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A visa gives an immigrant permission to come to the US for a specific period of time and reason.  There are two kinds of visas; immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas. 

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are for persons who intend to come to the United States permanently and normally are obtained through family or employment based petitions.  An immigrant visa grants a person lawful permanent status in the US, as well as the right to work, live and travel. 

Non-Immigrant Visas

A non-immigrant visa is for a person who wishes to come to the United States for a temporary period of time.    Visas are categorized by an individual’s purpose for traveling to the US.  Non-immigrant visas are available for people who travel to the US visit family, as tourists, or on vacation.  Visas are also available for people who came to the US to pursue an education, specialized training, or for medical treatment.  There are also visas for specific work to be performed temporarily within the US such as journalists, doctors, military personnel, agricultural workers, etc.  

The most popular non-immigrant visas fall into one of two categories; student visas and employment visas.

Student Visas allow a person to pursue full-time studies in the United States, and there are three main types.  The Law Office of Elsie C. Vasquez can help you obtain the following student visas:
  • F category visas are for academic students.  The F-1 is for the student, F-2 is for spouses and children of F-1 holders, and F-3 is for Canadian or Mexican national academic commuter students.
  • M category visas are for vocational students.  The M-1 is for the student, M-2 is for spouses and children of M-1 holders, and M-3 is for Canadian or Mexican national vocational commuter students.  
  • J category visas are for exchange visitors, such as au pairs, interns, or research scholars.  The J-1 is for exchange visitors and the J-2 is for spouses and children of J-1 holders. 
Employment Visas allow a person to travel to the US to work. Worker visas exist based on country of origin and type of work to be performed.  The Law Office of Elsie C. Vasquez can help you obtain the following Employment Visas:

H-1B visas allow professionals to come into the US to work in a specialty occupation.  An applicant must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, a job requiring such degree or equivalent, and a sponsoring US employer who pays the required wage.
  • L visas allow foreign-based employees with specialized skills or executive or managers from international companies to be transferred to a branch of the company in the U.S.  L visas also allow for a spouse to immigrate and can lead to a green card in the US.  
  • O visas are issued to people who have sustained national or international acclaim, have demonstrated extraordinary abilities in the science, arts, education, business or athletics.  
  • P visas are for athletes and entertainers.  
  • E visas are issued to foreign nationals who wish to enter the US in order to engage in a “substantial trade” between their country of origin and the US (E-1) and for those who are developing or directing an enterprise in which he or she has invested a substantial amount of capital (E-2). 
All non-immigrant visas are temporary and provide for a set period of time within the US, after which a visa will expire.  Some visas may be renewed and others may not.  It is very important that you contact an experienced immigration attorney if you intend to obtain a non-immigrant visa.  Failure to renew a visa will result in a person being in an unlawful status, which can prevent a person from obtaining other visas or residence in the future and may even lead to their deportation from the US.  The Law Office of Elsie C. Vasquez is experienced in all kinds of visas.  We will help you assemble and prepare all necessary documents, will prepare you for your admission to the US, will deal with any problems which arise and can help you maintain or renew existing visas.  Mrs. Vasquez is a zealous advocate for all her clients.  If you or a loved one wish to travel to the US for a temporary period, contact Elsie C. Vasquez today for a consultation at (212) 304-0105 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .