Non-immigrant (or temporary) Visa Options
For foreign professionals seeking work in the US, non-immigrant status is a temporary way to enter the US.
H-1B (E-3/H-1B1): a temporary work visa available for specialty, professional occupations that require a Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. With an annual limit and a lottery-based system for selection, the H-1B allows an individual to work for the sponsoring employer for a maximum of six years.
L-1: an intra-company transferee visa, the L-1 is a streamlined way for employers to transfer their global workforce to the US. L-1A is for managers and executives while L-1B is for individuals with specialized knowledge.
TN: Treaty NAFTA status is for citizens of Canada and Mexico in qualifying occupations. TN workers can be admitted for up to three years and can be renewed indefinitely.
O-1: for individuals with extraordinary ability in their respective field (the top 5%). Candidates must demonstrate a series of accomplishments ranging from publication records, to notable contributions in their field, to internationally recognized awards (e.g. Nobel Prize). Admission results in three-year terms with one-year extensions permitted thereafter.
J-1 Waivers: Individuals who participate in an intercultural exchange program may be subject to a two-year home residence requirement. SPS has successfully guided researchers and clinical physicians through the waiver process including no-objection, hardship, persecution, Conrad 30 and Intergovernmental Agency (IGA) waivers
Ways to work in the U.S. permanently
Each year, the US permits up to 140,000 individuals to apply for permanent residency based on employment in the US, with no more than seven percent eligible from a single county. The process is a long one, beginning with a labor certification application, the immigrant visa petition process, then finally application for permanent residence. Exceptions to this process include extraordinary individuals who may offer expertise vital to national interests.
Academics, Researchers and Physicians
International medical graduate (IMGs), Researchers and academics have unique immigration needs and SPS has worked in this area for over a decade. With in-depth knowledge of the options and nuanced requirements, SPS can help simplify the process.
To learn more, visit the International Medical Graduates (IMGs) & Researchers section