Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas
U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa
Non-immigrant visas are for temporary visits to the United States for tourism, work and business affairs.
TN Visas under NAFTA - You may qualify for a TN visa if you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico and have a temporary job offer in the United States. The US job offer must be from a list of occupations defined by NAFTA, the US job offer should be consistent with your education and not exceed three years. Under the TN Visa you may apply for permanent residency and hold temporary status simultaneously.
L1A Visas Intra-Company Transfee Executive or Manager - If you are expanding your business to the United States or being transferred to an existing US business, you may be eligible for the L1A visa. L1A visas are available to all nationalities working in an executive or managerial capacity for companies outside the United States, such as in Canada that have branches, subsidiaries, affiliates or joint venture partners in the US. Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of up to three years. Under the L1A Visa you may apply for permanent residency and hold temporary status simultaneously. In order to qualify for an L1A Visa you must meet specific requirements, such as:
- You must have worked outside the United States full-time for a qualifying organization abroad for one full year within the last three years prior to admission;
- You must have worked for the qualifying organization outside the United States as an executive or managerial position;
- You are being transferred to the United States to work for a new or existing US business that is the subsidiary, branch or affiliate of the foreign company.
Family-Based Immigrant Petition
Citizens and permanent residents of the United States can sponsor their family members to become permanent residents (green card holders). The sponsor will need to prove that they have enough income or assets to support their relative when they come to the United States.
A citizen of the United States may sponsor their:
- legally married spouse
- unmarried child
- married son or daughter of any age
- mother or father ( you must be 21 years and over)
- brother or sister ( you must be 21 years and over)
A permanent resident of the United States may sponsor their:
- legally married spouse
- unmarried child of any age
Immigrant Visa (Green Card)
A Green card holder is also known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Permanent residence can be obtained through marriage, family, employment offers, self petitions or investment.
U.S. Citizenship (Naturalization)
You may qualify for U.S. Citizenship if you have lived in the United States for at least 5 years as a permanent resident. If you obtained permanent residence through your spouse who is a U.S. citizen you must only wait at least 3 years. Your child may be eligible for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., or the child is currently residing outside the U.S.
If you have a criminal record, you can be denied entry to the U.S. To ensure successful entry, you will need a U.S. Entry Waiver issued by the Department of Homeland Security.