holder marry another U.S. citizen than the applicant?
    Absolutely not.
    When entering USA on a K-1 visa, it is not possible to change to another status and the marriage to a different person does not permit adjustment of status to permanent residence.

  • When it is supposed the wedding to take place?

    The wedding must take place within 90 days of visa validity.

  • Can the fiancee apply for a work permit during the 90 days period?
    Yes, an employment authorization can be requested for upon entry in USA.

  • What other important requirements are for K-1 visa?

  • The US citizen must have met his/her fiancé(e) in person within the last two years before filing for the fiancée visa.

              Please note:
              This is a web site created for your information and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice,
              nor is it intended to be construed as legal advice.